… Kahuna Surfers & Hamburg Ramönes: A (little less) happy family!

Axel from Partysprenger Records not only does a DIY Label but also does DIY Marketing: Every time he puts out something special i get an email offer. So last year he persuaded me towards the Kahuna Surfers LP and it turned out to be a worthy catch.

Their self-acclaim is pure understatement:

Kahuna Surfers, the perfect party band! 

Think Hot summer nights, high waves, palms, sun and umbrella drinks. At the beach, Kahuna Surfers plays their nice mix of classic surf music like The Beach Boys with 60's harmonies, which are mixed together into a fantastic drink with a big dash of Punk Rock and Power Pop. You will definitely not be able to stand still. It is guaranteed to give you more taste! 

Hey, Mr. Bartender pour me another Kahuna Surfers!

He lured them over to Germany and Hamburg too and paired them with the Hamburg Ramones for a Record Release Party, as the locals where putting out their 7th LP finally.

And whilst in Hamburg they also took the opportunity to surf the mighty river Elbe on the MS Hedi, playing Frau Hedis Tanzkaffee.

Thursday was sunny, the evening though turned more and more chill, still plenty of folks turned up to set sail with the Swedes – sold out i believe.

A Tiki Girl, Kapten Snuss and a misspelled Frau Heidi – Kahuna Surfers Setlist
(Frau Hedi, Hamburg, 18.05.2023 (c) gehkacken.de)

A quick inspection prior to the gig showed that the band came well prepared: A Tiki Girl, two sets and Kapten Snuss. So nothing could go wrong. Pity though that their 5er setup includes a keyboard and thus 4/5th of the band played broadside whilst the keyboard was facing down backwards the MS Hedi, 90° offset to the rest.

Kahuna Surfers (Frau Hedi, Hamburg, 18.05.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

Still, they all had steady feat and graced the audience with their own mix of feather light sugar coated beach pop (and remember, the “Pop” in “Pop Music” comes from popular). And it was delivered with both a twang, a smile and multi-vocal harmonies.

If there was something “odd” then the only thing was that for my liking there was just a little bit of thrust missing and definitely not enough surf guitar (and associated spring reverb). But the joy that came from the stage was a fitting balance.

Kahuna Surfers (Frau Hedi, Hamburg, 18.05.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

They played two sets with the 2nd one being a wee bit better (as having some more songs on the thrust side). But all-in-all a perfect match to put those Nordic surfers out onto the chilly Elbe.

Extra bonus: They all where perfectly matched in stage attire, for that only i would take them on again (and was about to, next day).

Friday upstairs at the Hafenklang though started sad: I already heard through the grapevine that Ecki from the Hamburg Ramönes got hospitalized on Thursday and that made it in the end impossible for the band to play.

Partysprenger Axel and 3/4th of the Hamburg Ramones: Sad News! Get well soon Ecki!
(Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.05.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

The rest of the lot, who had plenty of Friends and Family around, nevertheless asked the audience to enjoy and all send best wishes to Ecki – i guess he would not have wanted anything else.

So instead of “just” seeing a support stint from the Kahuna Surfers the audience was getting yet again two sets, slightly re-arranged. There was an initial disappointment though:

The consistent stage attire was not achieved: The drummer – who was a stand-in for the original drummer that could not travel due to medical reasons – only was equipped with a single shirt and could not match the rest. Damn!

On the sound side the whole setup was much better, the room and the PA sure helped to get a much better sound (and much better feeling of thrust) towards the audience.

For the first set they played with sub-optimal lights: Initially the stage lights where left on, once they where switched off they played almost in the dark.

Kahuna Surfers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.05.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

In the break Axel and a volunteer (plus a bar stool) took on to rearrange the spots that where all geared towards the dancing floor. After that there was a much better visibility on stage.

What did surprise me was that they where able to emit even more fun, smiling and joy from the stage than already on the MS Hedi. Sure one and the other joke as part of the show was repeated but all-in-all it was a near perfect set.

Kahuna Surfers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.05.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

In the end the Hamburg Ramönes where not fully absent from the stage, once California Sun was next they jumped to action and made it a happy family delivery – listen up youth, that was not rehearsed:

Loads of applause and by and large happy people around me (though the Hafenklang felt only like half full). I liked it, me mates liked it and i think i will see them again. Best setting maybe is indeed a warm summer evening, on the beach, with all the ingredients that the enchanting Chinchilla Vanilla put on heavy rotation:

Beach, Sun and Sex (and not Beer; as me mate Frank insisted).

I hope they sold plenty of records and shirts, as i had my LP already i resorted to the new Hamburg Ramönes LP called “Harvey”. You can get your copy from the Band or from Partysprenger! It sports a great cover done by Paulinho from Flanders 72 fame, go check him out (or see him and Flanders 72 at Punk Rock Raduno Six)!

Nice to see Kahuna Surfers twice (and get assurance that they are not a one hit wonder) and really sad that the Hamburg Ramönes had an ill fated record release party. But health of us aging old punk rockers is a – at least for me – not a thing to take lightweight.

Hope Ecki gets well soonest and they can have another go at presenting the record live!

As always … buying records at the show helps DIY bands!

On the more funny side: One of me mates, who has the season ticket next to me at the Millerntor, decided to boycott the show “as the Hamburg Ramönes are the house band of Teutonia“. Football trouble even within the family, Silly, ain’t it?