… it ain’t memory lane – they still have a lot to give!

Arrested Denial, Adolescents, The Dickies - Hafenklang 12.08.2014 ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)
Arrested Denial, Adolescents, The Dickies – Hafenklang 12.08.2014 ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)

It should have been a walk down memory lane but it turned out to be much more fun indeed. My business schedule took me to Manchester the week before Rebellion@Blackpool and everybody taunted me for not staying over. One of the reasons (next to spending the weekend with my love) was that i needed to be in London the week after and wanted to see my dear old friend Rudi, who on the way back from the Blackpool pilgrimage did a stopover in Hamburg before returning home to his new hometown of Perth. So i was up for Rudi, Adolescents and The Dickies – knowing that i had to fly out to London next morning. Grim outlook but nothing that could not be cured with good music, fun, friends and beer.

I did let go Arrested Denial but rather spend time talking – then it was time for the Adolescents.

Adolescents (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Adolescents (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

I do not know how many times i have seen them but it is always unpretentious and class. Sure it ain’t the Adolescents from 1980 but Steve Soto and Tony Cadena keep their thing flying with style. And energy the have, ob boy, they do have. It is sure helped by the other 3 guys in the lineup, giving them the perfect backdrop. The stage entry was yet again cool, just went on, adjusted the lights and blasted off with „No Way“:

And they carried on without a scent of slowdown. And did they stop at one point in time? not realy, they gave the impression that they wanted to play on and on and on! Finaly „Sonic Reducer“ was a well timed „farewell“ to the audience. Wow – even better than last time at Hafenklang!

Next on The Dickies and that is down memory lane: 27.11.1979 was my fist punk show ever, seeing The Dickies (whom i thought to be from England) and The Stranglers as a 15 year old kid at the Markthalle in Hamburg. The Dickes blasted the place, there is a cool tape of that show but no video – they looked like this (apparently the only video footage of that area):

The Stranglers where just hated for all the stupid reasons of „… not punk“, „… sellout“ – see below cut from a German music magazin:

The Stranglers ( (c) Sounds 1979)
The Stranglers ( (c) Sounds 1979)

But hey, 35 years later The Dickies (ok, Stan Lee and Leonard Graves Phillips plus a variety of backline) still give it a go!

The Dickies (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Dickies (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

The music has been speeded up a wee bit to fit todays listening preferences but from there they are still one of the best sing-a-long bands of all times. And yes, it is memory lane! Forgive me and my age!

The took the stage with „Paranoid“ and took Hamburg by storm:

And took no prisoners from there. Be it short („Poodle Party“) or long (my all time live favourite „If Stuart could talk (what would he say?“):


 

Also The Dickies made no stop, played for ever and encore was added to encore:


 
I lost time, enjoyed the music, talked forever and had way too many beers. But within the set was a cool gem worth to explore. The Dickies sure are known for their cover versions and there are so many stories about these. But they also played my favorite cover: „See my way“ (a song by a long forgotten UK rock band from the early 70s):

The words for this one are priceless:

i know i can't see may hand
and i can't help it if i stumble
all of those things that are sad before me
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

see the point of watching my life
i can see it's been so wrong
climbing mountains without even looking
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

i know i can't see may hand
and i can't help it if i stumble
all of those things that are sad before me
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

(c) 1970 Mick Abrahams

And in it’s 1970 boring rock glory it sounds like this – live at German Beat Club TV Program … and now you do know why it has been covered:

Actualy, on record and leaving the jazzy bridge and the sax aside, it is a decend pre-hard rock song:

And, not for a reason, also the Ramones family did a cover:

And you know, fuck it – i got all the space of the world here, this is a psych-proto-metal cover version from New Zealand, dated 1971. And you exactly know why punk had to happen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE1lr5HoEJI

So actualy next to be able to write this song, to give credit to this exhibit of reason why punk came about, they got their record covered designed with so much more class than bands nowadays who design for CD covers at maximum. Gatefold cover with a cool bord game on the inside. Now beat this!

BLODWYN PIG - GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG – GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG - GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG – GETTING TO THIS LP
Blodwyn Pig 1970
Blodwyn Pig 1970

 

I am sure my friends Alf and Wolfgang have this record in their collection, as they sport a few years more and made it through the pre-punk prog-rock area.

Humming „See my way“ did lead me home and with a late and short sleep and the „comfort flight“ next morning to London i sported a neat hangover in the office on Wednesday. Regrets? None! Even 35 years later these evenings make my day and pic’s like below will forever serve my memory!

Oldpunks having fun ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)
Oldpunks having fun ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)

… these NJ kids have style indeed!

Puh, it is summer in the city and the city was full of people that wanted to see the Hamburg Cruise Days and the cool blue light installations at the Hamburg Harbor. And the Hafenklang being on the harbor front gave yet again a nice mix of punks hanging out outside the Hafenklang and tourists trying to avoid them. Fun. As ever. Upstairs at Goldener Salon it started with Irish Handcufs from Regensburg and it took me only one song to dislike them as lutscher-core (and indeed i am not nice here but i was up for something different tonight!).

