11th of March 1979: The Buzzcocks graced Hamburg for the first time. And this year both remaining original members Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley will celebrate their 60th birthday so there was no doubt that the Hamburg Oldpunks would be there to give them a hats off in 2015, 36 years later!
The support stint was for the ultra cool and retro Cyanide Pills from Leeds and the Buzzcocks confirmed stardom rumors („…Champagne mandatory„) by pushing them and their gear to the front and by limiting their stage time. Odd. But the Pills made the best of the small space that was left. It did though take away some of the energy and moves on stage and that transpired through on the music. I liked them, they where tight, cool moves and cool non-punk white leather jackets. Class!
Next on the Buzzcocks. Almost 40 years in existence. And still going strong.
They kicked off with Boredom and i had some doubts if this was really going to be quality time – the sound was not really good and they where not together. I do not think that they practiced allot prior to their tour kicking off in Hamburg. But from then on it went better, sound was tuned and they got into it.
Fun was that though the average age of the audience was near 49 there where still some younger people in the audience, predominantly female. And even a full family was there and the daughter (i’d say 16 by age) was dressed in a Buzzcocks T-shirt and did sing all old songs, i guessed influenced by their parents. Good parenting by the way!
Somehow the packed (and sold out) show had an icehockey setting: First 20 mins old songs and slowly getting into it, 2nd 20 mins new songs and the audience cooling down (but the band gettin‘ tighter and tighter) and then the final 3rd 20 mins with all these songs that can only be described as timeless beauties. And by now the band was at it, played even hidden gems like Autonomy and Harmony in my head (and in that one Steve Diggle managed the audience like it was his private army, which indeed it was).
A short sip on Steve’s stage bottle of Champagne (mandatory perk) and off they where after 60 mins plus 3 songs encore. What did stick? Pete’s beard and belly. Steve’s Army and that he looked sober. And the backline (drum’n’bass) that was lacking some of the groove that should be injected into the timeless beauties that are indeed the Buzzocks love songs.
But finishing early is most likely an age thing and thus i was home early (where me sick wife needed to let go the show).
Still, quality time indeed. So hats off to both bands!
Grand opening of Sam’s new venture (with improved facilities since the Crack show) and somehow i managed to perform a vasovagal collaps, so the show ended in a coitus interruptus. Thanks (i owe you some drinks) to some around i was lifted, got a glass of water and then hailed a taxi to take a quick checkup in the hospital around the corner from home. No issues, „you have the blood data of an 18 year old“ the doctor told me – i guess a blatant lie!
I did see most of the Big Banders, Hamburgs rather large Ska 9 piece. The stage sure was too small for them, they where packed way too tight to be able to groove.
Due to my blackout i missed Hamburgs other Ramones cover band, the Melones. Thanks to Luke here is a pic:
What’s the net result: Great place with more great shows lined up, i guess i will need to split my time between Hafenklang and Monkeys now (and throw in the odd other place). Bonus for the Monkeys: Guinness from the tap! Else the evening was 2nd hand, damn. People told me it was a great evening – i tend to believe them!
It’s been a while since a new club has opened it’s doors in Hamburg – Monkeys (residing where the 3rd incarnation of the kir once graced Hamburg Altona) provides high hopes for the future and already has quite some good shows announced. Official opening will be later in February (28th actually) but construction almost finished and The Crack and Last Rough Cause where on their way to Oberhausen, so a pit stop in Hamburg made utmost sense.
First on Last Rough Cause and they had to play a rather empty space in front of the stage. I like some of their songs and they have some good tunes but somehow on stage that night they never „energized“ themselves or the audience – at least my feeling. Also too slow for my liking and too shy as stage personas. They do work on record – on stage they did not work for me that night. But hey, at least the first band ever on that stage!
Next on The Crack and by now approximately 100 gurls and lads, mostly of age, graced the place that i guess will be able to hold 300 people (though maybe only 200 will be able to be in front of the stage).
And they kicked off with „Nag Nag Nag“ and from the stage personas where quite the opposite of Last Rough Cause: Fun, action and „tongue in check“. Sure thing they had the audience going from 0 to 100 within minutes.
Early on in the 80s they has some softer edges but all of that has now been superseded with a wee bit of Sladeness and some more speed (as it serves most bands today). But they had fun, interacted with the audience and some oldpunks really get going. Great to see! And sure thing they ended the setlist with their number one hit, a song that both serves and haunts them i guess:
No doubt, that is what people wanted to hear. And sing-a-long to. And putting their hands up in the air. And time warp themselves back into youth and into the 80s. And do not care wether the all chords where right. But hey, who gives a fuck!
With that The Crack decided to play on and re-do „My World“ but have the audience sing.
And so a fun evening in a new place ended. Looking forward for a full club and other great bands in future…