… burn motherfucker, burn (and the sluts of the US of A blast it away)!

Svetlanas (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
Svetlanas (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Now that was a killer setting: the mighty Dwarves (though sans HeWhoCannotBeNamed) paired with the exciled russian band Svetlanas! And the setting was with some great visuals on the stage, Putin as the Kiss-like rockstar posterboy – well done for that icon!

Svetlanas (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
Svetlanas (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

And off they set, sans Olga who did run out to force people back in front of the stage. And when she climbed back on, she did make a stance about that motherfucker … and burned that posterboy! This is how they took residence at the Hafenklang:

Honestly, i think they frightened people. Both with their sound (a harsh hardcore) and the aggressive stance by Olga. But hey, they are aggressive, they are angry – they have been kicked out of Russia!

Svetlanas (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
Svetlanas (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

During the set more and more people came forward and eyed them, some with quite some strange looks but also some with a thin smile and some even starting to move.

Did i like it? Yes. It is what musick is all about: You use it as your way to let it all out. And hats off for that, also – as ever – for a girl to front a band (in a circle that is plain male predominantly).

Svetlanas (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
Svetlanas (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

A great set, crisp, harsh – you do not have to love it but it does deserve what has been misused as a term so often: „Respect„. And sideways: They got a great artwork, someone is creating smart visual identities for them!

Next on the Dwarves. Plenty of jokes where traded in the warm up to the show around how long will they play this time – 15 minutes? 20 minutes? You never know with these rock legends…

They took the audience by storm! They know how to play, every song fits and the audience was obviously full of fans – a lot of sing-a-long!

Dwarves (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
Dwarves (Hafenklang, 24.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Blag Dahlia as ever the perfect frontman owning the audience, delivering their sex, blood and drug fused punk fuckin‘ rock with the nonchalance of the self proclaimed „rock legend“ that he actually is (in this little space called punk rock).

And how long did they grace Hamburg? They made it a football half, 45 minutes and off they went. And they left behind a lot off sweaty and smiling faces and by all counts – for the Dwarves it was almost a lengthy set!

For me it concluded 4 shows, 7 bands in 8 days. That’s not too bad for an April. And it got a bonus, the Hafenklang confirmed that in the running up the K-Town Hardcore Fest 2015 at Ungdomshuset (København) some of the bands will play in Hamburg – most notably No Problem from Canada. That date provides a great fixture too look out to!

… of the struggle to inspire the audience and cat t-shirts: the tale of Off With Their Heads!

Still blessed by Poison Idea the day before i returned to the Hafenklang to take in Off With Their Heads, a big miss on my personal „need to see“ list to date. They have countless records out and many of these are just perfect harsh but still sing-a-long songs. As such i was keen to see them finally.

Unfinished Business (Hafenklang, 20.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Unfinished Business (Hafenklang, 20.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

First on where Unfinshed Business from Hamburg and i think they had a tough slot – people where around for OWTH rather then Unfinished Business and anyway it was not a big turnout (my guess would be 75 folks). As much as i know that i won’t do them justice i have to admit that i listened to a few songs only, found them so „lala“ (and that is to say sounding too much the same and too much like a willful attempt to sound like someone else) and took off to have a beer and chats outside. Sorry.

Next on Off With Their Head and they kicked off like this:

Oh oh, Ryan has a sore throat i’d say! He tried his best and i was pleasantly surprised that his voice did hold until the end of the show. What was strange though, at least for me, was that i had a subtle feeling that the songs did not work as great as they work for me when i listen to the records. And honestly, i have no clue why. Was it the voice? Was it the fact that OWTH is a studio band that when touring has ever changing members? Or was it the overall sound? The lights (too much red if you ask me)?

Off With Their Heads (Hafenklang, 20.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Off With Their Heads (Hafenklang, 20.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

I think some of the more subtle sounds, breaks and musickal tricks from the recordings (i’d guess overdubs and the like) just did not come through live and as such i simply came with wrong perceptions. It was not bad, it was just that i was not as thrilled. Also it was a strange setting where only after 30 minutes the band did address the audience with some mumbled words – no interaction between band and audience does turn me down too.

They played i guess for 50 minutes, invited the audience over to the Gun Club to drink with them and left without an encore. As said, it was not bad and i am most likely complaining on a high level but something was missing. I did listen to the records the day after and blime me, they are still killer records!

And what about the cat shirt? The OWTH merch included a shirt with a picture that from far looked like our cat Toni but on close view did not – so i needed to let go. On the bonus side: The merch table was full of vinyl, so collectors should have been able to complement their collection!

 

 

… 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!