… when the night before is good enough for you: Berlin Blackouts and Angry Agenda in a near perfect mix!

Cock Sparrer on a European Club Tour – that was a good enough reason for the Monkeys to put together a little warm up (though i would rather guess it was supposed to be a stocking up of liquids or training ground on beer consumption for many).

The mix was great: Berlin Blackouts with a Cock Sparrer like chorus quality and The Angry Agenda a solid Oi! street credibility.

First on the Blackouts (from Berlin, indeed) and whilst on social media it was like 156 people interested in the event the turnout was … i guess not more than 50. And most of them rather into the Oi! side of things, so the Berlin Blackouts had to face a rather empty dance floor.

Berlin Blackouts
(Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 07.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Since i saw them last time (2015, support slot for Bishops Green) they have shrunk to a 3 piece but without loosing too much. Actually, in my ears, they gained tightness and a bit more vocal diversity. What they do they to perfect and their sound indeed is so pleasant that sometimes i miss the edges. For some it also contained too much of whoahoah in he male vocals  but hey – that’s his way of singing.

And it sounded like this:

For playing a mere 20 people in front of the stage they did a solid performance and they should be back in front of many more people all geared for some sing-a-long punk. That would give them what they deserve. And more people would also improve sound, without bodies to break the sound it had a bit of an empty closet type of sound.

Actually one member in the audience spotted a point here and noted „… i think we had more people in the rehearsal room back then at times than they have here„.

With just a little bit of changeover it was then time for Watfords finest: The Angry Agenda. They are around since 2011 and they had put a heavy marker with their first 12“ „Here comes trouble„, a record full of angry  barrages.

Whilst all that anger seemed to manifest itself in the front man (actually, a real Rampen-Sau as we say in German) the rest of the band was quiet (and almost shy) in the background.

The Angry Agenda 
(Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 07.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Indeed they have it: The backline delivers a rock solid Oi! with an emphasis on Rock: They got more of that Motörhead or Rose Tattoo sound than of almost pop like guitar works of Cock Sparrer. And they have a loudmouth on vocals who has a story to tell – in every fucking song.

To me that was the one item that made them stand out actually – they seem not to have songs but go back to old tradition of story telling in the pub (with a bit of fitting mu-sick in the backdrop). Quite unique and very much ok with me (though i would not do every effort to see them).

They had more people in front of the stage, they had a bit of dancing but in the end of the day they too suffered from the rather low turnout.

With them done people resorted either to more beer or went home. As i was to let go Cock Sparrer at the Knust for many reasons i had a final one for the road and did hit home.

Those who love Cock Sparrer, a pint and some more i am led to believe had fun over at the Knust the next day, though local news papers seem to make a bit of a fuzz about a full blown riot (and some football rivalry) – i hear it was less of that but some unjustified violence did occur. Nevermind, that was only the 3rd reason to let that one go by…

... another famous hardticket from the Monkeys!
… another famous hardticket from the Monkeys!

… a surprise, a disappointment and loads of sing-a-long: a Friday night at Monkeys Music Club!

Live mu-sick is the best cure, it also works for getting yer mind focused away from the fact that me love is in hospital. So with a wee bit of a troubled mind i mad way to the Monkeys, first and foremost to see Bishops Green who yet again tour Germany.

Kick off was at 21:11 and large parts of the audience where glued to the TV in the Pub to see Footie (that other team in Hamburg on an away affair). They missed this:

It’s the Berlin Blackouts and they where quite a surprise – great kick-off into the evening. Cool and driving Punk Rock with a good judgement of style: 77, some Social D and loads of drive and melody. Plus: Stage personas! An ever smiling drummer, a solid guitar and a ramonesque Girl on Bass. And an entertainer with guitar in the center on vocals. Short, crisp and should have attracted so much more people!

Berlin Blackouts (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

A brilliant short but crisp set and by all means give that band a home in Hamburg (the singer tried smooth the audience by noting that he would move „…anytime to Hamburg but it is so hard to get an appartment here„) and then give them a bigger stage.

Next Seaside Rebels, who are somehow partly displaced Greeks now residing in London. And the bass player from Booze & Glory does sing. They kicked of rather lame:

Seaside Rebels (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Seaside Rebels (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

It is actually not uncommon – some bands work on record but on stage they disappoint. The Seaside Rebel this night where just not in tune for me and their sound was just too .. simple and boring. Only on few songs the singing and the rest of the band was in a fitting sync. Also the singer did take all the action and thus attention, it was somehow not work. Young lads though that still can grow together.

Seaside Rebels (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Seaside Rebels (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

It just did not work for me, it did not work for me mate Frosch and also i sensed it did not work so much for the now larger audience (that other team had banked an away win). For some parts of the audience, by the looks friends of the band, it did work and they had visible fun!

Next Bishops Green, the 4th time in 2 years in Hamburg – somehow that feels almost „too often“:

Bishops Green - 1 (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Bishops Green – 1 (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They came in straight from Canada, this was the first date of their tour. From the start they where plagued with sound problem, up to the bass player almost too friendly needing to ask „… Mr. Soundman, can’t you set it back to where it was during sound check?„. So the first couple of songs i just felt something missing (guitar in my ears for example) but then they took the Monkeys in full force.

Bishops Green - 1 (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Bishops Green – 1 (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Whilst playing some songs from their new album they also did throw in lots of old stuff; Whilst songs from the first category where musically more developed and structured the songs from the later category where just great sing- and -dance-a-long invitations to the now crowded dance floor of the Monkeys.

The longer it lasted the more i liked it. Though still somehow the sound of the guitar was too thin. But they have it all: Bass, Guitar, Drums in sync plus a great singer with a voice that differentiates him from those who below low.

And once they finished i was in a better mood and more relaxed, having a loved one in hospital is dreadful and drawing on your energy. This show injected some back and i could sport a neat hangover on Saturday when visiting her.

Friday night, 3 bands, cold cider – priceless!