Irish Handcuffs (Hafenklang, 01.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Irish Handcuffs (Hafenklang, 01.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

I rather enjoyed lengthy talks about music and life as such outside. Next on No Weather Talks from Hamburg and i disliked their pop even more then the lutscher-core (though they had a female singer, something i normaly dig).

No Weather Talks (Hafenklang, 01.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
No Weather Talks (Hafenklang, 01.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Now for sure only the Night Birds could rescue this hot evening and boy they did! From start to finish they rocked the approx 120 people upstairs at the Goldener Salon and did not leave any questions.

Night Birds (Hafenklang, 01.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Night Birds (Hafenklang, 01.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

This is how i – in all  selflessness  – want it to happen: A cool drummer with a Slade T-Shirt. A Bass player that rocked his Bass. A guitar player that knows his surf. And an enigmatic singer with all signs of crazyness. Cool shit, played hot as hell. See yourself and listen up how they started the show:

And the best was yet to come: Mid set the bass broke down and whilst the technical error was researched the drums and the guitar went into a familiar tune … „Shadowy Men from A Shadowy Planet„, the signature song from the CAN comedy series „Kids in the hall“ (dating back to 1988). Now that was fucking super cool. I talked to the guitar player after the show and he was very surprised that someone not only did recognise the song but also knew the TV Show. I guess that comes with age and being over 50 plays into it. I told him to put more of that into their set, let’s see what they do!

But hey, really, if the Night Birds continue down that path of mixing California Hardcore with Surf, throw a blend of DI and JFA in, then i will buy all of their records. They are a real force and a true gem. Thanks for a great show guys!

 

… cheerfully sad – SNFU (of sorts ?) and Mr. Chi Pig (off meth ?) provide solid night out!

It was an odd setting, SNFU with the „back from half dead“ Mr. Chi Pig (aka Kevin Quinn) were to play Hamburg. I knew it ain’t the SNFU i adored in the 80s and 90s, but still it was a date not to let go. Unfortunately they had to play Hamburg in a summer heat and during school holidays, so turnout was rather low. They where paired with two „modern“ hardcore bands from the UK, who had to face a rather empty Hafenklang.

Persplex Flash - Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.07.2014 ((c) gehkacken.de)
Persplex Flash – Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.07.2014 ((c) gehkacken.de)

Persplex Flesh turned out to be both visually and musically challenging but had something special. I did even like one song in the middle of their set, a cool blend of US Post Hardcore and whathaveyou…not too bad but sure not somethiong that i can enjoy on a record. I did capture a quick snipit though:

 

In case you want to check it out more, try this – it ain’t bad actualy:

Next on where Mob Rules from the UK and their quick sound check was Jazzcore. Then it went downhill for my liking (be it the musick or the bearded singer), so we did flee to the outside to have a beer and see Mr. Chi Pig strolling around and talking to fans.

Mob Rules - Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.07.2014 ((c) gehkacken.de)
Mob Rules – Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.07.2014 ((c) gehkacken.de)

Next thus where SNFU. I do dig Candian punk – be it Forgotten Rebels, D.O.A., NoMeansNo/Hanson Brothers, Chixdiggit, Doughboys, Propagandhi, Pointed Sticks, Night Prowler, Bishops Green and and and. And then SNFU. They where always there when US/CAN punk came into view in the early 80s and became a landmark with their first record in 1985 on BYO. And then some more and some great live shows in Hamburg. And then it went quiet and only through the movie “ Open Your Mouth and Say… Mr. Chi Pig“ in 2010 i became fully aware what happened and what route Kevin Chinn choose to go through or for a lack of better words „down“. And it was really a fully professional meth junkie homeless career. Now he is back for good (or money, don’t know), sans Teeth and Body and thus no voice left to carry the songs, especially the slower ones.

SNFU - Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.07.2014 ((c) gehkacken.de)
SNFU – Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.07.2014 ((c) gehkacken.de)

And odd he looks. Behind his back some of the younger people made some really ill jokes – not deserved. What did we get? The musical backdrop was perfect: from song to song they became tighter and gave the impression that they are enjoying it. The only sad thing was the toothless, voiceless and skinny singer who looked like sometime … lost. That was the sad part. But the longer it went, the better it got. At the end i really enjoyed it and thought „oh my good, how great would they be if Kevin did not choose to cook his brain with meth?“.

But see and listen yourself for some sound bits (and mind you, like every great singer Kevin enters the stage from the audience!):

 

 

 

 

Did this rock? Yes it did! In the end i think around 120 people went home happy but also – if they listened carefully – they should have noted Kevin to state this was to be the last time he played Hamburg. So thanks Kevin and thanks to the 30+ rooster of SNFU over the times: 1981 to 2014 is a hell of time (it is more than half of my life) – well done. I will always dig your records!