… when the night before is good enough for you: Berlin Blackouts and Angry Agenda in a near perfect mix!

Cock Sparrer on a European Club Tour – that was a good enough reason for the Monkeys to put together a little warm up (though i would rather guess it was supposed to be a stocking up of liquids or training ground on beer consumption for many).

The mix was great: Berlin Blackouts with a Cock Sparrer like chorus quality and The Angry Agenda a solid Oi! street credibility.

First on the Blackouts (from Berlin, indeed) and whilst on social media it was like 156 people interested in the event the turnout was … i guess not more than 50. And most of them rather into the Oi! side of things, so the Berlin Blackouts had to face a rather empty dance floor.

Berlin Blackouts
(Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 07.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Since i saw them last time (2015, support slot for Bishops Green) they have shrunk to a 3 piece but without loosing too much. Actually, in my ears, they gained tightness and a bit more vocal diversity. What they do they to perfect and their sound indeed is so pleasant that sometimes i miss the edges. For some it also contained too much of whoahoah in he male vocals  but hey – that’s his way of singing.

And it sounded like this:

For playing a mere 20 people in front of the stage they did a solid performance and they should be back in front of many more people all geared for some sing-a-long punk. That would give them what they deserve. And more people would also improve sound, without bodies to break the sound it had a bit of an empty closet type of sound.

Actually one member in the audience spotted a point here and noted „… i think we had more people in the rehearsal room back then at times than they have here„.

With just a little bit of changeover it was then time for Watfords finest: The Angry Agenda. They are around since 2011 and they had put a heavy marker with their first 12“ „Here comes trouble„, a record full of angry  barrages.

Whilst all that anger seemed to manifest itself in the front man (actually, a real Rampen-Sau as we say in German) the rest of the band was quiet (and almost shy) in the background.

The Angry Agenda 
(Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 07.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Indeed they have it: The backline delivers a rock solid Oi! with an emphasis on Rock: They got more of that Motörhead or Rose Tattoo sound than of almost pop like guitar works of Cock Sparrer. And they have a loudmouth on vocals who has a story to tell – in every fucking song.

To me that was the one item that made them stand out actually – they seem not to have songs but go back to old tradition of story telling in the pub (with a bit of fitting mu-sick in the backdrop). Quite unique and very much ok with me (though i would not do every effort to see them).

They had more people in front of the stage, they had a bit of dancing but in the end of the day they too suffered from the rather low turnout.

With them done people resorted either to more beer or went home. As i was to let go Cock Sparrer at the Knust for many reasons i had a final one for the road and did hit home.

Those who love Cock Sparrer, a pint and some more i am led to believe had fun over at the Knust the next day, though local news papers seem to make a bit of a fuzz about a full blown riot (and some football rivalry) – i hear it was less of that but some unjustified violence did occur. Nevermind, that was only the 3rd reason to let that one go by…

... another famous hardticket from the Monkeys!
… another famous hardticket from the Monkeys!

… Bonecrusher: What you pay for is what you get!

This July is a very busy July for shows in Hamburg, almost every day there is a show worth considering and for me it is about every other day that i plan to attend … much higher frequency than normally for me. On a warm and sunny Friday it was time for Bonecrusher at the Monkeys and for some hope that more people would attend than last time round, where it was a very lonely Sunday.

Support was for The Analogs from Poland and i had no clue about them: Neither that they existed nor how they sound. But that is the good thing if you go out into a club – you get to see something new every once in a while. Just be open for that!

The Analogs (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 20.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

They are around for some time, since 1995 according to a rather funny Wikipedia entry, and they are a recognized Street Punk Legend in Poland. They mu-sick-al style ventures a lot into what i would call rock but never on the boring side. The one item that did stand out was that they like their songs long and complex, i guess none was shorter than 4 minutes.

I captured what felt the longest one, in order to put it here i had to tone down the quality to reduce hosting size. But hear yerself:

They were tight, together and well rehearsed and many people in the audience seemed to dig them (besides their polish fans i noted a couple of locals smiling away and getting some merch after the show).

Next on Bonecrusher, that hard working working class outfit that does not need a lot to be ready: They took the stage, they adjusted little bits and off they took.  Off went also the shirt by one member of the audience, a moment some feared. This time round he annoyed again but got some push back from some of the audience. His own fun did not impact the fun of others that much, still at moments yet again it was at the brink of a non-verbal communication.

Bonecrusher (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 20.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Bonecrusher provided a neat and complete set of old and new material and delivered their set as a well oiled engine. Both guitars celebrate a near perfect sound and bass/drums provide the solid pushing backdrop it needs. And Michael takes the front, engages the audience and delivers the message. And what they do not have is even a scent of a gap between „on stage“ and „off stage“.

