Jeff Burke (of The Marked Men and The Reds fame) is not only relentless when it comes to playing but also song-writing, collaborating and helping other to record their music. He is also relentless when it comes to do things quick end efficient. And thats why i like to watch him setup, tune and play. Forever.
Kick off at the Molotow on a warm evening though was with Hamburgs finest, at least according to a singular acclaim by one of me mates, The Dutts. He claims they are currently the best thing in Hamburg though i would have some doubts. I’d recon they are at least very active currently and make sure they are heard.
The internet (damn internet, never forgets) has them down as:
Equipped with a Sean Wood-like, gloomy, denouncing throat, border-cracking guitar, an unstoppable rolling bass, precise and pulse-strengthening drums, The Dutts are the maximum charge of atropine against the simplicity and clichés of our small universe.
The Dutts (Molotow, Hamburg,09.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)
And funnily that is exactly what you get: A sturdy bass, yet again played by a lovely female contingent, a metronome like drum player, pushy guitars and a voice that you either love (some) or hate (few). And hows does it sound? It’s sounds and looks exactly like this:
I like them but i would not necessarily go the extra mile for them (eg. to Bergamo for Punk Rock Raduno– that would require The Windowsills plus The Veterans). But they have some neat edges that make them actually worthwhile plus they definitely have humor. And a local fan base in numbers. I guess i will see them soon again, looking forward.
With a quick changeover it was time for Bad Sports (one of my secret favorites), who initially where quite nervous as they faced a complete empty Moltow. They had to be persuaded that just a little noise would be enough to bring the lot back from the fresh air of the backyard into the main room – and quickly that happened.
Bad Sports (Molotow, Hamburg,09.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)
They started off with something that almost did tear my ear – for my liking the guitar had way too much of a metal sound. I am not an expert on these matters but somehow that – at least for me – took some of the groove away. During the set that was corrected and they sounded so much more fitting. And, as a start, they got the first people moving.
And that lead towards Radioactivity, with was Jeff Burke plus Bad Sports with changed strings. And they kicked off, efficient and quick, like this:
And from that moment onward there where a lot of happy people in the now packed Moltow. And specifically there where a lot of happy ladies in the front row, some of the frantically dancing throughout the whole set. A nice change in audience look and feel and stark reminder on what type of mu-sick is being played: (Power) Pop Music like in Popular Music.
And as ever, efficient and quick, Jeff did not talk to the audience nor introduced a song but only ever let his music be the message. And that message was well received and got quite some cheers and movement. Just puuuurrrfect as i’d like to say.
Way to early (though with an encore) Radioactivity finished up around midnight and the lot reverted to plundering the merch stall. From the 100 singles in red vinyl done for the tour exclusively some stayed right there with me and me mates.
And as it was a warm May Wednesday evening leading up to a a public holiday next day plenty of people stayed on having some more beers and chatting away. Lovely, that is how it should be: Popular live music and some drinks and chats with friends.
The clever folks at Wild Wax Shows always want to improve and deliver for us mu-sick thirsty record collecting dumb fucks – and this time round they found a little formula to make us even happier:
26 + 17 over 7 + 9
A beer for the person to provide the correct answer for this riddle, pls drop a comment below this article. The correct answers is denoted by a number calculated to two decimal places.
A year has gone and another sold out Get Lost! Fest awaits me! And i am sort of double lucky, as initially i was supposed to be out of town and enjoying my holiday – but then we decided to move house and that did free up the weekend for some serious live mu-sick action to be enjoyed with friends from near and from further away.
The proceedings kicked off without the TV Head this year and with Death Canyons from Hamburg, upstairs at the Goldener Salon. And, as ever at 20:15 and in bright sunlight, with the vast majority of the audience outside and talking. Death Canyons play „Garage Punk“ and did not mean anything to me. Also they annoyed with way too much echo on the vocals: That destroyed the sometimes not too bad „twang“ they produced.
