… what a raunchy night: Adolescents matched by The Bar Stool Preachers in speed!

This was going to be a brilliant Friday night: Not only was i still on a high from the BossTones show on Tuesday but it was the Adolescents again (and ever since last years „For Steve“ show i would make any effort to see them) and a little not so well kept secret appearance of a band from … Brighton. As in United Kingdom. From that Island yonder. A band that loves Hamburg. And is loved over here.

First on and with a slightly shortened set due to the extra addition was Punktucke, the unfortunate locals. I guess they where not too happy with this but as ever had to bite that bullet. They had not more than a 1/3 filled Hafenklang in front of them but they just did not care…

Punktucke (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

A very precise and to the point set, for me deeply tied into a sound that also other bands from Hamburg do feature but with a fresh spin. They are not particularly my favorites but they got something meaningful to say, both on the mu-sick-al and lyric front.

Next on Fights & Fires from the UK. I saw them last year as support for Dag Nasty in Bremen and noted „The mu-sick to me was exactly that type of music that can’t choose what it wants to be„. This time they sported a wee bit less hair but they still came across to me as „no fish no meat„.

Fights & Fires (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Others in the audience liked them from the start, got dancing and flying (and some of those even where on the guest list, so they do have local support). One of me friends was even so convinced that after the show he took home their record. They where friendly, they where hard and they where fast. Nothing wrong, just not my sound.

And that gave way to the Adolescents and they kicked in like this:

In front of the stage the sound was almost ok but somehow on stage the musicians did struggle. It took a couple of songs, some stops, some interactions with Witte (who did sound) and the removal of a mike in the kick-drum to get the stage sound acceptable for the band. And frank, also in front of the stage it sounded better.

Adolescents - Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019)
Adolescents – Set list (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019)

They got a lengthy set list prepared and they pushed forward almost relentlessly. They definitely where not going to take any prisoners this evening and they knew that someone else would mop the ground with the audience to finish off – so they did let go!

Adolescents (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They also traded some memories, like towards Jürgen Bitzcore (who to my surprise was in attendance) and a song long ago played for the first time in Hamburg. And they had people relentlessly dancing and singing along – to the known hits and also to the lesser known songs.

Adolescents (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

If there is one item that stood out for me then it is how tight, how fast and how energetic they where. It was thoroughly a killer set of you ask me and they never did hold back.

It was sure thing not possible to top last years show from a feelings perspective, the love & appreciation vibes last year where to heavy. But this night they topped it from a mu-sick-al perspective. Just puuuurfect!

Adolescents (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

You can see it from the many picture, loads of broad smiles and loads of fun on and off stage. And that forever makes a good gig, that simple recipe!

Whilst the Adolescents resorted from stage around midnight there was still one more fun item to enjoy: The Bar Stool Preachers had a day off in their schedule and needed a place to sleep. Hence they booked themselves into Hotel Hafenklang for a few hours and payed with some stage time.

That sunny lads from Brighton, who had all fun during the other bands, took the stage like this (in self made and highly stylish gaffa makeup):

From the first chord two items where clear: Compared to Tuesday as support for the BossTones on the big stage of the Freiheit they injected some nitro and supercharged the engine in what felt they were trying to match them Adolescents in speed.

The Bar Stool Preachers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Maybe the just did let go? I definitely like this raunchy & speedy version of the Preachers more and it sure fitted the location and the evening so much more. And raunchy and speedy it was also with bodies flying left right & center, up to and including crashing into me mates beer.

... when Beer gets hurt the fun ends!
… when Beer gets hurt the fun ends!

Someone should have pressed that big red „STOP“ buzzer – you can’t hurt a beer glas, that is very very unfair! But the mood was fun on a Friday night out so nobody was prosecuted and me mate simply strolled back to the bar: Knock it back and ‚ave another one!

The Bar Stool Preachers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

In record breaking time the Preachers did drive full speed ahead through their set, always at the risk of speeding. Outside they would have been fined, inside they just got love, showers of love.

They finished their set off at around 01:00 (against a 02:00 curfew backstage) and if i am not mistaken their alarm clock was set to 05:00 as they had a long drive on Saturday in front of them. Still, they put everything in and they got they audience still going – see yerself:

Wohahow – Bar Stool Preachers. Full. Stop. Thanks lads for the surprise addition and the extra umpf, the extra speed and the extra fun.

I was thoroughly done after a long day and took the gentle uphill stroll home through a peaceful and quiet city with almost no traffic. Just over at the docks, some folks still did the good old hammer work.

... strolling home through the empty streets and the docks never sleep!
… strolling home through the empty streets and the docks never sleep!

