… them ladies love them Kids!

My last visit to live mu-sick did throw me into 12 days of Covid isolation until i finally came out “negative”, though not really with difficult symptoms thanks to being fully vaccinated and having had my booster shot on top.

To cheer me up once allowed out again The Kids from Belgium (Belgium, Bloody Belgium) where in town. They are a beast of a party machine, playing a simple recipe of Punk’n’Roll ever since they came about in 1976 and putting out two killer records full of juvenile & catchy sing-a-long songs (deeply grounded in Rock) in 1978.

The pairing was perfect, kick-off was with Küken who defined their little niche very much in a similar way: Deconstructed and simple, though driven hard. And unique twin vocals. For them it was pretty much also a return back to stage and hopefully touring, so lets hope that they can be back at it with the success they deserve.

Küken (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.04.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They still do what they do without too much interaction with the audience but it is the beauty of the sound that indeed speaks for itself. They even have songs with subtle & clever variations and bridges. I am still convinced that they have dug deep and uncovered gold.

I rekon i do not need to be asked for supporting statements (Küken are one of the tightest outfits i have ever seen) but i do hope that they get some bigger chances.

And whilst down at the wishing well i’d love them to take on songs from other bands (and other times) and strip them down to their style. Actually, whilst thinking, they should cover a full album. I guess i got to win in the lottery and make them advances. Whilst i try to achieve that you got to check out their output!

Without too much fuzz The Kids set themselves up and about 120 good people where eager to see them. And from the start it was the female contingent in the audience that went singing and dancing, something that was clearly visible. And indeed their simple Punk’n’Roll, nicely speeded up vs. 1978, goes direct into the legs.

I bet you them ladies love them Kids!

From the original Kids only Ludo Mariam is left, the brothers De Haes have been replaced with other gifted musicians quite some time ago. But from the first song there is loads of sing-a-long (Yes, young people know these songs from 1978), broad smiles and all-around happiness in the audience.

The Kids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.04.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They vary nicely between their short smashers from way back and a bit more complicated songs, they even turn to songs that are a wee bit slower and complex. But overall it was all up there in happy-land for most of the audience.

They are a bit more talkative than Küken without giving away too much. And the more they played, the more they smiled also on stage, getting into the groove and loving it.

As encore you almost all the time get a little nod from The Kids, so here is “If The Kids are united”. They also covered a Ramones song but here i need to agree with my mate Marcel (who scooted over from Amsterdamned to see this show – and a few more in Hamburg): You should not cover an early Ramones song, you got to try to cover a late one!

Never mind that ill choice of cover, with this nice sing-a-long them Kids ended a great show with two great bands. If you want their stuff go here!

Happiness on my end and with most of the folks around me. I was also able to pick up my season ticket for the Hafenklang, so i am now well prepared (vaccinated, boostered, recovered) for more shows in 2022. Bring them on!

On the way uphill for my train home i came around the back of the Hafenklang and saw these leftovers in the rain… sad view!

Trash, go pick it up, don’t throw your love away (New York Dolls)

… the return of Snuff as the return of normal?

Oh Boy, it has been a while – actually pre-wave 4 and wave 5 of Covid i guess – that me and me mates enjoyed a more or less unconstrained (though 2G+) show. The Hafenklang waited long to reopen the flood gates for show but now is back at it, though still not filling the place to 100% of the capacity.

Kick-off was with The Rumperts, from Austria, and it was somehow strange. I expected 3 females and one male singing (at least that is what i saw checking upon them prior to the show) and i got 3 males and one female operating the guitar (through a cool tube powered Laney amplifier). I did not really get what happened there and frank wasn’t bothered to check after the show …

The Rumperts (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

… as they did not really get into my mu-sick-al universe: Too much mid-tempo, too many expected sounds and somehow sounding way too … indifferent to my ears. They did have some small sections that worked well (and where uptempo) but they also had moments where i (and some folks around me) where just shaking heads (especially when they literally slaughtered Nervous Breakdown by Black Flag). I am happy to give them a 2nd chance but then please let it be the girls with the singer.

Without a great deal of delay Snuff came on and surprised some in the audience with the full brass section to the left of the stage. I wasn’t surprised – i was rather eager! And this is how Duncan forced his troops into combat:

Just perfect. Back where they took a break i’d say. And all of the drive that unfortunately i missed with The Rumperts, also all of that umpfff, sing-a-long feeling and sugar coating from the brass section. And that drive into the legs of the audience that visibly go most of the people moving, either big time in front of the stage and less around the pit.

