… let go, let go: The Generators, Teenage Bottlerocket and who?

Them Bones from sunny Karlskrona decided to take The Generators and Teenage Bottlerocket onto the road through Germany celebrating 20 years of their own punk’n’roll history. Whilst that is a great outlook to see two great bands it also came with some odd settings: A hefty door price of about 10€ per band (and pay per view i would have selected) and the oddest headliner stage setup possible – the support bands needed to set themselves up in front of the Bones stage setup. I do hate this and it always make me think rock-start-shit.

First on The Generators, as early as 20:30 they had to climb the stage and they were greeted with some smiles, cheers and thumbs-up from the rather small audience – Hamburg loves them!

The Generators (Knust, Hamburg, 07.12.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

The smiles where returned from the stage – Doug, Mike and the rest where happy to be in Hamburg again and recognised that a mid-week evening might not be the most attractive day for a high energy punk show in Californian Style. Still, plenty of people in audience actually did sing-a-long to their songs!

Somehow the sound was better than at the Hafenklang last time round but still, due to little space that them Bones granted, it was not perfect (and the Knust now has an almost perfect sound system and capable staff). For me they are still one of the most underrated bands and their perfect studio sound is the one that i’d love to hear one day on stage … just like this:

Next on Teenage Bottlerocket and that with some hidden tears: The sudden death of drummer Brandon Carlisle is still a very very sad burden – i guess both for the band and the audience. They kicked off like this:

Jiha! Teenage Bottlerocket are back and they have not lost a thing – they where even able to cope with the small stage! By now more people where in front of the stage and more dancing was going on, though it as much more empty than eg. on Gerd’s 25th anniversary show.

Teenage Bottlerocket (Knust, Hamburg, 07.12.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

Where The Generators generate the Californian sound Teenage Bottlerocket clearly generate the fun. And then some. And whilst watching them me and me mates game up with the ultimate show: The Lillingtons, The Methadones and Teenage Bottlerocket at the Hafenklang. One night. That’ll be … class.

And fun includes taking the piss out of Markus (age 17), who annoyed me earlier by taking a selfie in front of the stage whilst the band was playing. Never mind, we now know that he sells Crystal and other odd items. Or was this just a vehicle to showcase Ray’s German? He did a great job in entertaining the audience in local language!

And with „Radio“ they called it a day and yet again did proof that they can do the tiny stage of the Meanie Bar (50 people max) and the large stage in the O2 Arena (fronting 10.000 people) – just give them the stage and they will create a lot of fun. I’d hope they come back as a real headliner soonest and give us a long and extensive set. And then some. Extra.

Next on The Bones and i do have their first two records but today do not follow them. Their sound is too perfect, too slick and too much rock style in my world. Me and me friends all assembled one by one at the bar over the course of the set and did not bother us with The Bones (we rather got chatting, talking, ranting and drinking. And one more. And one for the road).

The Bones (Knust, Hamburg, 07.12.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Bones (Knust, Hamburg, 07.12.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

At the Knust they do show the stage on a large TV at the bar so you could see the band (and you hear it anyway) and also that did not lure me over. I only did a sneak peak once and was still not convinced by them, sorry Bones. Good but slightly expensive fun with good friends – even on weekday that is a priceless setting.

Too much space in the audience on the dance floor ( (c) gehkacken.de)
The Bones: Too much space in the audience on the dance floor ( (c) gehkacken.de)

… GERD, the unstoppable party machine, and the tale of the best agers!

It is quite rare that a rather unknown and local band, though it has been around for ages (but with limited visibility on the international rock circuit), is able to draw the likes of The Undertones, Jam, Small Faces and others as support.

But Gerd, Hamburgs loveliest party machine, is able to call these favours because the mu-sick industry played their dirty tricks on them. Rewind to 1972 and Gerd is alone and broke, his girlfriend Sonja left him behind and all his mates are in prison. But instead of giving in to alcohol he puts all his eggs into one basket and pens the Über-Hit „Born in Hamburg Horn“ followed by more Glamrock hits, only to have them stolen by less gifted (and greedy) rock musicians – from A like Adriano Celentano to Z like Zeppelin, Led. Name one of the big names of the 70s and they have at least one Gerd song in their rooster.

Whilst these suckers went on to enjoy sold-out stadium tours Gerd only got the occasional gigs in dodgy pubs in the lowlands of northern Germany. At least when it came to payment for these Gerd used all their street-smartness and came up with a clever approach: Instead of asking for a share of the door they asked for a share of the drinks turnover (knowing their fan-base was quite addicted to booze). Still, little fame was achieved and Gerd have been struggling ever since (even to the point that all of them have additional bands to play in in order to pay the bills).

Kick off for this eagerly awaited party night was with Perfect Cousins, who actually are 3/4 of Hamburgs old and beloved punk band Napalm: Arne sings, Lui on Bass and Reeder takes the drums. This added with two more capable members gets you the ultimate 1:20 party hits of The Undertones in real.

Perfect Cousins (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

And, as many folks over years noted, the rather nasal vocals by Arne are a perfect fit (and some even wanted him to join The Undertones upon Fergal calling it a day). A great set, this time well rehearsed and injecting the right fun into the crowd who immediately put on their dancing shoes.

Next on Jam Today, reformed from the ashes of Jam Today – starting the set with some Jam numbers as the traditional 3 piece they soon invited additional members onto the stage: The guy on the keyboard is not really a new add (was trialled some times before) but the 2nd guitar (which comes with great vocals) is brand new. And adds to their ability to try new styles.