As much as Death Canyons did not touch my mu-sick-al soul i was touched by what appeared next on the stage of the Hafenklang Ballroom: Sick Horse from Berlin took the stage and … took the audience by storm. Really! From the first chords they proved not only to be good musicians but also having found, nurtured and perfected they own style (as in: they sure where no copy cats). But listen up for yerself:
Great stuff and early on in the night the typical Get Lost! feeling of something new that takes you by surprise. They got a fair share of applause and people did really dig them. Well done! The only disappointment: No vinyl to sell. No T-Shirts to sell. They claimed to be able to produce some Coffee Mugs but how the fuck can i listen to a fucking coffee mug on me record player? Me and me friends agreed that they would be worth a visit if they would play as headliners upstairs – can someone please make that happen?
Next up where The Glücks from sunny Ostende in Belgium (of all places) and they claim for themselves „It’s The Exorcist, garagerock style!„. Not, if you ask me. Whilst that lady on drums provides a real heavy backdrop that guitar just does not work for me.
You may like them if you like The Cramps and within their genre they might be great but they are not my kind of thing. Hence i resorted back down and out, to sip a beer and have some chats.
Next on Biznaga from Madrid, Spain, and i am not sure if they are named after that round shaped cactus (Biznaga-barril cilíndrica) or after this flower thingy from Malaga…nevermind, they kicked into melodic punk rock from the start:
Well paced, loads of melody and quite in a typical iberian punk style. Their songs where surprisingly long (compared to most other bands of the two days) and where carried by harmonies (rather then disharmonies). Pleasant but maybe a wee bit too pleasant.
But hey, most likely i would not have seen them on another occasion so it was sure ok. And one of the much appreciated variations Get Lost! provides. The only shortcoming: Little to no interaction with the audience, some hints on their songs and what they are about would have helped!
Upstairs the first really strange band: Jack of Heart from southern France took the stage and surprised the audience not only by the bass player being centre but also by their guitar player on the right: Tall, thin and in stockings (but lacking high heels). They claim to be something like „psychedelic ghetto rock’n’roll“ which most likely is something french (and i do not speak a single word of french).
The audience though was glued to said guitar player, who fuzzed, distorted and threw himself and his axe around and, to much awe of those in front of the stage, had some of his private parts dangling from his underwear. My thing? Nope. Something special? For sure.
And that gave way to the two headliners downstairs – first on Sick Thoughts from New Orleans. And they took the stage like this:
OK, let’s see: That guitar player i have seen stage side during all other bands that night and with growing intoxication (beer for sure, other goodies not sure). Cool drummer, great bass … and a rather young kid howling his insults at the audience (and also giving the impression to be under the influence). Wow – punk fucking rock!
Whilst it was punk fucking rock the guitar player was so drunk that he neither had is axe in tune nor cared about that fact – and his only interaction with the audience was the middle finger. The singer quickly gave impression of a maniac with a problem and interrupted a song to walk off, destroyed a beer bottle on stage and generally tried to hate the audience. But in a way that left little room for „hey, he is just acting“ … he rather gave the impression of having some serious problems.
Looking up some stuff on him on the internet (damn internet, never forgets) i do learn that he is 19, started Sick Thoughts in his hometown at the age of 16 (check out this video), moved to New Orleans and teamed up with Die Rötzz as his backing band. And now claims to be settling in Finnland, as it is colder and more punk – not sure if this is true. They aborted their set after like 25 minutes in true punk and chaos style and left large parts of the audience stunned (and some annoyed).
And that freed up the stage for the final show case, a true rock’n’roll show from San Francisco’s Apache. Think of dingy clubs off the beaten track, think of sleazy leather clad people and and dirty high energy rock’n’roll. Then you get Apache. Some AC/DC, some Kinks and maybe some early punk. And add fucking rock and steer it up (maybe with some Cocaine supplied by Jens, as this was the running gag on stage).
They provided a very professional set, to the point and with all that rock glamour that you need to inject. Yet again not something that i would be looking out for but happy to savour. The went off and where called back on stage and got the encore going like this:
Great end to Day One of the Get Lost! Fest and little did we know about how many musicians would haunt us back next day and how much fun was to come. But first we needed a cab and a sleep! No, stop: First we needed a final beer and to come to a judgement: What was today’s winner? The majority voted for Sick Horse, as they surprised with not only their own unique sound but also a great set!