Just perfect if you ask me. The only item that did make me unhappy was not the shirtless contingent but the fact that despite more people attending compared to last time round it was still more „half empty“ than „half full“. I keep my fingers crossed for the next time and hope that Mike and Co choose weeks off work that – at least in Hamburg – gives them a slot without any competition left or right of that date. They deserve it.

I took a final beer and plundered the merch stall, as Bonecrusher had the perfect item in stock: A Polo Shirt. The friendly lady handed me one labeled as „3XL“ and i complaint that i would not need a tent. She said „honey, it comes out much smaller, that’ll do for you„. Little did i know until next day when i realized it compares to M and my six pack (and my wide shoulders) won’t fit ever.

Mike – that’s the only customer complaint!

… L.A.’s finest in a never ending Rock’n’Roll show: Hamburg loves The Generators!

That was supposed to be a worthy entry into a long weekend (thanks to all the German public holidays in May) and it turned out to be so, though it took some stamina to get there. At least the outlook of The Generators taking residence is what is most likely the most fitting club for them in Hamburg was worth the effort to finish up work on time and get into a relaxed weekend mode.

The Monkeys surprised with the support slots: First off it was two bands and second they were of quite, lets say, complementary style. Kick of was with Death By Horse from sunny Sweden.

Death by Horse (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
Death by Horse (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

I did not know what to expect so took my time to listen in. The setting seemed ok, an agile female singer with 3 boys. But from the first song i had an itch, that seemed not to go away. It took some time until i could make out what i did not like and that was the clicking sound of the bass. It did not fit and it sounded too much rock.

They had though one song and one moment that made the whole club listen: It was a really emotional one, presented by Jahna in a very emotional way. And it was about being abused as a little girl. I do not know if it was a personal account but that one did stick (and the audience was taken off foot and afterwards did not dare to applaud – so personal and moving that account was).

Next on RoadRage from fucking nowhere in Limburg. And their sound was initially refreshing – 5 lads with too much hair: Both facial and on their head. They label themselves as „Motor Punk“ (you got to accept that you can learn a new thing every single day) and they pushed forward like a truck.

RoadRage (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
RoadRage (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

But soon, too soon actually, it got very boring both for my ears and my eyes. Whilst Death By Horse had something unique (that somehow did not sound good to me) RoadRage sounded so similar to so many bands (and had way too much rock posing). Sorry, not my thingy and like many others (who prefer their hair short) i resorted to the Pub for some more good old Guinness and watching Frankfurt taking Bayern Munich hostage for the German cup (and to see yet another reason to get rid of the video referee).

I was not the only one leaving them early: The drummer of the Generators stood in front of the stage during all of the Death By Horse set and took the same position when RoadRage came one – he also did not stay through the whole set (maybe just because he needed to prep). Nice gesture anyway to see the support bands from near (which i also always try to do, i think any band that endeavors to play a „support slot“ should get some sympathy).

By then it felt a wee bit late but luckily The Generators are a professional touring band so with not too much fuzz they did set themselves up (though Mike had some initial problems with his effect board and the backline … only to realize late that it might be helpful to insert that damn cable into the input jack of the amp). And once they had all things sorted Doug joined them on stage and they kicked off with all the force, all the strength and all the sound that i was missing so far.

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

It has been only two years ago that they played Hamburg but this time they actually had a full new LP with them, so some part of the set was devoted to actually playing new songs. And them new ones fitted into their rooster just perfect, loads of sing-a-long and loads of grins’n’moves from Mike.

Now i felt in business and also the rest of the Monkeys was in front of the stage and enjoying them. And you could also see that they had fun on the stage, it was the last day of their touring in Germany and they only had one more gig in Copenhagen before they would resort home to L.A..

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And whilst it all felt late earlier it was The Generators who made up for time: They did play long and they did add not one, not two but many encores. And then, against all american custom, they came back on stage to do even more. I think they where both in a good mood plus thrilled by the feedback from the Hamburg lot. Here is one of the many attempts of a final encore:

And all of these encore got the crowd going even further, that extra mile that cements the fun emitted down from the stage on the floor in front of the stage. And within that audience one member had utmost fun: Johnny Slash, once bass player for the band, was with them and either was out of his head or just plain boozed: His permanent stage invasions and falling across the monitors did anoy some people though Doug made it clear that there was not yet the need to throw him out. So, to double the fun, we also got him singing. And in the end he just turned out a nice chap with just too much fun and energy that moment …

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

Stunning, just stunning. And worth a reflection: Since Schleprock scammed Warner out of a million dollars for their 1996 Warner LP that combination of Doug and Mike just works like a treat. I did love them prior to that point and have all the Schleprock output on vinyl but that record to many people was just a surprise 10+ points. And now with The Generators they already have 11 Albums out (and over 20 releases in total) and they remain just and amazing outfit.

And with that knowledge i resorted back to a final pint, some more chats and plundering the merch stall. A very worthy show and i bet ya they will be back at the Monkeys soonest: That little gem fits them like a glove.