… there ain’t nuthin better than live mu-sick!

If there was an ultimate proof than it came late in 2018 and it came loud, fast and hard. And it hit me with friends and it hit me ears plus it did send me into a neat hangover. So trust me, #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic!

First on Brack from the sunny marshes of Oldenburg in Oldenburg, an area very unkindly left aside by us from the big city. They are around for some time but have not graced Hamburg a lot. When they took the stage i feared the worst, specifically due to the bass itself: It was a copy of Paul McCartneys Höfner Violin Bass and thus not necessarily the coolest equipment for a raunchy hardcore band.

Brack (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Besides the bass Brack turned out to be a neat surprise as they not only sounded great (though the bass sounded just not rock enough – and i mean the bass not the bass play) but also sported something that made them distinct different and very fitting: The singer had a high pitched voice that at times reminded me of Ozzy and at other times of Paul Mahern (of Zero Boys fame).

And he not only got the voice, he also got the guitar play to make it a worthwhile effort and indeed a pleasant surprise (something you only ever will get if you go out and try bands you do not know). Check them out for yerself.

Next Yard Bomb from Wedel (outside of Hamburg city limits just beyond the posh west end of town) and they have been on a quite long hiatus, as they seem to be a fun side project of the musicians, who all now concentrate on different bands (not for a living but for more fun).

Yard Bomb (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

At times it had the feeling of an open rehearsal (including a spliff going around and a crate of beer on stage) but mainly it was kick shit US West Coast Hardcore from a Hamburg West Coast band. Some in the audience noted Black Flag or Circle Jerks in awe and they where not too much off.

Oh boy, they got it. They got it big time. A sturdy drummer, a large and solid bass and a frenzy guitar held up high and tight to the body. And an outgoing singer that wants his smoke, his beer and the ability to wander around in the audience. And songs short, hard and fast. No fancy making around, no fancy chorus-bridge-repeat. And it does not take a lot of words to tell the world to just fuck off.

Yard Bomb (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me a killer set and one of the reasons that i already had more beer than normally during the show. The other one was me mate Rudi who now resides in sunny Perth but for the first time in like 100 years was back to Hamburg during Christmas and Year End – that was a good reason to have another one. And with him his fresh love from sunny Munich, another reason for a beer. And there where more friends and as such you can guess where it all ended.

Back to Yard Bomb – they lack recorded output but just listen to this killer ode to our trusted friend Milhouse that is tongue in check with some of DC’s greatest:

Not convinced? Really? Sorry mate – either you better go up in smoke or have another  beer and try again!

Truly this was the best ever into what some (ok, one) dubbed Hamburgs best live band 2018 and so here is how that outfit kicked off their headlining:

Say hello to The Haermorrhoids, Hamburgs finest Ramonescore band! Whilst the like to stay secretive when portraying themselves …

THE HAERMORRHOIDS are band. They're from Hamburg and they play punk rock. They've formed some years ago and played at cool places with other bands. Their songs are fast and melodic and they kick ass. Don't believe us? Only one way to find out. Go watch THE HAERMORRHOIDS when they're in your area. You might like 'em. One guy's name is Greg.

… they got the message right: You got to check out bands live, as live mu-sick is the best you will ever experience (next to meeting the love of your life). And them Haermorrhoids have been playing a lot recently (up to and including gracing the best punk festival in Europe – Punk Rock Raduno) and they will play even more in 2019.

The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

By now they have a large rooster of songs and they bash them out with all the fun, wit and energy it needs. Want more? Here is some:

And as much as Yard Bomb they know that songs that exceed the 02:00 mark may not be seen as hit material (or are way to long for the attention span of the average audience member).

As such they keep their odes of self reflection short. Like this one:

Now try for yerself – sing-a-long:

Left with a bad DNA 
I’ve got a bad DNA 

So fat and ugly you think i stink 
I don't give a damn what people think 
You treat me like an animal 
You think i am asexual 

Left with a bad DNA 
I’ve got a bad DNA 

I'm not blessed with grace 
Have a look into my face 
My nasty genes fuck you up 
I don't care just shut the fuck up 

Shut up, Shut up! 
Get the fuck out of my way!

Any questions left? Any reason not to like them? And they finished off with some additional vocals and dancing on stage and i really need to stand by me mate how sees them 2018 Kings. Yes – quite some time that such a great Ramonescore band came from home town. Well done mates!

The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

The only item missing for now is proper vinyl output that i can add to my collection. Their first recording is out as a tape on La Pochette Surprise Records (go an score it!) but i want damn vinyl! Please! Pretty please me!

The bands had fun and beers …

ALL CAST (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018)
ALL CAST (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018)

… and the audience had fun and beers too!

Oldschool Barmbek & SteilshoopdowntoPerth plus a scent of love (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Oldschool Barmbek & SteilshoopdowntoPerth plus a scent of love (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me it ended nicely loaded thanks to Jana buying high octane spirits for me, Rudi and the Hafenklang bar crew. Good thing that the next entertainment for me was one day away – on Sunday the Razors rightfully expected year end worship, so i had one day of recovery. Still, live mu-sick is the reasoning!

