… 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!

… if there ever was a reason for party – mr. and/or mrs. fate where on the guest list!

Have you ever been close to tragedy? Or been close to folks who have?
Have you ever felt the pain so powerful, so heavy you collapse?
I’ve never had to knock on wood, but I know someone who has.

Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Hafenklang, 26.09.2014

I do not know how lucky you guys and gurls have been, but if you are lucky than your loved ones are all still around and (more or less) all well. But life ain’t always that sunny and whilst you enjoy life there are some dark clouds around and eventually (and in the end for sure) some rain will fall.

One of me best mates was knocked into intensive care in hospital earlier this year out of the blue and had to battle hard. Very hard. And came out all lucky. Which made plenty of folks very happy. And it did prove that friendship is there to be proven in hard times and sustained in a crisis. That’s what the lot did, that’s why the lot did party, and hard it did party thanks to the bands and the DJ (who wasn’t hanged).

You know who you are, i do thank you and i do love you (all).

Platzangst (Hafenklang, 26.09.2014)
Platzangst (Hafenklang, 26.09.2014)
Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Jam Today - Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Jam Today – Hafenklang, 26.09.2014

 

Jam Today - Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Jam Today – Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Hafenklang, 26.09.2014
Hafenklang, 26.09.2014

… 2 days, 14 bands, one nice hangover – a great Get Lost! Fest II!

Get Lost Fest II - Hafenklang, Hamburg August 2014
Get Lost! Fest II – Hafenklang, Hamburg August 2014

Last year i did miss the Get Lost! Fest due to work and other commitments and had to let go great stuff like „War goes on“, „Hex Dispensers“ and specifically „The Kids“. This time round i made every effort to attend and any effort was worth it! What did surprise me over the 2 days was how many people from abroad made it down to Hamburg and somehow that made it feel a wee bit like an in-crowd meeting…or an alternative Reeperbahn Festival? Hamburgs SxSW? As a more or less regular visitor to the Hafenklang i felt almost like being in another city – attendees from Hamburg where out crowded i’d say!

Küken - Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Küken – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Day 1 kicked off with Küken from Hamburg and they took me by surprise: A scent of wipers and great twin singing (in a literate sense). Well done and actually wasted as a starter!

The Sheiks - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Sheiks – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next on The Sheiks (who also double as Jack Oblivions backing band) with a rather typical US type of raunchy rock’n’roll – not too bad but not my thing.

ZHOD - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
ZHOD – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Back upstairs ZHOD (Zentralheizung of Death) from Erfurt – pffff, do i like „Psychedelic Punk“? No i don’t, but at least they gave a good show and had a solid sound. 35 years ago i would have yelled „Hippy Shit“ and applauded people who would boot or botle them off the stage … so i have grown up!

Jack Oblivion - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Jack Oblivion – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Back down Jack Oblivion (backed by The Sheiks) took stage and gave his dirty blues rock version. Some people like it, i like him as an entertainer but actually not too much for the sound. But again – he does what he does extremely good!

Protokids - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Protokids – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Upstairs again and one of the „Headliners“ of the day – France’s answer to 70s UK/Irish (Good Vibrations!) Powerpoppunk. I did not know anything about them and need to confess that they have some great tunes but they where not able to get it across live as good as the songs are. Also two key factors kept them down: The drumming was bad and the bass way too loud. But the first band with a consistent stage appearance, something that i highly value! See and listen yourself below:

 

I think you get what i say was a miss, that night on that stage. But they do have something and maybe they work best on vinyl actually!

The Audacity - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Audacity – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

So Day 1 ended with The Audacity (from Fullerton, CA), who where claimed to be the hottest shit in SxSW 2013 and whom i did read below statement (which neatly turns me off):

Audacity is Orange County’s latest proof that California’s the
place to be. This fresh-faced Fullerton four piece has roots 
that stretch back to elementary school. 
That sense of lifelong camaraderie comes across in their buoyant
take on the classic power punk sound. Bouncy slacker pop is 
always an appropriate soundtrack for  a warm West Coast 
spring night.

Formed when they were only 14 years old, the members of 
Audacity connect with a musical lineage that stretches back 
about as far as their ages combined. 
The music invokes trails of Todd Rundgren’s A Wizard, A True Star,
as well as the best work of the Modern Lovers. Twisting in those 
influences with geographic touchstones like the Descendents and 
the Adolescents, Audacity crafts tunes that trade in hooks and 
fun amidst a rush of volume and youthful enthusiasm.

Deflowered and inspired by Anaheim’s Thee Makeout Party, 
Audacity are putting in the effort on the road to make a name 
for themselves. They’re asserting their place among power pop 
peers like Nobunny and Atlanta’s Gentleman Jesse and His Men. 
Audacity is evidence that suburban sprawl combined with a little
sun and surf can make for fantastic results.

Frank – such grand words make me almost puke! To me they are a jack of all trades, blend in punk with pop and surf and provide a great time to the audience. And indeed the audience got going for the first time that day i’d say. They had a low light though, i generally find bands suspect that find it worth to mention that they love Jesus. But sound wise they had it all and where totaly tight and excellent together. See and listen for yerself (and do not get set off by the drunk ZHOD guy trying to tell us something):

That ended Day 1 and took me home late, but thanks to my loving wife i could enjoy a long sleep!

Day 2 started even earlier (with a boat ride on the MS Hedi that i needed to skip), would last longer and would bring the Get Lost! Fest II to a high that i did not expect. And go myself a neat hangover on Sunday – perfect!

Bikes - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Bikes – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Bikes are from Berlin and they play 60’s garage rock. To me a fitting start upstairs, not my type of music but as a musical outfit almost ok (but they can do more on the look!).

Sunbather - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Sunbather – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

They where followed upstairs by Sunbather from Denmark (incl. a Hamburg based member) who did play the MS Hedi on the afternoon. Whops, first surprise – tight, fast and good sound! That did cheer me up and with quite some excitement i went downstairs to see the mighty Youth Avoiders from France.

Youth Avoiders - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Youth Avoiders – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

If you ask me hey are hot shit. The only thing that sometimes turns me down is the singing style on some songs but overall i like them. Indeed! And thus here something to digest:

 

 

 

Yes – that was a blast! From that set on i knew i was in the right place for maximum enjoyment!

The Mojomatics - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Mojomatics – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next on upstairs a real gem and real surprise: 2 Italians with matching stage outfit (a plus, i can assure you) performing realy driving powerpop with just drums and guitar. Wow – i did not have that on the map at all!

Born Loose - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Born Loose – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

And downstairs that was followed by real cool driving AC/DC type of rock – with all the show that goes with it. Great stage outfits (only the drummer failed), great stage personas and killer sound leaving no prisoners!

Boys and Girls, by then the audience was fully engaged, enthralled and on the right track.

New Swears - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
New Swears – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Upstairs New Swears from Canada did show that they are entertainers but not necessarily a great band (at least not when drunk) but that did not stop the excitement of the day to just grow…

Protex - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Protex – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Protex from sunny Belfast where next and they are adored by all the young kids. Everybody seems to know „Don’t ring me up“ and everybody was grossed by the old men rocking it out, eg. the drummer from Youth Avoiders eyed the drummer from Protex for all their set and smiled away at his abilities at a size and age he does not yet fathom. Wow. Soundwise they started like shite, they had some hickups and chords wrong but the longer they played the better they became. Wow – well done, though it has the odd annotation of only 2 original members being in the band…the audience loved them!

The Marked Men - Get Lost Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Marked Men – Get Lost! Fest II (Hafenklang, 29.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

The final bit was delivered downstairs and it was cool to see The Marked Men setting up their gear in what felt like 10 minutes, little configuration and no soundcheck. They knew what to set their amps to and they know by heart how to play. And then they blasted the Hafenklang away. Totally. It was packed and people where jumping up and down left right and centre. A true class finishing of a true class event. Stunning!

 

 


And that ended that exercise. 14 bands, 2 days, one hangover. And a lot of smiling faces. I could not join the after show party as i had to make way home, i am a football coach in spare time and i had to coach a game on Sunday. Thanks so much for Wild Wax Shows and Hafenklang to put this on – the effort was worth it and it was a worthy event. Gimme more!