… 1 and 2,3,4 – another goodbye in a packed Hafenklang: CJ Ramone farewell!

Hamburg is melting under the heatwave, so it was a rather tough outlook to get down to a packed club and enjoy approx. 250 warm bodies on- and off-stage around me. But it was the DeeCracks from Austria and CJ Ramone on something like a farewell thingy – so most likely a great ramonescore night.

My short stroll down to the Hafenklang always takes me past the good old Kneipe zum Flohmarkt aka Krawall 2000. For a short time at the end of the 70s and the beginning 80s it was the home of Hamburg punk.

ex-Kneipe zum Flohmark / ex-Krawall 2000 - up for rent again!
ex-Kneipe zum Flohmark / ex-Krawall 2000 – up for rent again!

I think there were 2 or even 3 incarnations of it, the final one giving in on pressure from around (and sure above) i believe around 1984. This evening i noted that a „for rent“ sign is put up, so anyone with spare money and good nerves could rent it now and create, as me mate Dirk noted, the Krawall 2020! Anyone in for it?

It was quite surprising to see the audience in front of the almost (just a single number of tickets remained i guess) sold out Hafenklang: Sure loads of regulars (and the Hamburg Raduno contingent that had the luxury of seeing both in Bergamo) but also a distinct different type of Ramones-aficionados from far and older people for sure in for CJ only.

Kick off was for the DeeCracks and … somehow it came to a funny standstill. And a guitar being AWOL. Once all of that was sorted they gave the typical 3-piece ramonescore view: Feet wide, guitar low and a madman behind the drums.

DeeCracks (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me they have a great spread of hard&fast and slower stuff and also they do have some songs i consider killer hits. On this occasion though the sound was, at least for my ears, rather lackluster and at least towards me the energy did not connect fully.

Some around me found it a wee bit odd that a Austrian-German speaking band gave English announcements but that was the least issue for me as i struggled with the sound in the first place. They gave a perfect warm-up for more ramonescore to come and they got not only their own fan base cheering but also others.

For myself i would have loved more off the hard&fast and specifically my loveliest song by them:

After some much needed fresh air it was time to get back into the sauna. The last time i saw CJ Ramone on a stage was actually way back in 1996, 16th or March in the River State Stadium in Buenos Aires. After the Ramones disbanded i still followed some their individual output, for CJ for example Los Gusanos or Bad Chopper but avoided to see either Marky Ramone, Richie Ramone or CJ Ramone live.

But it is never to late to change and what i head recently and what folks traded to me persuaded me to say goodbye to CJ. With him he got half of the Street Dogs, when i saw Lenny coming up the stage i was already positively surprise but then i also recognized the drummer, who was wearing a St. Pauli Kit, as the Street Dogs drummer. On top CJ had enlisted a young gun as the 2nd guitar.

CJ Ramone (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And what did i get? I actually got a wide mix of Ramones songs paired with his own stuff. At times it felt odd for me, at times it was actually great fun. It is a fine line to be a cover band of (partially) your own band. What was visible though was that large parts of the audience where only in it for the Ramones bit and i guess that is the reason why i stayed away from the three survivors.

That said, a killer songs like Wart Hog (a Dee Dee song from Too Tough To Die) can still send me shivers down the spine:

You don’t get the song? Here you are, try to sing-a-long:

Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog

I take some dope, I feel so sick
It's a sick world, sick, sick, sick
Doomsday visions of junkies and fags
Artificial phonies, I hate it, hate it

Death, death, death it's the price I pay
It's a sick world, what can I say?
No such thing as an even break
It's stealing and cheating, take, take, take

Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog

I wanna puke, I can't sit still
Just took some dope and I feel ill
It's a sick world, sick, sick, sick
It's a hopeless life, I hate it, hate it

It's a joke, it's a lie, it's a rip-off, man
It's an outlaw life, we're a renegade band
Doomsday visions of commies and queers
Artificial phonies, I hate it, hate it

Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog

Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog
Wart, wart hog

(c) DeeDee Ramone - 1984 Taco Tunes ASCAP

Yep, that was nice. And frank, the mix of own songs with Ramones songs worked nice too and they got it all nice’n’fast. And that made them really really sweaty, great that they managed to play what felt like 30 songs.

Hidden in there was also this beauty:

That’s from his current record and i guess i will have to buy that one. It also worked absolutely perfect live – i am sold! They played until like 23:00 and then said goodbye with some smiles on their faces. Thanks indeed and thanks CJ for all the years!