… a neat entry into a joyfull power pop weekend: Litterbug and Cyanide Pills upstairs!

A rainy Thursday evening is actually the least best day for a crowded show, specifically if there is other entertainment in town too. Crowds where either drawn to the Fabrik (to see MC50 and Wayne Kramer) or to the MS Hedi (to see Nothington) … or upstairs to the Hafenklang in order to get ears ready for more serious power pop with the Undertones on Friday.

Me and many friends decided for the Hafenklang and whilst initially it felt empty it later was decently filled (though not sold out). First on Jitterbug from sunny Blackpool (that seaside town up north that is subject to the annual pilgrimage by many of the Hamburg lot).

Litterbug (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 29.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Jitterbug play fast paced punk with some great bass play (and an almost hyperactive bass player) and less great singing. One of me mates noted „the guy on guitar seems to have too much on his plate when he also sings“ but for me it was still on the ok side.

Would i go the extra mile for them? Nope. Did i appreciate their set? Yes indeed, at times their sound had some great speed variations and – as said – some great bass lines. In most of the songs actually the bass did carry the melody, something that only few bands make their unique selling proposition.

What did stand out too was their merchandise, brilliant T-Shirts and a killer T-Shirt for all UK Punk literate collectors:

... one of the greatest T-Shirts recently!
… one of the greatest T-Shirts recently!

#1  Love for 1977, #2 A Tape and – with all tongue in check needed – #3 A Porky Prime Cut (and those who can not relate to that never ever called records from the hey days of Punk in the UK their own). Well done mates, well done!

Without too much hassle the stage was turned over to them Pills . If you don’t know them – here is how they set themselves:

Biography

Born a loser
Alcoholic, substance abuser
Hated, loathed with no fixed abode
Jinxed, given a curse
To never be best, always the worst
A peasant who wants to be king
PHIL PRIVILEGE attempts to sing

Bad tempered, aggressive
music obsessive
Never the banquet
Only the crumbs
CHRIS WRIST bangs the drums

Glassy eyes, greasy skin
Constant depression is a state he’s in
A dirty, nasty rat faced critter
Runt of the litter
SY PINKEYE guitar picker

Petty criminal
Small time crook
Broken home, bad neighbourhood
The human race hates his pretty face
ALARICK ‘THE TRICK’ plucks the bass

Liar, faker, liberty taker
Sleazy vain, a wannabe stud
A rotten piece of Norwegian wood
A drunken lout with insatiable greed
ALEX ARSON strums the lead

A gang of c***s from a desolate land
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the band….
CYANIDE PILLS

And they stormed into their set like this:

Just perfect: High energy power pop, scent of glam and and undertone of punk. And 5 different stage personas with unique schemes, grins and … sound. I felt victim to them a long time ago and i am always stunned that they are able to re-surprise me. In principle i know what will happen but when it happens i am still stunned.

Cyanide Pills (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 29.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

They blasted song after song, had fun on stage and fun off stage and made a lot of people in the audience smile (and some even to dance). To many outsiders they may look like a degenerated lot but in fact they are there to remind people that music is relevant for quite some time (when repacked every once in a while).

And after blasting through 20something songs they ended the set on another highlight:

Conquered!  Though forever i will put forward the request that actually they do play my loveliest song! Please!

When the lot dissolved after the show it was a lot of „see you tomorrow at Undertones“ and that is exactly what i will do. Just to get more of those 2:00 long power pop pearls!

… back with a twang: Moving Targets – too early for me, too good to everyone!

The Moving Targets coming back to Hamburg, sure thing i got my ticket early. Unfortunately my work schedule played some tricks on me and the only trick i could play back was to leave Rotterdamn on Wednesday at 17:00 sharp. But that only ever got me a flight back home dropping into HAM at 21:50 … even under best circumstances that would get me down to the Hafenklang at 22:30 only.

But thanks to me big love i got a lift from the airport, could switch clothes whilst in the car and thanks to the 354 horses under the hood of our Sir Q and me wifes stunt drive abilities i was able to check-in at 22:22 … but only ever to be greeted by the warm guitar sound of the Moving Targets, who already had taken the stage.

Moving Targets (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.10.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

But good music requires extra efforts and sometimes hardship. I sneaked into the crowd but was greeted by friends already there with some raised eyebrows and notions of being late. Little did they know about the length of the travel!

The Moving Targets today are Ken Chamber (as ever) paired with two Canadians as far as i understood. Actually a pairing that worked well – all the charm of the mu-sick is still there. Their deep roots into Boston Hardcore sure are wiped off today but them being at par with the likes of Misson of Burma or Hüsker Dü is still the setting.

For me the sounded almost perfect, some hickups (this was the first day of their European Tour) and some slight deviations most likely will go by once they are fully together. What did strike was the smiles both on stage and off stage – i guess 120 devoted people savored them and most of the moved in tune with the music and smiled away.

My bad luck though still came – once i was fully into it the show was over, damn but sure thing my very little private problem. Whilst many left quickly i stayed around for a couple of drinks to wind down and actually had a little chat with Ken and the Drummer – super friendly people and spreading the good news that a new record and another tour is ahead next year.

Then i will make sure i am on time. Promise!