The Adolescents had it a wee bit easier, their last date on this EU Tour was Berlin on Saturday and then back home. In this form they can come back every year (and every year i will put a little memory in … For Steve!).

… for Steve!

Although i know that our little scene is actually very close, very tight and generally full of mutual appreciation there are these little moments, these little gestures and these observations that do stun me. Tuesday evening at the Hafenklang was such a moment: What under normal conditions would have drawn say 100+ people to see the Adolescents turned out into an almost sold out show that the Hamburg lot come out for and provided the band with a huge wave of love and appreciation.

When the sad news of Steve passing away came over many people thought „…that’s the end of the Adolescents, they will cancel the tour“ and quite right so. We (and i) have lost members of our little scene in the past and not so recent past and it is a devastating feel. And now think of a band that just finished a new record, booked flights to Europe and all of that was managed by … Steve. It takes a lot of guts to then just hang in and come over. You could feel that the band was in two minds: The heavy push down by the sad loss and the uplift from the love coming back from the audience.

And whilst you should never reveal the end of the book at the start i think „For Steve!“ is a good reason to let you know that the Adolescents came out of that amazing: They gave most likely the best, tightest and heart-full set ever in Hamburg: For Steve!

The support slot was taken by No Sugar who sported some familiar faces. It was their 3rd only gig but individually they have some experience under their belt. They claim to do Proto-Post-Punk/Anarcho-Rock’n’Roll and that makes me smile, as i can now add another drawer to my mu-sick-al cupboard.

No Sugar (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 17.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
No Sugar (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 17.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

When they played i could actually not make out any connections to the cupboards mentioned, it think they play something with a good twang and have a special advantage by all of the three in front singing. Either individually, or in harmony or with some as chorus. Whilst i could not make out all lyrics (in English) it was their main asset.

Did i like them? Yes – i stayed inside during their set whilst half of the audience decided to have beer, sun and conversations outside of the Hafenklang. Their set was short (say 25 minutes) and only had one disadvantage for my ears: There was little rhythm change, little variations in speed. Whilst that per se is not an issue, i think their type of twang would work better with. Lets see where they head for and lets see how it works should i see them again.

And then came the Adolescents and they were greeted with loads of applause and loads of cheers. And they kicked in like this:

Bang, spot on. And sorry for cutting the cheers off at the of the video – there where many. It was clear that for them doing this was a heavy task, the heaviest most likely for Tony (who lost a life long friend) and for Brad (from F-Minus, Leftover Cräck and Rats in the Wall), who had to fill in on Bass.

Adolescents (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 17.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And whilst they blitzed, bulldozed and stormed through their set they also took the time to remember Steve and let the audience know how much they appreciate the support and expressions of love. It was truly a show fueled by love and positive energy and it made everybody feel good.

As stated earlier i think it was the tightest and most energetic set of the Adolescents ever in Hamburg. The longer the set went, the the way above 200 people in the audience got moving and enjoying. And i think also the band on stage really enjoyed it.

And when it came to the end there sure were encores and the final encore was an obvious one:

Thank you so much Adolescents! That was a worthy remembering of Steve’s legacy and that was a great show. Hard things may hit us and hard thinks will eventually hit us – it is how you go about it. You went about it in the best possible way and for that we are thankful.

And with all that love and joy most of the audience set off to plunder the merch table, many got the new record and a shirt – one loner got the first record and subsequently was taunted by one of me mates (for no good reason). I got the new record and the „Free Melania“ T-Shirt and when i turned around 5 of me mates had done the same choice, so we decided to co-ordinate wearing it for one show in the future to appear as a gang.

I was home very late (and nicely hung over on work next day) but for a very worthy cause.

nb: And here is how the Adolescents phrase it:

On June 27, 2018, we lost STEVE SOTO: fearless leader, bass player, singer, songwriter, producer, and best friend. After much internal conflict, soul searching, and heartbreaking discussion, we have realized that Steve - the hardest working man in punk rock - would be upset if we did not finish the tour to support the new record that he worked tirelessly on for well over a year.

Steve did not cancel shows, and considered doing so to be sloppy, disruptive, and unprofessional.

We will do what Steve set out to do. What he wants of us, and what is right. We will fulfill our commitment to share those songs. Longtime friend Brad Logan will rock the bass in Steve’s honor this summer in Europe and the UK.

We thank you for your support, love, understanding, and patience with us during this time and hope you will join us to celebrate and honor Steve the way we know - by playing the music he helped to create.

This is not a time for hate. Hug your loved ones; this ride is short. Come celebrate Steve’s legacy. Sing the songs we wrote.

Tony, Dan, Mike, Ian
The Adolescents