… the return of the real thing: Poison Idea back for good!

The last time i saw Jerry A. was i think in 1994 when his short living outfit Gift graced the old Knust at Brandstwiete. I’d say an underrated band that had – to my liking – a great album on Tim Kerr Records going. But folded quickly. And then Jerry A. and Poison Idea disappeared from view somehow, though news of „Pig Champion“ sadly passing away arrived and news got around that „Thee Slayer Hippy“ was taken in by the police and got a sentencing for robbery. And remains in jail.

Whilst they disappeared from view the music never did, „Blank Blackout Vacant“ remains a top effort with myself and songs like „Star of Baghdad“ or „Punish Me“ remain just top notch hit’s, recorded in an excellent production whilst keeping the „edge“. In contrast „We must burn“ has a perfect production with equaly great songs but lost some of that edge. Aaarrgggh … sod it – both remain just perfect albums, period!

As such i was pleasantly surprised to see not only a new album (that turned out to be a worthy effort) but also a tour. As such the show at the Hafenklang was not to be missed. What i missed though was Nasty Pack from Leipzig as i do not dig their sound. So intro into the evening where Terrible Feelings from Sweden, a harsh contrast to Poison Idea and as such a perfect setting.

Terrible Feelings (Hafenklang, 19.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Terrible Feelings (Hafenklang, 19.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

A rather dark, driving sound dominated by drums and bass, a female singer and a guitar that it did dislike from the first view. Most likely it was the haircut, the glasses or the sideburns/beard. But they had something. Their „Shadows“ LP somehow made it into my collection, a good effort in typical SE guitarpunkpop or whatever lable you want to stick to it. Good live performance and it made a couple of people smile.

Me got smiling big time when the drummer announced „…last song and then we need to hurry up as we have to drive home to Malmö and i need to be at work on Monday at 8 o’clock.“ Given that Malmö is an 6 hours drive from Hamburg he most likely will be knackered at work, but that is rock’n’roll arbetarklassen svårigheter (and we like it).

Next on Poison Idea, with a strange stage entry – but another good one for my growing collection of „first song of a show“ (that is often then song that „makes“ or „brakes“ a show):

But that already had great signs of what was to come: A mix of old and new stuff, delivered with a typical Poison Idea sound. And boy, with great looks on stage – 5 people and 5 completely different looks: A guitar on the left that looked typical punk rock. A bass that looked, quote from the audience, „…like a serial killer from a death rock movie“ and a drummer that was young and a thin stick, long hair and strange glasses plus desperate to score weed – but would be able to fill any open seat in a speed metal band.

Then there was Jerry A being Jerry A (regained size and giving the impression to be a wee bit short of lung volume) and on the far right a sliver V Axe that was gray and did return after 25 years away from PI. Just class i do tell you!

Poison Idea (Hafenklang, 19.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Poison Idea (Hafenklang, 19.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They took no prisoners and Jerry A was not moving a lot but did bellow out the lyrics and had a good eye on detail: A short fight in the audience of a guy wearing a Menace shirt vs. a mohawk punk was ridiculed by chanting „Last Years Youth“ all over and giving reason: „It was an accident, i saw the whole thing„. And then it was back to hardcore punk!

And more of it.

And the audience got going and thoroughly enjoyed the fine display of american musick, Portland style. Just lovely!

Poison Idea (Hafenklang, 19.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Poison Idea (Hafenklang, 19.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

At the end Jerry A was checking his watch and noted we have time for one more, on came another strange stage entry and an encore (of class).

And that left me buying a T-Shirt for my loveley wife (who prefers Poison Idea shirts) and taking off for home. I was at bed at 01:00 and my alarm got off at 06:25. I graced the office for work at 07:45 and hopefully did beat the Terrible Feelings drummer to it. And Poison Idea: Worth a visit and the new record is worth to complement the collection (and mine is pretty complete incl. 7″, 10″, LP and CD thanks for asking).

Great night at a great place with a great renewed Poison Idea. A great way to end a great weekend. And now lets do it all over!

… surprise Thursday: of drummers, enchanting pop and furious Punk fucking Rock!

You know what is a tad bit annoying? If a great band of that you believe it is really great only ever draws small crowds when it visits your humble home town. The Swingin‘ Utters are one of these and one of me mates was so determined to get an as large as possible crowd for them that he printed 200 flyers and distributed them ahead of the show – at own cost. Did it help? 50 tickets went out prior to the show, at then end the Hafenklang at least was not empty but also not packed at all, damn!

toyGuitar (Hafenklang, 19.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
toyGuitar (Hafenklang, 19.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

First on toyGuitar and someone in the know mentioned „… half of Swingin‘ Utters is in there but i’d rather wish that Johnny would drag Druglords of the Avenue along on the road„. Whilst both parts of the statement are true Toy Guitar from the first moment on made the audience listen. Why? Not only because of the surprise drumming (that was less the girl behind the drums, i’ll fill you in later) but specifically the almost perfect blend of fast paced pop. Thrown in was a scent of Surf and sure an undercut of punk rock. Wow – stunning. A lot of smiling and surprised faces in the audience! I was so taken left field that i did not take a quick video, something that i regret so much.

