… neither poor in taste nor weird in sound: 6x pure surprises!

Already the 7th edition of this poor mans travelling circus, this time with The Briefs as headliner (and – wild guess – name giver). Location was to be the Molotow, which is for me always something … dunno … painful. Like some others i never got warm with their new location (and layout) at the bottom end of the Reeperbahn.

Kick off was very early and with the Anger Boys from sunny Recklinghausen. The classify themselves as „weird n‘ nervous hardcore punk!“ and they come across as short bursts of sometimes structured and sometime less structured noise topped with some very capable female vocals.

Anger Boys (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

They had like a 20 minute blast into a largely empty room (once they had sorted some bass amp signal issues) and they indeed did surprise me. I will definitely check out their demo and for sure i will give them another chance (on a different stage hopefully).

With a very quick changeover Bad Affair from Hamburg took the stage and they too surprised me. I saw them in April and boy have they improved since then. I would not even know where to start …

Bad Affair (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

… i guess key item is that they have balanced singing and guitar and that they have been able to pen down some really good songwriting: Complex where needed, powerful and with a real drive. I will definitively watch out for more, time being you will need to resort to their demo (as the last 6 tapes did sell out on that night, or?). Good stuff and again female fronted … something that unfortunately did not last through the proceedings.

Local heroes The Haermorrhoids claimed the stage next and they have by now perfected both their setup and how they deliver:

Tick for stage attire. Tick for in-sync movements of Guitar and Bass. Tick Tick Tick for being solid, together, tight – just class. Can’t phrase it different. The sound though at the Molotow was less than perfect – i’d love to see on the perfect stage, with the perfect sound system and the perfect sound man. That’ll be fun!

The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

The Molotow by now was well filled and sure their fan base was front row and cheering. If i noted correctly they have just come back from a short tour in Italy, so it was really a well oiled machine – delivering new songs and classics like this one from their debut record:

Boy do i look forward to the next album. And please do surprise me by having it recorded at Sonic Iguana and produced by Mass Giorgini or – if easier – record and produce it at the Blasting Room. Bang! That would put you and Hamburg on the map. Big time.

Class set as ever, quick, fast – no fills.

Next on from those alpine meadows of Switzerland the Bad Mojos. They took off where them Haermorrhoids left it: Fast paced and sunny one minute blasts of fun and joy. And they also knew that it take formal stage attire to be successful – so they dressed up for the occasion.

Nice cheap mans space outfit? Or sweat-suits as they have to make weight? What ever, it nicely fitted and gave their set the visual perfection that matched the music.

And another big surprise, as they got me left-field: I thought i have seen them before at a Get!Lost!Fest! but they did not impress me – now their less than 2 minutes blasts just sounded perfect.

Bad Mojos (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

And these blasts are lightweight high speed punk hymns with a strong fuck you anyway empathy, as expressed in their current record:

I HOPE YOU O​.​D. (Bad Mojos, released February 20, 2019)

 1. DIGGIN' MY OWN GRAVE 01:32	
 2. BABY I'M DOOMED 01:17	
 3. I WANNA BE DEAD 01:02	
 4. I HATE 01:09	
 5. COMMIT A CRIME 01:57	
 6. POLICE CAR 01:23	
 7. I HOPE YOU OD 01:48	
 8. TOO DRUNK 01:23	
 9. OUT OF CONTROL 01:46	
10. EVERYBODY HATES ME 01:28

Any doubts? Nope!

They were forced to play an encore (despite the running order not allowing for it) and gave an ode to Ian Stuart and safe car driving – indeed a perfect poor and weird extra! Well done lads!

With so much fun and high speed blasts it was time for something different. And something different we got: UK ’79 – ’81 (surprisingly the name of their recent effort) was the theme and the age of the musicians was slightly older than what we had seen before.

DefektDefekt (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

They hail from Bremen, have an English contingent and mix their string duties: Mid way bass and guitar swooped duties and with that also slightly changed the sound.