I took me another hour of chatting and having another non-alcohol drink until i finally went home sweaty, happy and not wasted.

… a late show: The Haermorrhoids and DeeCracks played until the birds sang (for me, at least)!

For me it was the 3rd show in less than 24 hours, so the setting must have been special else me at my age would let go the opportunity. And the setting was special as it was them DeeCracks, Klagenfurt’s finest Ramonescore band. And in tow The Haermorrhoids from Hamburg, who have also turned out as a quite a force.

I would have had preferred both upstairs at the Hafenklang actually, but i had to resort to the cellar under the Molotow and i had to bridge more than an hour with chatting and listening to classics by DJ Starry Eyes. It started to feel late indeed, but i was there and a couple of other folks who made it over from the rather early Gerd show.

The Haermorrhoids had been a surprise to me when they played support for Chixxdigit on the MS Hedi as such i was looking forward to see them and see if they have been able to improve even further.

The Haermorrhoids (Moltow, Hamburg, 24.03.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And improved they have indeed. The set is even tighter, the chorus is spot on and the three different vocals work quite neat and give a good feel of variation. Their speed is high and they rarely pause or break. If they now get some more own songs in that quality i would hope that someone would actually put a record out.

See yourself how they sounded on that tiny stage down in that dark cellar:

From where i sit a good set and i do hope that they get a chance on a bigger stage, supporting a bigger US band from that fast paced pop-punk genre. Could be fun to see!

Next on DeeCracks, who not only have a new LP with them but also a little gem they and Pirates Press did for Valentines Day 2018: A heart shaped flexi disk at a bargin price of 2€ – that is something so beautiful that i am lost for words…

DeeCracks Valentine Record - a 2€ bargin!
DeeCracks Valentine Record – a 2€ bargin!

And with little setup and just a very short redress them Austrians took the stage and blasted into their set:

And with that all of my tiredness was gone – just perfect fast paced Ramonescore with some unique selling propositions: Matt and his rather harsh voice provide the main vocals, Mike provides a sturdy and exact drumming (and provides the visual fun with all his smiles and faces) and Paul being the introvert (and could not provide the jumping, he would have hit his head given the low ceiling).

DeeCRACKS (Moltow, Hamburg, 24.03.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

I am sold on them, they mixed old and new material and kept the pace. Those from the Hamburg lot that went to see Descendents in Vienna last year confirmed that it is a pairing that worked perfect, i’d wish they could support the Descendents in July in Hamburg and they could thus expose their beauty on the big stage of the Markthalle. They deserve it, period.

And whilst they finished at the wee of the night i took tally of those who attempted the triple crown: At least one candidate gave in on wear and beer between the two bands and took of home as he felt wasted and did not want to wake up somewhere on the street (but rather on his host sofa). The crown finally went split but i spare you to whom.

I took off on my bike towards home and it was a short and beautiful ride at 03:30 in the morning. En route (it is a 5 minutes distance actually) is a small park and that had the birds already singing. So i stopped there, listend to them and took the last meters with a big smile.

And on Sunday i was fucked but all three shows were worth it! As ever, mu-sick is to be served live, first and foremost. Go there! Enjoy!

… tiny place, tiny stage, tiny audience…does not stop DeeCRACKS!

DeeCRACKS (Gun Club, 29.05.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
DeeCRACKS (Gun Club, 29.05.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Yesterday retro into 1973, today retro into Ramonescore – so lets say retro into 1976! DeeCRACKS from Austria relentlessly tour Europe and thus hit upon Hamburg. The only space available turned out to be the Gun Club, a tiny watering hole in St. Pauli with an equal tiny stage. And a support stint for Peach Kelli Pop, a bubblegum girl band from Canada. I think i counted 6 Austrians (besides 3 band members), 5 canadians, 2 landlords, 2 barflys and 10 people that wanted to see Peach Kelli Pop and roughly 5 that where in it for DeeCRACKS. I guess the door was not more than 25×6€ – now there is your sellout. How do you think clubs and touring bands survive in the long run? TV Money? Grants? Nope!

Ten a clock sharp DeeCRACKS blasted off and 5 seconds later broke down, as their own guitar amp had a loose socket…it became a constant throughout the show that it would break down after the opening chords! I like their records and live they where as great as on vinyl but hey Hamburg – give them a larger stage and audience please. I was so frustrated with the setting that i settled for home after their 45 minutes, watching stars. You could see Jupiter, Mercury and Mars next to other highlights…

DeeCRACKS live and loud:

Thanks boys!