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!
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.