… Punk tradition, Hamburg style. And a day to remember!

Tradition is something to hold on to that gives you a warm and cozy feeling. To that extend i love traditions like eg. the annual christmas party we used to have at our favorite record shop „Unterm Durchschnitt“ in the 80s that always ended on booze and stupid (but sure executed) ideas like burning non-sold record (or records we believed should be burned). Sometimes traditions are also providing the warmth and coziness to overcome sad memories.

It has been another 4 years since Schwabe from the mighty Razors passed away following a sad accident. This fundamental loss for the Hamburg punk (and oldpunk specificaly) scene has fueled the continuation of a by now new tradition: Spend a day at year end with the Razors and some friends, live and loud. 2014 was V8 of this attempt and again it was „in style“.

Eat The Bitch (Knust, 26.12.2014  (c) gehkacken.de)
Eat The Bitch (Knust, 26.12.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Kick off was early with Eat The Bitch, a young hardcore band from Hamburg. As ever the first stint on the stage is the hardest but they managed their way through it. I’d say they gave the „edge“ to the evening!

Hotel Energieball (Knust, 26.12.2014  (c) gehkacken.de)
Hotel Energieball (Knust, 26.12.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next on Hotel Energieball (at least partially from the ashes of „The Revolvers“) from what we call the „Ruhrpott“ – guests from far you could say. Musically for sure the most gifted, sound wise the cleanest and all vocals in plain german – some call it „Glam Punk“ but i just say it is plain good and driving musick. Their biggest bonus? Nope, not the surfer on guitar – it was the bass player. Go see yourself for a great and energetic performance!

Platzangst (Knust, 26.12.2014  (c) gehkacken.de)
Platzangst (Knust, 26.12.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

And that gave way to more local heroes, Platzangst seem at it again and i am sure there is a record soon to happen. This time round they practiced more and they are now much better together. If i can have a christmas wish i’d say give Boffer some cleaner english (or stay with german vocals) and disallow Scholle some guitar wanking. But they had it all back in the early 80s and they still have it now and even some new songs of quality!

As a surprise guest Frankie (first ever singer for Platzangst) was back in Hamburg (he now resides in much more sunnier Portugal) and not only joined the party in front of the stage but gave vocals to the standard encore: „An der Waterkant“ remains „the“ Hamburg punk hymn. That was great to see!

And – for the fun of it – they now added a stage entry. Well done but next time remember to stay out of view whilst the song plays!

Razors (Knust, 26.11.2014  (c) gehkacken.de)
Razors (Knust, 26.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

And the evening ended with Hamburgs finest: the Razors went from nowhere (and that was 1977 and Hamburg) to actually nowhere near stardom but a real cool punk rock band. Their first incarnation ceased in i think 1984, somewhere in the late 90s/early 2000 i believe they got it going again (at least i recall a killer show at Kampnagel) and by now they are at it again. What was really low key (by all means) punk rock in 70s, british influenced pogo punk in the 80s has now been tuned up, speeded up (namely by the blizzard guitar sound of Witte) and is „up to date“ (and for my likeing sometimes too fast).

I was to thrilled to record a song, but see here for yerself (with their own ode to Schwabe):

In case you like it, get their stuff. If you want to trial – download their full discography (the „Dirty Thrirty“ 2CD Album) from Youtu.be:

Note: It ain’t a bootlegged copy, it was the bands concious choice to put it there!

DJ Christian (Knust, 26.11.2014  (c) gehkacken.de )
DJ Christian (Knust, 26.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de )

And it all ended with DJ Christian and even more musick that got the oldpunks going. And that was old German stuff, new and old Englisch stuff and the full blown sing-a-long rest. That and even more beer made it a worthwhile evening with lifelong friends – so the best setting to keep loving memories of those gone. And the best: when stumbling down to the tube we caught a train by chance and where home like nothing. Killer evening, killer hangover. Love the setting!

PS: Dress of the evening goes to Toni for the Descendents Christmas Sweater – JEALOUS!

 

… and now the points: Scotland 3, France 3, Hamburg 1, Berlin 1 – a hard and smart tournament!

Sam (Hard & Smart Booking) seems to never stop his good services in ensuring good music is played in a good setting. This time round it was the equivalent to a little tournament (Berlin vs. Hamburg, Scotland vs. France or any mix that pleases yer footie mind mate) and sure the Indra was too small for this, so the train did stop at the Knust.

