… i dislike open air festivals, period!

I have a natural dislike for Festivals and i have a much stronger dislike for Open Air Festivals. And i don’t like the big tourist things the city throws. Still, there was a small section of the line-up on the Jolly Roger stage during the annual harbor festival that did stick with me:

The Murderburgers are a top quality Pop Punk outfit from Scottland, the Monkeys Choir is full of friends and the Razors … are the Razors and a mainstay.

For me living on the harbor side it was a short but painful stroll through a zillion tourists, only to realize that them Murderburgers where reduced to a Duo. Their bass player was absent with leave, he was off sick in the Hotel. Still they decided to pull their set through, thanks for that.

The Murderburgers (Jolly Roger Bühne, Hamburg, 11.05.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Though the bass was sure a miss they managed to get the songs across quite nicely. I think this was down to the quality songwriting in the first place, some of them would also work on acoustic guitar only. Not a lot of people in front of the stage but still some decent applause.

Next Oxo 86, Ska influence Oi! with self proclaimed party potential. They had a huge crowd in front of the stage and they sure had a lot of movement in the crowd.

Oxo 86 (Jolly Roger Bühne, Hamburg, 11.05.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me it was not so interesting, it was just that niche that i like a bit (on the edge) but not really – some songs where ok, most songs just did not work for me. Maybe the singer just talked too much…

What became apparent at this stage was that the concept of selling beer in bottles and allowing bottle onto the concrete is just stupid, most of the bottles ended up broken glass of some form and some even ended up as danger.

Next Hamburg City Punk Rock Singers aka Monkeys Choir with i guess their 3rd official show, now on a big stage in front of a big audience. On the bigger stage they could position their groups well, the only thing that was lacking was a couple of more microphones to capture all participants well – but that would be a too big ask actually i guess.

Hamburg City Punk Rock Singers (Jolly Roger Bühne, Hamburg, 11.05.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They had fun and they emitted fun down into the pit – largely due to the sing-a-long potential. What definitely does not work is the guitar, way too dominant and way to many errors. It spoiled some of the great performances actually. I still like the concept and i do hope at one point in time they don’t need any electrical background anymore and the sheer volume of voices makes it happen.

Whilst the choir was singing there was also some interruption, a contingent of drug-infested street-living and on-the-ground-sitting-whilst-the-band-is-playing „punx“ did not behave and physical force was used to explain to them that their behavior was not tolerated. As much as i dislike violence i still believe sometimes it is justified like on this occasion.

By now it was dark and as it was river side it started to get a bit chilly, And i was annoyed by the too many people. But the Razors where still on and they do deserve my support, specifically as singer Klaus had his birthday that day (something that was celebrated in style earlier that day).

Razors (Jolly Roger Bühne, Hamburg, 11.05.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They took the stage, they kicked in with „1977“ and where i stood the sound was awful. The bass way too loud and harsh. I retreated to the other side, where the guitar was louder but the total sound was better.

Still, after a couple of songs i gave in to my dislike of the settings, a full week on antibiotics due to an infection and the cold.

Whatever the harbor fest will bring next year, don’t count me in. It does not work for me.

… only the 4th birthday?

Only 4 years? For many the Monkeys is like a 2nd home and for many it feels like the club has been around „forever“. True is that it opened doors in February 2015 (with an „inoffical“ show and a fun wrong print on the hardticket) and thus indeed it was time for the 4th birthday.

So congrats Sam & Ralf!

The rooster was diverse (and unpretentious) as the club itself. Kick off was with some bubblegum ramonescore from Westerkappeln (a town with indeed a funny name). Three guys, three Hawaii shirts and three sunglasses – and off it took.

The Hawaiians (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 02.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

What is surprising is that the drummer plays standing but in the back. It looks different and i have to admit that this was a bit the tricky part: If you play drums standing and provide key vocals then you got to be on the spot, in time and in sync. Unfortunately sometimes it did not feel that way but listen for yerself:

That said i did like their bubblegum sound, their stage attire (always important to me) and their short set. At the height of that they actually managed to get some Travoltas-like multi voice choruses going, something that i damn like!

And with a swift makeover of the stage it was time for a world premiere: For quite some time some of the Hamburg lot come together in the Monkeys to sing together. What at first was dubbed as Monkeys Choir now is called Hamburg City Punkrock Singers and is a 20+ folks venture.

Hamburg City Punkrock Singers (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 02.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

At first it felt funny, as in front of the stage it was a wee bit empty and that feeling was odd: Those normally standing next to me to see bands all stood up there on stage! Next to vocals they also had Hauke on a guitar to provide a bit of rhythm and by that means hold the voices together (though sometimes being too loud and too off).

Did it work? I have to admit that it worked only partially but as they are into it very fresh there is ample time and space for improvement. On some songs it went remarkably well, specifically when the song did lend itself to vocalization (and some challenge response singing was added).

On other damn simply the full frontal singing may work eg. in a football stadium but it ain’t in the choir setting on stage. But full credit for their effort and indeed i look forward how that venture evolves as the idea is a great idea!

Next chance to see them is open air on the Jolly Roger stage of the Hafengeburtstag – don’t miss it!

And once the choir had finished it was time for some surprise for Sam and Ralf: Instigated by Arne some of the regulars did collect some funds for the club to allow them to address needs outside the regular investment schedule. With some loud cheers they where handed over (only to be proposed by Ralf to be spend on a pub crawl with all the bar, stage and sound hands of the Monkeys).

A gift from the lot (thanks to Arne) ((c) gehkacken.de 2019)
A gift from the lot (thanks to Arne) ((c) gehkacken.de 2019)

Next on the eagerly awaited lottery – the big prize of a Golden Ticket (with 365 days of free entry to shows) was to be drawn (and the lottery tickets sold provided 525€ for a local charity. After some fun about the minor wins the Golden Ticket found home with a regular – well done!

A Golden Ticket for a lucky regular ( (c) gehkacken.de 2019)
A Golden Ticket for a lucky regular ( (c) gehkacken.de 2019)

In the aftermath of that lottery Sam announced 15 minutes of free beer for everyone and thus lured all of the audience to the bar and into the pub. And whilst everybody rushed to drink Faz Waltz took the stage and started to play – obviously nobody told them to hold back a wee bit until everybody was satisfied with beer.

Faz Waltz (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 02.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

But luckily their stone cold glam rock finally did lure people back to the stage and into dancing. Where Guida top their glam rock with some sugar it is Faz Waltz who deconstruct it more to the bare rocking bone and take it down the harder route.

It is retro for sure but it is delivered very very well. And it does not matter if you are into old punk or into Oi! – they carry all of these roots with them and give it back to you.

Faz Waltz (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 02.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

In the end a lot of dancing came about and a lot of smiling faces enjoyed Faz Waltz. It was not sold out but the Monkeys was well filled (and those filling it took good use of the liquid supplies).

Thanks Monkeys and thanks to all who make the Monkeys happen – may you stay afloat for many many years to come. A great rooster of shows is about to happen for 2019, i’ll sure be there.