… Football, Beer and Punk Rock: Always worth a try!

Knock Off have coined the „Football, Beer and Punk Rock“ theme and on this Friday me and 3 mates took it on full steam. First on the most local Derby possible in the Danish part of Hamburg (and the top match to conclude the season in the Oberliga Hamburg): Altonaer FC von 1893 vs. FC Teutonia 1905. The Altona clash. Followed by Wonk Unit at the Monkeys – what a great May evening!

Wonderful warm weather, wonderful surrounding: The good old Adolf Jäger Kampfbahn, one of the oldest football stadiums in Germany, filled with more than 3.000 people eager to congratulate AFC for the Oberliga Titel, allowing them into the play offs for the 4th German division.

The AFC has it’s own contingent of „Football, Beer and Punk Rock“ fans for years, many of them locals and some of them disgruntled FCSP Fans (and some of them even more disgruntled HSV fans).  But this season both Altona teams were top of the League and AFC did win the season right prior to this last game. As such it was a boring game were only Teutonia put an effort in and rightfully did win.

But nevermind the loss, AFC Fans started the party right after the final whistle:

All-in-all they deserved the league win but as it is with Amateur Footie they will have a hard time in the play offs to enter the 4th league. And once there it will be hard for them to stay up. Money sure is the issue here…

Altona 93 (Adolf Jäger Kampfbahn, Hamburg, 17.05.2019)
Altona 93 (Adolf Jäger Kampfbahn, Hamburg, 17.05.2019)

Nevermind future risks, the rather packed stands provided great amateur football feeling (paired with incompetent Beer supply) and gave the team a great cheer when they came around after the final whistle with a large“Hamburger Meister 2019“ flag. Kings of the city indeed.

Now it was time to cycle over to the Monkeys, just down the road towards the east. A small sidestep to grab a quick bite and then back through the hundreds of young urban hipsters cornering at the Alma-Wartenberg-Platz (boy, do i hate that lot). We arrived late at the Monkeys and Vomit already had taken the stage.

Vomit started in 1977 and disbanded in 1980, without a career. They phrase it nowadays as „Very lively punk rock band that play classic 70’s style punk songs. BEST SEEN LIVE!!! OR BEST SEEN WHILST STILL ALIVE!!!“ and indeed i would not buy a record (but maybe a T-Shirt, they had some cool ones).

Vomit (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 17.05.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

At good times they sounded like early Lurkers, at bad times they sounded like rock but all in all they sounded ok and their singer was a real asset. Also some of the songs seemed to have some fun words, specifically that one with the Iro-sign. Great start into the proceedings and a good reason to ‚ave another one.

The Monkeys was like less than half full in the end when Wonk Unit took the stage and for me it just shows that nowadays folks are too tied to their self-defined or self-set niche. If there is currently a band on the circuit that breaks with tradition in a positive, inspiring and forward looking fashion than it is Wonk Unit. It is Punk, but sure not as you know it mate!

You get all sorts of variation, all sorts of Muzak and definitely you geat a great show with a top notch entertaining front man: Streetwise, funny and to the point when it comes to observing mankind (and fellows).

And they have structured their set to allow for interludes, this time round it was the constant joke and repetition of „Cyclists“. All sorts of variations where put forward and when there was a choice of next song to be made Alex did check back with the audience if not „Cyclists“ would make the audience happy.

Wonk Unit (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 17.05.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Alex is not only a gifted entertainer and artist, he is also a schmoozer. In Hamburg he made sure it is known that he is much in sync with the local female punk contingent and he knows half of the audience by name. And sure he did not let go the chance to chat up ladies onto the stage to sing and dance with him.

Wonk Unit (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 17.05.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And Wonk Unit Fan extraordinaire Christiane (of Gerd and Razors fame) was invited for her favorite song onto the stage to sing-a-long with Alex and the band. Great fun, great performance and indeed the true test that Wonk Unit are one of us and are much in sync with Hamburg.

They played long, they played longer and then they had an endless series of customer chosen encores (though some song requests where denied as the new drummer was not yet trained on everything). They also constantly declined to perform Bohemian Rhapsody, something that was well noted as a let down.

Following the Wonk Unit set a couple of folks demanded that we would now perform the full Monty: scooting over to the Lobusch and seeing Japanese Noisecore. One of our mates made some loud advertising for it but for the me these toothless grunzcore fellows just would have been a too harsh contrast.

I’d rather had another one in the pub of the Monkeys to round of a great evening with three of the pleasures in life: Football, Beer and Punk Rock.

… relentless energy: No Problem!

I think it is the 4th time that No Problem graced Hamburg and boy was i eager to see this powerhouse yet again. Be it on record (with that heavy scent of dark wave or whatever you call that) or be it live (aka atomic explosion) they are just a force. And friendly folks on top.

So not only my humble self made it to the matinee show on typical April Sunday but also 5 of me elderly mates (and plenty of younger folks).

Support was from Bad Affair, who played their 2nd show ever and their first in their home town. A chord-strumming wild bass, a guitar that could also play in something more metal and a sturdy drummer paired with a female singer.

Bad Affair (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

It wasn’t particular my thingy, at times the rather brave vocals annoyed me, sometimes the guitar was just too … hairy. But at other moments their whole thing glued together well, specifically when the high vocals paired with a high and flirty guitar against the wild back line.

They only had a couple of songs but still played an encore: Whilst i do appreciate when a band does a hats-off to a legend it was very very cumbersome to list to Bad Affair slaughtering Civilisation’s Dying from the mighty Zero Boys.  Not a good job, sorry. Paul Mahern will not be happy!