I arrived with a shattering 0:6 home loss of the team i am coaching and thus in a wee depressed mood. In addition none of my regular „see you at the next show…“ friends where there, many for good reasons (seeing something else somewhere else). Alone and forsaken Mike Ness once did sing. But at least 2 bands waited for me that i had on my list of „must see“: Hateful from Scotland with their Top 10 Hit „Punk Fiction“ and Lion’s Law from France, a young and energetic skinhead band.

Violent Instinct (Knust, 22.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Violent Instinct (Knust, 22.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

The hard life of the first band up was for the locals, so Violent Instinct had to go first and had their singer on awol. They kicked off anyway and i guess this way lured her onto the stage. They are young and – from where i come – still have a long way to go. But they sing in german and have a female singer, that’s at least a bonus. But they are not yet together as a band and still need to find their own and fitting sound. I did not dislike them but would not walk an extra mile to see them if you know what i mean.

Hateful (Knust., 22.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Hateful (Knust., 22.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next on Hateful and boy did i look forward to see them. They have played in Hamburg years ago but i did not see them. But ever since i found their „Diamonds amongst Coal“ record and on there the little bright sparkling gem of „Punk Fiction“ (a song i would have loved to throw at so many people so many times, the dirty old sod i am) i was hooked. I was expecting not too much and got a lot: Professional and quick to set up, just the drummer made a wee bit a fuz around setting himself up – for good reasons as i understood later.

 

 

From the first chords you could see that they are together, practise a lot and love their music: You can just feel it. They even have consistent stage movement across the 3 on the front (more or less) and they are just non-nonsense in presenting their music. Ok, the drummer not: Within minutes i learned why he labored so long in setting himself up: Whilst the other 3 grace the stage front he does his own little show in the back. The last drummer i have seen sending sticks flying and upon descent grabbing them and hitting the tone and rythm was the drummer of Bracket from the US, ages ago in the 90s at the Logo. But Kev from Hateful does it all: Sticks flying, standup drumming etc – i wonder if anybody in the audience even noticed…good fun though!

 


Sure they gave me „Punk Fiction“ (and it is just a great song, soon to be be presented in this blog under „Loveliest Vinyl“) but also they gave a well toned and bitter sweet ode to the fucking cunt named Maggie T. (in short they’d wished to be her heart attack, quite a neat idea). Great stuff plus a little nod‘ to Hamburg about Steves uncle Ringo:

 

 

Next on Lion’s Law from France and by now the front of the stage was packed.

Lion's Law (Knust, 22.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Lion’s Law (Knust, 22.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

And the boys got what they waited for: Hard, Fast and to the point.

 


OK, not. Little joke played on you friends – if you read here on a regular basis you know how much i like to capture bands like this: Setting up gear, test and trial. Current leaders are Marked Men followed by Chixdiggit but Lion’s Law are currently in the Top 10 with this. Once through this they gave it a go. And that was with a capital „G“:

 


What can i say? Full paced, hard rocked skinhead hymns presented with the edge it needs. Some people take them as a surprise (given they claimed fame with their first record straight away) but they all come from various other ventures and thus have soaked up various styles and have blended it into something almost unique (and the french accent helps).

I loved them, although i had to have a severe word with the toidi next to me, who spend most of the show taking pictures (and invading my lens) only to post and discuss them on Fuckbook or Whatsapp with his mates – i guess only to show off. I really get more and more annoyed when whilst at a show people spend time on Facebook rather then enjoying and cheering up a live playing band. Stay home rather please!

 


Wow – that was great stuff and i now severely regret to have been on holidays last year when they played the Indra. They really got the crowd going all over!

Berliner Weisse (Knust, 22.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Berliner Weisse (Knust, 22.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Finally and much later than planned Berliner Weisse took the stage as headliner, most likely the most professional band that night and much awaited by large parts of the audience. They did the old „Good evening Bochum“ trick but it fell on deaf ears.

 


They are a tough one for me, i did not like most of their lyrics (though large parts of the audience could sing-a-long), i can not really dig the voice of their singer (not his fault though, he was born that way) but i did like the bass player who gave a flying fuck about hardcorepunkoi and used the long neck of his bass to play on the funky side. But hey, i do not have to love them. They gave a solid show and they are a fun band. On the positive side: They mad a good band effort on the last chord of every song, trying to outsmart each other with the ending – something i do like when bands do that.

What’s all of that in total? Another great effort by Sam and a worthwhile evening that made me forget the home loss earlier that afternoon, just across from the Knust. But once i woke up on Sunday late and had the breakfast with my love i was almost over it…only to see my professional side loosing another game in another poor performance. So i had to turn to spirits on Sunday evening but that is another story.

… 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!