Snuff kept tempo and did drive through new stuff and selected old stuff (always accompanied by a some form of on-stage banter around “buuuhhh, boring old stuff”). They had as much joy on stage as the folks in front of the stage.

Snuff (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Looking at the setlist the first item to note was that it was too short. Actually way too short. Me and me mates traded like 20 more songs that should be there plus a couple of songs we individually would love to see. Riebe pointedly remarked: “A Snuff show without Do Nothing is not a Snuff show” but that maybe was taking the discussion too far.

Also sans brass they kept the pace and the beauty of the mu-sick. Within the audience where some Swedish Exchange students by chance (apparently they stumbled across the club and took their chances to see live music in a seedy punk place).

Their in no way or form conforming outfits (see the young lad in the white sweater at the start of the song on stage) and their non standard behavior on the dance floor where actually a welcome break from the uniform styles normally attending these shows.

The longer (the still short) show went the happier people in front of the stage got. Live music, only constrained by an own decision on keeping a mask inside, with friends and dancing … it felt a wee bit like the return of normal.

Great show, great return by Snuff, scored a nice shirt from Riebe and had a couple of beers with friends. Whilst Covid numbers still go up in Germany i do hope that finally we get back on track with some form of normal.

A regular pattern of shows. Please. #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic

… back home, double count: Sold out Hafenklang welcomes Subhumans.

Finally – next to Knust, Molotow, MS Hedi and Monkeys also the Hafenklang is back with live shows. As much as all the other clubs they have adopted what in Hamburg is dubbed 2G (proven recovered and proven vaccinated people only – audience, staff and bands) which would allow Clubs to run events unconstrained (capacity, no masks), only requiring contact tracing.

The Hafenklang took a cautious route, not filling capacity at full. As such the show was sold out with 150 folks, where this pre-Covid would have been around 200. Actually it was no surprise that it was sold out, as with the Subhumans coming over from the UK the show had a near perfect headliner and they enjoy loads of credits in Hamburg.

Support was local, Crackmeier took the challenge and the pairing with Subhumans indeed was a fit for the evening. They are not really my deal, in good moments their twin guitar, driving bass and pounding drums made almost a solid wall pushing forward but more often to it was rather on the brink of sounding metal like.

Crackmeier (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 29.10.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

Their singer choose to roam in front of the stage and he also choose to hand out insults towards the audience, not sure if that one was for real or just as part of the show. As the did have some fans in the audience their rather full set got a share of applause and audience reception. And that is how it should be, even if it does not make click with myself.

Next on Dick Lucas and the Subhumans, who have been around all the time since 1980 with some hiatus in between. And they are also the same faces since all the years which i find particularly enjoyable.

They had actually finished a new record when the pandemic did strike in 2019, now it is 2021 and they are taking that record on the road (and hopefully sell loads). Unpretentious as ever they took the stage and they took the Hafenklang by storm.

What did strike me most was that they actually attracted a rather young crowd and that the dancing area in front of the stage was almost exclusively young and female. And hell yeah, that is how it should be!

Subhumans (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 29.10.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

I have to admit that i have zero vinyl in my collection from the Subhumans (though plenty from the Canadian Subhumans) but still recognize their sound, which over the years they have almost perfected: It ain’t full of Anarcho-Noise, it always had a deep grounding in the mu-sick-al capabilities of the band and decent song structures.

A neat wall of sound leaving enough space for Dick to get his voice and his excellent lyrics across. In that context i was more than surprised that plenty of the audience was able to sing-a-long, even the younger ones. As said, they have a lot of credits over here.

What did not get resolved was the itch around the question when i saw them first: My fading memory puts that 1983 and towards JUZ Korachstraße but plenty of me mates pointed out that is a wrong setting. It is really a personal letdown of my humble self that i never kept an accurate tally of whom i saw when and where…

The Subhumans came back for some encore and provide a nice add one: A Happy Birthday redemption for Jock McCurdy of the (English, not German) A-Heads. Here we go:

Perfect! A great Friday night back at the Hafenklang, chats and drinks with friends and all of that in safe and almost back-to-normal setting. I am ready for more and i continue to struggle with those who call that setting “inhuman”, “not inclusive” and “un-punk”.

Sorry, somehow your radar got offset during the pandemic.