… UK82 reloaded: Mess, all the way on Intercity from Guadalajara!

Another great Monday evening at the Hafenklang was waiting for me and me mates, MESS all the way from Guadalajara, Mexico, would be in town. Plenty of folks got attracted by their sound, many where eager to grab their vinyl and one even made the effort to see them in Berlin a day earlier.

Support was local and fitting, the RED⚒BRICKS where providing the warm-up. I have noted their record and i took note of their struggles from the need to replace the singer like the day prior their record release show – but i was yet to see them live.

I guess thanks to them it was already well filled upstairs at the Hafenklang when they kicked off. Their sound is pretty dense, neither fast nor harsh, and they not fall victim of the trap of putting themselves into an obvious Oi! or Skinhead cupboard.

RED⚒BRICKS (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.11.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Controlled speed, loads of melodies and as an asset a pretty decent signature bass play, sometime carrying the songs that bit further that makes it worthwhile to listen. I am not sure if the singer resp. the vocals is a full fit, but that is just me and me mu-sick-al preferences – i would prefer it harsher and a bit more … dangerous maybe? Adventurous?

Good tight set, excellent sound and some applause but actually they did not get people dancing.

With a quick changeover MESS took the stage and took it into a different territory: Much more basic, much more stripped down and – with a positive spin – amateurish. Or simpy: Authentic. Whilst many refer to them as “ah, the Mexican Blitz” i don’t think that default provides them justice.

MESS (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.11.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Sure some of the guitar at moments has that Blitz sound but by and large they are a very basic, very energetic and pretty much non-nonsense band that takes inspiration from UK82 (to use their own reference).

At times they indeed sounded like lads just picking up instruments back in 1982 and screaming it out to friends, at other times they actually proofed that they are close, tight and able to create a sing-a-long wall of sound.

Just like here with “Street Boys”:

A great sing-a-long by the way:

We have been challenged
To hate the whole world
Stand firm, stand proud

We have walked
The streets for hours
Searching for a way out

We are street boys ! X 4

We are different
And we will fight for ours
Struggle while growing old

We are tough guys
And we don't need your lies
Never say why, never say die

We are street boys ! X 4

I liked it, many of me mates liked it (just one found them too lightweight) and the well packed audience at the Hafenklang liked them too, even beyond the novelty bonus of an Oi! Band from Mexico. I would definitely see them again, they are worth it.

Worthy was also the shopping experience, being alerted of low quantities of records already ahead of the show i broke my own rules and purchased the vinyl prior to the band convincing me live. And i was lucky to score all i wanted, including the MESS / The Chisel split EP in colored vinyl. Lucky greedy bastard me!

In case you need it this shit too – which is not only great songs but also great packaging – try local at Sounds Of Subterrania!

Best shopping for a #recordcollectorbeingapretentiousarsehole

It is these shows that actually make my day, specifically when that day was spoiled on the work front. Best club, best booking, best companions (many life long by now) and great new music. Luv it, love you (you know who you are).

PS: Thanks to Beno for the video, i was too busy enjoying the band to shoot one myself.

… Proto-Punk reloaded: Dion Lunadon!

This was indeed a show i was looking for, as i recently did figure out Dion’s solo efforts (2017 to 2022) and found some real gems in there. To most Dion Lunadon seems to be know from his stint in A Place To Bury Strangers, a quite know Noise-Rock band from NYC (and that Noise-Rock linkage fended at least one friend off).

Support was from Hamburg, a band called Billy Zach. Once they entered the stage i thought they got all their friends in the audience, as the ~20 people upstairs at the Hafenklang all chatted with members of the band prior to the show.

Billy Zach (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.11.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They had like zero stage presence, almost shy. Their sound at good moments was like a movie soundtrack, at bad moments over-engineered post-something indie rock. Some of their guitar soundscapes over the very present bass where good, most of the rest was just not my mu-sick-al cupboard. If you like depressive dance music go check them out.

Next Dion Lunadon and they kicked off like this:

And stormed into this next:

Now that had so much more drive and the kick-ass Proto-Punk i was expecting, though the light show, carefully constructed by Dion and run from this mobile made it a very dark and foggy exercise.