And what was special about the drumming? It was only snare, bass and floor tom – and that and the style of drumming create something special, reduced to the bone and just puuuurrrfect. Their record is now mine and it is also a great piece of pop music in the best and literate sense of it. Stunning! And a surprise!

Swingin' Utters (Hafenklang, 19.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Swingin‘ Utters (Hafenklang, 19.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next on Swingin‘ Utters and they kicked off with „Brand New Lungs“ from their 2011 effort:

And that was the theme for the evening: Johnny screamed, banged and the band did drive, drive and fucking drive. I have seen them now many times and they are not only the ones i would recon to be „always tight to the max“ but also giving, giving … and then some more. And, frank, on my 16th birthday in 1980 is saw Stiff Little Fingers and they did blow me away for many years (and their early records even more) but they have been super-seeded now by them Utters: I would call the legitimate successors (and, sorry to say, that is too because SLF nowadays are not really … hot). So listen for yerself!

 

And true to their style they came back with actually a couple of encores, one better then the other i would dare to say!

Sure thing „The Dirty Sea“ was added too, one of my „loveliest“ songs ever:

And then they came back one last time to give it all and finish a great show:

And drumming? Besides being late on stage for the start the drummer of the Utters had one item that made him „stand out“: Check out how he jumps up from his stool almost out of rhythm – that was so funny to watch!

And why is drumming so important?

drummers

So what are the cold facts? toyGuitar are a might pop force. Period. The Swingin‘ Utters do deserve a so much larger audience. Fact. So next time please come around, you will be treated class with some extras thrown it. Ain’t that worth it?

… there ain’t enough surf being played live!

( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)(
( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)

Next to punk rock there is only one style that touches my musickal senses in the same way – surf. I always adored the sun, the beach, the waves and the surf – anywhere, anytime. And Surf Music (and Surf Core or Surf Punk) has always been a mainstay. Sure fueled by bands from sunny California that did mix this, by bands like Man … or Astroman? or just  by the many traditional bands that perfected guitar play and sound effects. Still – i am seeing way to few shows with good surf bands. So when The Razorblades graced Hamburg it was a must – especially as they blend Surf and Punk almost perfectly. But by the looks all og Hamburg was out surfing with the two slick girls above – upstairs at the Hafenklang exact only 37 People (incl. bands and friends, Venue staff and audience) wanted to seek wind, wave and sun. Sad actually.

The Typhoons (Hafenklang, 20.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Typhoons (Hafenklang, 20.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

The Tyhpoons not from Hamburg but from Schulau (and insider joke you do not need to get) play a traditional type of surf, i’d say Dick Dale style (but i am not an expert) – but they miss out on the most important thing for a live band: All 5 looked different, behaved different and just looked odd on stage. If you close your eyes it works, if you see them – it does not. Nevertheless some great tunes, covers and originals, and some realy neat guitar work from their main men (the only one with a fitting Gretsch and a fitting outfit). Due to the lack of audience not really making an impact…the tough life of the support stint again!

The Razorblades (Hafenklang 20.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Razorblades (Hafenklang 20.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

They have it. And they hail from Wiesbaden – miles away from the next beach and surf. For more than 10 years now the play up and down Germany, Europe and even the US. And they are tight, together and technically gifted. And they have not only perfected the look (incl. „team“ T-Shirts), stage roles and movements and stage personas.

 

It took them 15 minutes to set up and kick off – brilliant. That’s self confidence paired with ability, i’d wish more bands can do that. From there it was non-stop speed, fund and great tunes including a clever cover of „Love will tear us apart“. And, in full ignorance of the empty place, just a professional show with all elements that go with it incl. getting people onto the stage. And Rob Razorblade used the empty pit to jump from stage and play F2F with the few people in the audience, making the best out of it.

The Razorblades (Hafenklang 20.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Razorblades (Hafenklang 20.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

I’d love to see them in a packed place with some great Ramones-core and Hardcore bands like Night Birds – that would be a match made in heaven (and would give them enough credit). So listen up for a final tune:

 

Note to self: I need to make sure i look out for more Surf shows! Hope you do the same – surf up, motherfucker!