But by all means check them out for yerself:

And with little changeover it was No Problem who took the stage. Their bass player could not make this time, so they had a girl filling in. And with quite some great soundscapes they kicked off:

Wham! They hit the audience indeed like an explosion and they take no prisoners. Against their marketing spiel they matched everything:

Attacking the crowd with catchy choruses, and dark brooding riffs, a No Problem performance will hypnotically pull every member out of the audience and into a war-dance like atmosphere. 

Taking a bit of a hiatus in 2017, No Problem are back with a new album Let God Sort’em Out scheduled for release on June 25th 2018 on Deranged Records and Taken By Surprise (Europe). 

With their most complex material to date, No Problem have created the perfect soundtrack to a world careening into madness. We’re standing on the precipice of a world circling the drain, let’s pray God sorts us out.

There ain’t no rest, there ain’t no holding back and still it is just not trashed out in speed but beautiful gems of songs and brilliant guitar work. Twin guitar work that is, some of the songs with the single guitar tended to sound imperfect (to my silly untrained ears).

No Problem (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

It was upstairs at the Hafenklang and about half full but No Problem had the crowd right at the stage and got loads of people moving. It took though one of the elderly to start a circle dance and get additional (and asynchronous) movements in.

I am sold on them. They have killer records out that stand the test of time and they are live just so full of relentless energy that i wonder what fuels them. It may be because they are from Edmonton (home of the mighty Oilers) out there in nowhere Alberta, Canada (and by my guess deep in Canadian redneck territory). They may not get a lot bands traveling through and they most likely get hassled big time day in day out.

No Problem (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

But here, over in Europe, they treated much better and so good that their short and relentless (can’t use the word on them often enough) set ended with a Viltones cover if it did make it out correctly:

Perfect! And though they only had little merch most of us got something: A missing record, a badge or myself a shirt. They deserved it. And some chatting, starting with my American Nightmare shirt being adored to discussing the great performance this season by Leon Draisaitl for the Oilers (105 Points make him the highest scoring German ever in the NHL). Did i ever note that i love Hockey and love playing Hockey?

Fun was also that me mate Riebe got carried away so much by No Problem that he dodged our „4“ taunting (footie inside joke) and exclaimed that „ … us 5 are the last survivors„. This was hinting at the fact that all of us where attending shows together since like 1980 and at this occasion nobody else from those days was around.

That fun moment got some icing on the cake when we realized that one of us sported the original shirt whilst a younger comrade in front of the stage could only sport the copycat version (though the Night Birds have all rights to do so).

The Copycat Youth vs. The Instyle Elderly (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Great show, good entertainment and an early end – some used that early ending to hop over to the Monkeys to see NYC H/C by Bold, i resorted back home for an early night. Age, you know?

… some good simple Ramonescore does away with Easter easily!

A long and sunny Easter weekend was followed with the most simple but yet successful receipt for fun: Some good simple Ramonescore. And how attractive that was i could see be the diverse number of friends that came out to see the package in the well filled Molotow.

Them Haermorrhoids, with their hot album just out, had the pleasure of getting on dead early, at 20:00 sharp. I guess they have been practicing like hell as they are now totally in it and can deliver a 17 song set in like 27 minutes.

The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

There are next to no breaks or delays between songs and the „all vocals, all chorus“ type of singing just works like a treat. I do hope that their support slot for Teenage Bootlerocket opens them additional avenues for success, they deserve it!

They finished their set with my favorite song, the sad ode to overdose.

You were your own worst enemy 
Now you're dead

Take it DeeD… er Nils:

If you like what you see and what you hear then make sure you buy the record. It is a perfect piece of DIY Ramonescore and it comes in a beautiful yellow cover. And it comes with 20 songs, so has a perfect balance in terms of money vs. what you get.

Rumors have it that the next recording is just around the corner, i do hope that they are able to keep pace and quality, as i would love them to be successful beyond Hamburg and on bigger stages.

As such: Give them a chance. Please.

And whilst we had some drinks and chats in the backyard of the Molotow after the set someone asked if the next band was on. He got multiple replies „naa, listen, they are still spinning records“ whilst Fat By The Gallon actually where already on the stage.

Fat By The Gallon (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me this was the my personal big problem with them: They sounded so perfect, so polished, so much like on a perfect studio production that i just could not relate to their light weight, fast paced pop punk. But as ever, #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic – even when the band does not work for you.

Make you own choice, i for myself won’t buy a record of them:

And that did lead to Teenage Bootlerocket, who have come a long way since 2000 and by now are playing „any size“ with an emphasis on bigger places in the US and the occasional rather small place over here in Europe. And all that playing has made them an almost perfect entertainment machine with loads of professional (and semi-professional) gimmicks thrown into the live performance.

Teenage Bootlerocket (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And a live performance that is, the sad loss of Brandon has not stopped them from just being a great band that knows how to carry the audience along and to emit energy from the stage. And, bonus, the twin guitars and the distinct different singing between Ray and Kody is a definite unique selling proposition.

Great set, delivered with precision and professionalism (and with a slight risk of being too perfect in showmanship) and thus the perfect finish for this early show with plenty of friends. And looking at the bright smiles across the  packed audience of the Molotow also all the other people enjoyed it too.

The Haermorrhoids will enjoy a couple of more shows with Teenage Bootlerocket and be right back here with us in Hamburg soon.

Looking forward!