Jam Today (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

Where the Perfect Cousins had an immediate effect on the audience, Jam Today dared to play it on the risky side and branched out into Small Faces, Style Council and classic mod rock like The Chords.

Audience reception was a bit luke-warm though they got their fair share of applause and support. I’ll guess with some further tightening of the set it will be a good one (though different and maybe no longer suited for the 50+ oldpunks just wanting to sing along to his or her hold hits).

And finally that gave the stage to Gerd, who where a wee bit nervous about this show as it was – at least for them – a headlining gig on a large stage. And they where nervous about turnout, as they had their share of gigs with less than 50 guests. So with a bright smile they came on stage and faced the 300+ people in the audience who gave them a large cheer.

Gerd (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

A massive 27 song set-list was the outset for the proceedings, almost a full account of all the hits they have written over the last 44 years and that got recording and airplay by another band.

GERD : Set List (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
GERD : Set List (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

It was like a bam-bam-bam rush through history, sometimes the songs where speeded up a wee bit too much (but i’ll take they simply got carried away by the audience that got going big time). And they even went that far to use additional outfits to complement the songs, just like here in the song that not only got stolen off them but time warped back by Dr. Brown:

And sure thing that was not the end of it, Gerd carefully and tongue-in-check assured that the audience was drunken enough to savour what was to come: The one big hit that Gerd was able to secure for themselves and that is an ode to their beloved hometown:

And whilst at it, booze is booze and Champagne is Champagne – or as they put it:

I've got the money, I've got the place
You've got the figure, you've got the face
Let's get together, the two of us over a glass of champagne

I guess everyone is able to sing along to side one! So let’s go:

By now and deep into the encore (and already late into the night) Gerd had the audience where they wanted it: Fully engaged, singing, dancing and well intoxicated.

Gerd (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

And Gerd being the ever cost effective party machine even sparred themselves electronic gadgets for intros and just used their hand clapping to – with a change of tone – move into one of the more dramatic songs:

… finaly finished with this one:

Just perfect! Gerd shows always had the annotation of a party – and this one indeed was one of the raunchiest parties of the year. On top of that Gerd being bold and brave moved it to the Knust and made full use of the bigger stage, the bigger audience and the bigger bar space (and booze storage).

The quest though is what deal did they strike with the Knust – door money or booze money? I think short over 300 people attended and about 2.500 beers plus additional booze was sold. According to the landlord of the Knust a very good number and almost the highest average of beer per person attending they have on record!

And that was followed by a great party in the bar with DJ Chrischan providing sing-a-long and dance-a-long classic hits for the best ager audience.

GERD : After-Show Party (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
GERD : After-Show Party (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

How did it look like – it looked like this:

For me just a perfect thing – so many friends (though with one mate who battled yet again in hospital still not able to attend), so much good music and such a great party. I was home „early“ in the wee of the morning and still full of energy!

Gerd offered to be back in 25 years, i’ll take them up on the promise! Next on are two more parties for the 50+ best ager crowd at the Knust: HH-Soundtrack 2016 Edition i am able to do (adjusted my work travel to fit), the Razors Burn down the Baum one i need to let go as i am out for a nice leave away from Hamburg over Christmas and New Year. I guess both will now take up the massive challenge that Gerd have thrown!

… giant mutant babies and an almost perfect sing-a-long show: The Dickies, yet again!

It is August and thus the Rebellion-itch is with many people – those who do the pilgrimage and those in Hamburg who need to decide what shows to see, as many bands use the short hop to Hamburg to add a couple of shows. It is oversupply times dear Bookers!

The Knust spared no expenses and rented a ritual dancing secret society to perform a ritual dance in front of the venue in order to lure people into the club. About 180 followed, which created some open space in the club that easily hold double the capacity. I’ll take it is down to another odd 100 folks from Hamburg ditching this show as they will see them next weekend in Blackpool.

Shirley D. Pressed (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Shirley D. Pressed (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Kick off was for Shirley D. Pressed who claim their mu-sick as „Poorly played Skatepunk since 2007“ and who made no impression on the audience as far as i can make out. They sounded too much No FX, too much Epitaph or Fat Wreck for my liking and lacked the genuine „this is us“ moment. But judge yerself:

I only watched a couple of songs and resorted back outside to engage with friends and listen to their Rebellion plans.

After some re-arrangements on stage The Dickies greeted the audience with their ode to Rosemary (and a little hick-up on the stage entry backdrop music):

It ain’t only the band – there is a new PA in the Knust and the sound is stunningly clear. And from there The Dickies took us through their catchy tunes and covers, all with a shitload of humour and comic style.

The Dickies (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Dickies (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Stan Lee the ever smiling hat wearing guitar hero, Leonard the quirky singer plus their younger backdrop: Adam the well dressed drummer, Ed Tater the sturdy bass player and a new guy on guitar (as far as i could make out).

The Dickies (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

It was hit-on-hit but it was also a wee bit short (and lacking some songs i would have selected). When querying Stan Lee after the show why they did not play their cover extraordinäre „See my way“ he agreed that it a class item but adding songs to the setlist with Leonard „… is like pulling teeth„. So after 40 minutes they called it a day.

The Dickies - Set List (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Dickies – Set List (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Warning! They dropped „Killer Klowns“ and pulled „Rosemary“ to the start of the set – so do not just copy this into setlist.fm you donkey who has not been there!

And that giant mutant baby? He and his friend annoyed the majority of the audience, got two times what he deserved and he and his family generally made a laugh out of themselves. Pointless but well justified pit violence: Hey, THAT is punk rock you dickhead. Keep telling us you invented punk rock and that your behaviours are the only correct ones … makes our day.

This song thus is for you: