… relentless energy: No Problem!

I think it is the 4th time that No Problem graced Hamburg and boy was i eager to see this powerhouse yet again. Be it on record (with that heavy scent of dark wave or whatever you call that) or be it live (aka atomic explosion) they are just a force. And friendly folks on top.

So not only my humble self made it to the matinee show on typical April Sunday but also 5 of me elderly mates (and plenty of younger folks).

Support was from Bad Affair, who played their 2nd show ever and their first in their home town. A chord-strumming wild bass, a guitar that could also play in something more metal and a sturdy drummer paired with a female singer.

Bad Affair (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

It wasn’t particular my thingy, at times the rather brave vocals annoyed me, sometimes the guitar was just too … hairy. But at other moments their whole thing glued together well, specifically when the high vocals paired with a high and flirty guitar against the wild back line.

They only had a couple of songs but still played an encore: Whilst i do appreciate when a band does a hats-off to a legend it was very very cumbersome to list to Bad Affair slaughtering Civilisation’s Dying from the mighty Zero Boys.  Not a good job, sorry. Paul Mahern will not be happy!

But by all means check them out for yerself:

And with little changeover it was No Problem who took the stage. Their bass player could not make this time, so they had a girl filling in. And with quite some great soundscapes they kicked off:

Wham! They hit the audience indeed like an explosion and they take no prisoners. Against their marketing spiel they matched everything:

Attacking the crowd with catchy choruses, and dark brooding riffs, a No Problem performance will hypnotically pull every member out of the audience and into a war-dance like atmosphere. 

Taking a bit of a hiatus in 2017, No Problem are back with a new album Let God Sort’em Out scheduled for release on June 25th 2018 on Deranged Records and Taken By Surprise (Europe). 

With their most complex material to date, No Problem have created the perfect soundtrack to a world careening into madness. We’re standing on the precipice of a world circling the drain, let’s pray God sorts us out.

There ain’t no rest, there ain’t no holding back and still it is just not trashed out in speed but beautiful gems of songs and brilliant guitar work. Twin guitar work that is, some of the songs with the single guitar tended to sound imperfect (to my silly untrained ears).

No Problem (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

It was upstairs at the Hafenklang and about half full but No Problem had the crowd right at the stage and got loads of people moving. It took though one of the elderly to start a circle dance and get additional (and asynchronous) movements in.

I am sold on them. They have killer records out that stand the test of time and they are live just so full of relentless energy that i wonder what fuels them. It may be because they are from Edmonton (home of the mighty Oilers) out there in nowhere Alberta, Canada (and by my guess deep in Canadian redneck territory). They may not get a lot bands traveling through and they most likely get hassled big time day in day out.

No Problem (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

But here, over in Europe, they treated much better and so good that their short and relentless (can’t use the word on them often enough) set ended with a Viltones cover if it did make it out correctly:

Perfect! And though they only had little merch most of us got something: A missing record, a badge or myself a shirt. They deserved it. And some chatting, starting with my American Nightmare shirt being adored to discussing the great performance this season by Leon Draisaitl for the Oilers (105 Points make him the highest scoring German ever in the NHL). Did i ever note that i love Hockey and love playing Hockey?

Fun was also that me mate Riebe got carried away so much by No Problem that he dodged our „4“ taunting (footie inside joke) and exclaimed that „ … us 5 are the last survivors„. This was hinting at the fact that all of us where attending shows together since like 1980 and at this occasion nobody else from those days was around.

That fun moment got some icing on the cake when we realized that one of us sported the original shirt whilst a younger comrade in front of the stage could only sport the copycat version (though the Night Birds have all rights to do so).

The Copycat Youth vs. The Instyle Elderly (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Great show, good entertainment and an early end – some used that early ending to hop over to the Monkeys to see NYC H/C by Bold, i resorted back home for an early night. Age, you know?

Donation Monday: The surprise slot!

I do like the option of the short stroll downhill on a lazy Monday – it prevents me to fall asleep in front of the telly and it allows me to check out bands that travel on a shoestring budget.

Mondays at the Hafenklang are donation only shows: You pay what you like to pay or what you can afford (and what folks give varies between pennies and 20€). And it is followed by some table tennis with a punk rock DJ in the background, so good for your health too.

First on Bundles from Boston. A three piece with a great nom de guerre: „short songs, short shorts“. And that is what the 25 odd people got. With a huge twang, above a strong rhythm there was some strong strumming of the six string and rather harsh vocals.

Bundles (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 25.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I am not sure if sound and vocals do it for me, within some songs i could make out some of the singing, within others indeed not. It was worthwhile and definitely not bad but it was one of these „i wouldn’t do the extra mile“ thinks. Check it out for yerself:

But by all means friendly people with some friendly messages. On the mu-sick-al side they try to be off the beaten track, which creates some credit: It ain’t H/C, it ain’t punk and it ain’t post-punk … or all of it. As much as i used this surprise slot go and surprise yourself.

Quick set (matching the „short“ theme) and a good share of applause.

With a stark contrast Überyou from sunny Zürich took the stage: 5 lads, rather in black and with distinct different styles. And when they started it looked like someone ignited a firework: All of them went ballistic – those with a mic in the hand went roaming (aka the singer), and those with a neck and some strings got moving and throwing their axes around.

Überyou (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 25.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

The small stage upstairs at the Hafenklang sure was way too small, also because both the bass and the lead guitar needed space to sing. And that – besides the sure uptempo speed – was their main advantage: 3 distinct different voices singing, loads of choruses and background singing. What did it look like in real? Check it out:

I liked it. There was nothing spectacular new in what they do, stolen here, stolen there, adapted here and neatly absorbed there. It would be unjust to name something but the sheer amount of references that came to my head actually proves that they someone melted a lot to their own sound. Take a look at their output (and don’t be set off by the cover of their newest effort):

Yet again Surprise Monday proved to be a bonus: Some beers, a wide variety of music and some chats. So much better than slowly passing away on the couch. So get yer ass off on Mondays and come down. You may be surprised for a few bucks!

… wet Monday with some surprise Swizz-Punk!

Monday evenings in Hamburg can be wet and sometimes they can be double wet: The high tide comes higher and floods the area around the Hafenklang. Luckily this Monday it was rainy and stormy only and without the need to close the flood proof doors of the Hafenklang.

As such i could stroll downhill to see loeschen from Zurich on the regular „Monday donation only“ bill and only getting wet on me head.

loeschen caught my ear via the modern means of internet promotion and Bandcamp – i liked what i heard and so i did have to check them out. With me about 30 good folks wanted to check them out too.

loeschen (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 04.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They had just another and different stage setup: Two guitars left and right, bass middle, drums to the back and a free roaming singer. And how did they come across? See yerself:

At times and when the two guitar produced some nice whirling overcast i liked them, on other songs it just did not work out for my ears. But they pair a decent sound with some aggressive schwiizerdütsch vocals.

Once done i decided to not buy the record, as their set did not fully convince me. But that is life and by all means check them out for yourself. I will give them another chance and then may call upon the record.

And with a quick set it was done and the weekly punk rock ping-pong party went off, i passed it by and gently strolled back up home.

Did i note that i love living a short stroll away from a great club and that it is just great to quickly check out a band?