At the start it sound „hard mod„, later it sounded definitely like something i heard back then via John Peel on BFBS (and relentlessly taped it). They sing in German, in English and i believe i heard another language on top.

Great stuff, excellent musicians but … stage attired could be improved if you ask me. But to me they turned out as the biggest surprise: I tend to ignore Bremen where i can (for all sorts of bad reasons), so i did not catch them prior. Great set and towards a packed house by now.

It all felt rushed, or, in a positive way, without delays. Reason must be that the Molotow wanted to max turnover/turnaround on that Friday, ie. the live music should be over by 23:00 so that they can fill the club with entertainment seeking youth („suburban hipsters“ as someone pointed out).

Headlining thus came fast and furious … and from The Briefs – still one of the most entertaining party machines around. They conquered the Monkeys last December and they conquered indeed the packed Molotow this December.

All singing, all dancing and a huge number of smiles in the faces of the good people attending. Whilst on stage it was sans the female element in front of the stage a notable number of female enjoyed it and danced away. To get you into the mood spin the video and sing-a-long:

Outside the walls a curtain calls
i cant believe were here at all
what you see i do believe
i got no place, no place to bleed
i've got nothing left, i've got nothing right
i've got not place to sleep tonite,
cuz what you see is what you get
i don't want your sympathy yet

Ain't it the truth
ain't it the truth that hurts
there's no excuse
and it could only get worse

Faze in this world are hard to face
i must agree i hate this place
the cover ups have all been shown
we pay no mind, don't want to know
we don't hear a word, we don't need to think
we don't want no trouble don't change a thing
cuz life's much better when you close your eyes
But i cant live in your disguise

Ain't it the truth
Ain't it the truth that hurts
There's no excuse
and it will only get worse, and worse, and worse...

So all the morons stand it lines
we turn cheeks and eat the lies
the TV news is nice and dull
the networks keep us comfortable
leave it alone, there's nothing wrong
shows over folks so just move along
and in the end we'll wonder why
then we'll count to ten and say good bye

Ain't it the truth
ain't it the truth that hurts
there's no excuse
ain't it the truth that always hurts
ain't it the truth... etc...

Steve and Daniel on Guitar, Chris on Drums and Pascal on Bass – did anyone actually realize that this makes the Briefs a 50% German band? Chris lives here and Pascal is German. Great to claim such a great band!

There was no stopping in the barrage of hits and there was no stopping in the audience enjoying it. They are though not too much a chatty band, they rely on the songs to get their message across.

The Briefs (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

Once done the audience demand more and screwing the set timeline they embarked on a couple of songs encore, including their own little self-assessment of them as Americans:

Sing-a-long again:

We American's is dirty
We American's is positive
We don't know if we should be
We American's is cowboys
We American's love guns
Ain't no one can stop us
Not even them injuns

So shoot the president
Forget the national debt
It makes no difference to me
It don't effect my rent you see
And it has always been this way and it won't change
God bless the good old USA

We American's can't write
We American's don't read
And we don't want nobody
Telling us what we need

'cause were better then that
And were better then this
And were better then everybody else
We got the dollars and we got the cents

And it has always been this way and it won't change
God bless the fucked up USA

You know you can't complain
We'll just wipe out the stains
We like to suck before we spit
We spray pain on the walls
'cause we love those shopping malls
All those purple track suits make me sick
That's it, we quit

We American's is stupid
We American's don't write
Ain't no one can stop us
'cause we do what we like

Classic and actually no surprise. But how nicely it all fitted together over 6 bands and how great the tight schedule worked to give the audience a non-stop enjoyment from 18:30 to 23:15 – wow! And for the The Briefs the surprise i would like to see is … get them to cover the first two The Boys records!

Surprisingly good entertainment on a Saturday evening in December, at a location that just does not resonate with as much as the bands resonated with me.

Great travelling circus and by no means poor entertainment and weird music – i hope this now gets a firm annual repeat!

… 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?