I have no clue where his backing band came from, the bass player i believe is from Italy and provided, once some electrical problems where overcome, quite a groovy bass. The guy on guitar looked non-descriptive but was able to push some great power out of his guitar. And the drummer was just perfectly sturdy.

Dion Lunadon (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.11.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

All three basically stood back and left Dion both the center of the stage and the attraction. And he lived up to it, dressed for the occasion and playing both with his guitar and his voice (through effects strapped to the mike stand). He was also not shy to put some Rock Show elements in, be it self strangle on a chain or ripping all strings from his guitar on the last song.

I liked it and the approximately 50 folks now in attendance liked it too. But for the quality of both songs, mu-sick and show (sans light and smoke though) it was a way too low turn out. A packed Goldener Salon should have been their fate rather.

As always when a band convinces me live i picked up a record, unfortunately the Double-A-Side single with “Com/Broke” and “1976” from 2016 is no more, but the re-release of the first solo album is an equal good catch.

Good show, though really not enough of the Hamburg lot present.

PS: Also their videos are worth it if you ask me, here are me favorite songs #1 and #2 (and the double A-Side single from 2016 in all glory)

#1

#2

.. twice packed, twice fun (at least for some): Friday Night!

Sometimes the early footie kick-off on Fridays is an advantage if there is a show on the same day. On this Friday me and some mates where down for the Hamburg Derby and then Steve Ignorant with selected CRASS songs at the Hafenklang.

The story of the Derby is quick and single sided: Plenty of stupidity outside the stadium, loads of fireworks inside the stadium and a favorite being outsmarted by the FCSP coaches (and their 5 in the back tactic).

... it was Derby time (Millerntor, 14.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

It did sure help that HSV was red carded early on and it definitely did help that for a change FCSP did score. In the end it felt almost uncontested.

We hit the road to the Hafenklang after the final whistle quickly, to a certain extend to avoid being dragged into Football trouble or being blocked by the Police (closing certain streets to avoid potential confrontations) – and because it started to rain anyway.

Arriving at the Hafenklang it was packed (and sold out) and Headsticks where about to start. Their self-selected mu-sick-al cupboard is an odd one:

With an ever growing fanbase at their side, Headsticks are reaching new heights with their self proclaimed 'Revolutionary Punk Roots Rock'n'Roll' which has cross genre appeal seeing the band gaining endless plaudits from pillars of the Folk/Roots, Post Punk, Punk, and even the rock and blues fraternities.

In my selfish world that is a turn down, but as ever i wanted to give them the chance to convince me.

Headsticks (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

And whilst some songs actually where pleasant and very English revolutionary Punk songs indeed others where more on the folk side (and not my thingy). But stance and message they had, so i bet they have their audience (but it won’t be me, sorry).

Next Steve Ignorant, of Crass fame, with a selected backing band performing Crass songs from 1977 to 1984. It was one of these “canceled 2020, canceled 2021 again” shows that finally did happen.

From the last time Steve came out to Hamburg to do this there was loads of praise, it was actually to no surprise that a) the Hafenklang was packed and b) that almost all of the Hamburg Punks who sported a Crass Logo on their Leather Jacket in 1980 where there. Even i had to admit that back then at least for some time i sported a Crass badge (still around somewhere).

And how did it sound? It sounded like this … Steve and band kicking off into the set:

Wow – time warp ahead! Not an updated, adapted or modernized version of Crass songs – it sounded indeed like straight out of 1980. And “The Gas Man Cometh” was a worthy start into more songs that today would defeat most of the mu-sick-al cupboards used. But – give or take – they all had enough of a beat to get people actually dancing (and those older to sing-a-long).

Steve Ignorant (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Back then i was more the “Sham, Upstarts, Cockney” or “Fingers, Ruts, Members” Fan and did not take biggest notice of Crass, only of selected songs. But here and now to a certain extend i am regretting it – there was so much more.

Unfortunately half way through the set i had to leave: I was under the weather the day before (and had to miss Mobina Galore for that reason) and the humidity and bad air (lack of oxygen) inside the Hafenklang gave me cold sweats and definitely an ill feeling … so i simply strolled uphill and home.

Those who stayed on until the wee of the night assured me it was indeed a great set and perfect show (and many where quite vocal about the perfect and hard hitting performance by the drummer). Well done Steve, well done. And Thanks anyway.