Day Two started with a hangover (and me love being super kind in allowing extra sleep) and a boat trip in the bright sunshine on the famous MS Hedi, Hamburgs own punk rock party boat. It hold like 75 people and the band basically needs to play between the audience and needs to balance the waves.
We where greeted by a new joiner, Marcel of Gummopunx fame came over from Amsterdamned and joined the Get Lost! fun. And we where greeted with the first déjà-vu:
GET LOST! FEST CRUISE SHIP
Setting up and checking the sound where Slick!, Glam punk rock’n’roll from Oakland, who sported very familiar faces: It was drums, bass und guitar from Apache. So half way we had an expectation on sound and where not disappointed.
The played an energetic set in rather wild waters and whilst that sturdy bass and the versed drum stood their ground their young axe by the name of Nick Slick had to bite down some sea sickness. He also stood his ground until they end of the set, red in the face and not really looking good. But he stood his ground. And then climbed on the bass amp, that was tied down so not to move, and threw up overboard. A couple of times. Hardship of rock’n’roll stardom i’d say and i guess a „first“ in his life!
After a quick refresh stop at the harbour to replenish the beer supplies (it was damn hot) we set sail for the 2nd trip and were still accompanied by poor Nick, who managed to miss the opportunity to get off. And had to endure more sickness though. Poor Nick! But his girlfriend took good care of poor Nick, providing coke & water sips to cure the upset stomach.
The „stage“ was taken by The Yum-Yums from Norway, our best loved bubblegum ramonescore friends, who graced Hamburg just a couple of months ago at the Monkeys.
The Yum-Yums (Get Lost! Fest IV Boat Trip, Hamburg, 27.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)
They had fun too and provided even more fun to the audience. And smiles. And then some more.
Yes, they don’t want male record collectors standing in front of them, they want the beautiful tall blonde to come forward. But even that stop in the middle of the song and all the bagging did not get her forward – i fear that Yum-Yum needs to slim down a wee bit to be able to chat her up!
The Yum-Yums though where lucky, whilst Slick! needed to sustain the troubled water of the river Elbe this time round the captain took the scenic tour through the inner Harbour and through some locks, so the water was calm and the boat people had maximum fun. And those Norwegians are just happy people and they make people happy – a great set despite issues with vocal volume and broken stuff and strings.
We de-boarded and strolled to the Kogge (pub and rock’n’roll hotel on the harbour side) and had beer and other refreshing juice.
And as it was early and everybody needed something into the belly we took residence at Man Wah thanks to our catering adviser Luke. His own choice of menu though was bad (not so much the fact he had tea instead of beer but the tofu plus pak-choi was rather tasteless by all means) but nothing that could not be healed with some more beers later.
And from the Man Wah it was a pleasant after dinner walk down to the Hafenklang, just in time for the 2nd night of the proms.
And for the starting duo it was a real outsch: The brightest of sunshine outside and only a handful of people upstairs.
They do electro punk and they do it … ehhh … no clue. All i could make out was that there was too little interaction with the (non existing) crowd and that the half-playback (by the nature of the mu-sick-al style) was just not aggressive enough. Would i buy their 10″? Nope, sorry.
Next Bad Sports and they took us from electro way back to electric punk rock as in a proper band with drums, electrical bass and an electrical guitar. And they took the stage with some drive:
Good stuff but seriously impacted by a bad sound. There where constant problems with some low frequency resonance or feedback and the volume of the vocals also was just not where the band wanted it. I’d say rightfully they appeared to be pissed with the girl that handled the sound and where not short of even providing some direct non-verbal feedback from the stage.
Bad Sports (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 27.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)
For me a good set and if they would have a perfect sound than for sure they are a major force – they can blast a room away for sure. But today and on this stage and with these issues it felt not as good as it could be. Damn.
Upstairs a neat surprise, Hank Robot and The Ethnics from Denmark. They sported a fun mix of Rock-a-billy-going-Punk-a-Billy and a distinct double guitar sound (and a cool stage presence by Henk). They are best described in his own words:
Hank Robot is a tall handsome, blue-eyed sumbitch - a ladies friend, the redneck's enemy. A man who's seen some of the worst things imaginable happen in his own back alley, and a man who's seen some of the most beautiful things happen in his own backyard.
Another one of these typical Get Lost! surprises (at least for me, me single minded old punk fart) og som alt dansk jeg kunne lide det meget!
Next Die Rötzz and a setlist that watered the mouth – 16 songs for 30 minutes sounds like a great number short crisp hits:
And yet another déjà-vu: Die Rötzz are Sick Thoughts without that juvenile trouble kid. And they blasted the audience away and injected quite some adrenaline into the parts of the male audience: Dancing, fist in the air, bellowing of slogans and feeling young & reckless again … doh!
Die Rötz (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 27.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)
For the encore they where joined by the Sick Thoughts singer on drums and their drummer took sole singing duties: A couple of blasts they pinned together during the current tour. Nice ones indeed. But in the end that idiot (let’s agree to call him so) yet again not only trashed a beer bootle (real glass) in the pit in front of the stage during the Die Rötzz songs but also wrecked the drum set and threw himself across in the attempt to down the guitar player.
Pffffft – something is just not right with that kid (and indeed he got a booting off the premises not much later for continued stupid behaviour). But Die Rötzz did provide a hard hitting and dirty hardcore punk set – well done for that.
Upstairs déjà-vu number 4: Big Tits are Apache minus the singer and the 2nd guitar resorting to sing roaming the audience and in a very talkative manner.
I think they got the best entertainment together, as the mu-sick was a perfect backdrop or say, eh, red carpet for his interactions with the crowd and his beloved cocaine dealer (poor Jens was again victim of that running gag). He also branched out in discussing the joy of anal sexual intercourse, threw himself in front of people to lick their shoes and was just a great entertainer.
By now some of the good folks in the audience where tired but eager to see the two main headliners of the Get Lost! Fest IV – them Brats and Radioactivity. First on where the Neighborhood Brats and they stormed into their set like this:
First surprise: Jenny Angelillo has changed visual style towartds short blonde hair and a general „all american girl“ style. And i do not exaggerate when i mention that one half of (older) male audience fell in love with her right there and from the spot. What people might miss is that this is just her – did you know what she has been doing for a living?
I toured in bands for the majority of my 20’s and continue to do so today at 34 years old. I’ve made a “career” out of it although I’m still waiting for punk rock to pay the bills.
I went to college, got a degree in Graphic Design from Loyola Marymount and I even have a MFA in Fine Art from Otis College of Art and Design. On paper I studied photography in Grad School but I was touring consistently throughout my 2 year program and made the majority of my work on the road.
My MFA thesis paper was entitled “Rock and Roll Ruined My Life” and for my final thesis project I just had my band set up in the gallery and we played a show.
I’ve had a pretty interesting life and done lots of weird random jobs. I worked for the son of Vivienne W and Malcolm M at Agent Provocateur. I had a radio show on KXLU for years (I’m the legendary DJ Jenny Quitter). I’m a licensed asthetician (I also went to beauty school) and worked at a waxing salon where I just gave women Brazilian waxes for 8 hours a day. I was a unionised co-op owner of a peep show in San Francisco and was a dancer at the legendary Lusty Lady Theater.
(wanna read more - go here)
Them Brats gave a tight and full set and Jenny was no short of giving the audience a genuine smile and some twink-twink with the eye (and generally looking good indeed). Sometime they speeded up a wee bit too much for my liking but that might just be me. Great stuff, great entertainment!
nb: Why am i not surprised for Jenny also making that statement re. Germany in the same open letter?
I slept in many weird beds including a cum stained college kids sticky sheets and crumbled up tissue’s bed in Kalamazoo Michigan. I got into fights over sexuality and feminism with Germans.
And off she went from stage into the merch both and continued to brighten the dark club with her smile (nope, i did not fall in love with her, i fell in love with a different woman with short blonde hair and a bright smile on 01.04.1992 at 08:52 and have married her in May 2000).
After that set almost all of the audience went outside for fresh air and a beer and then rushed in to see The Marked … ähem, Radioactivity. And there was the final déjà-vu: One of the ex-Market Men guys in Radioactivity could not make it so Jeff Burke paired up with Bad Sports (who anyway are 2/4th of Radioactivity) to have a full band on stage. And they stormed into a set full of hits like this:
Some said „… did they just play a Marked Men song?“ but that ain’t fair – whilst it comes obviously from the same drawer it has it’s own unique sound and it’s own perfection. And that’s what it is to me: Just puuuurfect!
And with respect to perfect note Jeff is one of them:
”He admits to being something of a perfectionist, which is due partly to being his own worst critic and partly to his home studio setup. “It takes me a long time to be happy with particular things about recording,” he explains. “Usually, it just has to do with my own playing and my own performance; everyone else always nails stuff, [but] I can probably always find something wrong with something I did. We recorded at the studio at my house, so I have the ability to keep redoing things if I want to, but that gets in the way and it takes longer to get things done.”
(Quote from a 2015 Interview in New Noise Magazine)
And whilst the final whistle was not blown yet i for my humble self decided that is was Radioactivity who where the winner, but only by a short margin ahead of Sick Horse.
And once they left the stage and retreated backstage none of the audience left the room. And begged. And stayed. And got some encore though Jeff complained that Jens did not pay for an encore. And with the Bad Sports guy singing they stormed into two more songs and left the audience battered, sweaty and ready to take on the world (or the sheets of the bed at home).
Me mates keep pestering me to join the pilgrimage to Blackpool for Rebellion and i always deny that with a reasoning of „i do not like festivals“. The Get Lost! Festival year-on-year seems to prove me wrong and i am happy to admit that. For that thing. Only. Great stuff made possible by the great and good folks at The Hafenklang and at Wild Wax Shows! FANX! And similar to all the bands that come from far and further to provide maximum joy on a shoestring budget!
PS: I have asked around in my group of Get Lost! connoisseurs what they liked and not liked etc – here are some few choice words:
Get Lost! for me means that i can see a lot of (at least to me) unknown bands and most of them i come out digging! The atmosphere is great and the movements between up/down take away annoying waiting time for setting stage etc. Finally the after show party at Goldener Salon is always a burner with loads of nice people and loads of the musicians.
My biggest positive surprise was Slick! That the seasick singer did manage to get his set done - hats of! There was no disappointment but only great joy - and the greatest joy was The Yum-Yums: A good mood & sunshine band fitting the sunny weather in Hamburg!
Ulli (Female, 48)
What was my biggest surprise? As always, it's the real deal! My biggest disappointment? I was not disappointed - just by my looks (i managed to shred my face on the asphalt after the pre-party on Thursday). What is GL!F for me? Cool venues, cool atmosphere, cool people and (sometimes!) cool music - in a nutshell good, good times - even with a damaged face!
Thomas (Male, 53)
Biggest surprise? That Crypt-Dirk did not sell records! Biggest disappointment? That Crypt-Dirk did not sell records! Why GL!F? An annual highlight were you see more than the obvious faces, hear more than the obvious sounds and see more than the obvious shows!
Boffer (Male, doesn't matter)
There where no big surprises nor disappointments - those bands expected to be great where great and those not i did let go. The best at GL!F is to see new bands not expected, the mixed and partly out of town audience and notably the perfect organisation and the seamless flow!
But i want The Kids and The Hex Dispensers back plus maybe The Nomads and - even better - Rocket from the Crypt as head-headliner!
Frosch (Male, 54)
The only item i was disappointed with was myself - i did follow Luke's meal suggestion and was disappointed by a tasteless tofu/pak-choi something. Stupid me!
Benjamin (Male, 23)
Biggest surprise: Sick Horse (where is the 7"?)! Biggest disappointment: Audience and Hafenklang too nice to D D Owen (should have gotten a proper Hamburg "Jackvoll" - people have been tarred and feathered for less)! GL!F to me is the annual surprise that i actually can sustain a festival (if the setting is @home and the flow as smooth and professional as during GL!F). Extra bonus: Get to see bands my ignorant and single-minded music tastes normally would pass by ... class event!
DOS (Male, 52)