… don’t get lost on New Years Eve – get wasted the day before!

Against all odds two years in a row we stayed in Hamburg over Christmas and New Year and as such the traditional Burn down The Baum showcase of the Razors was the best possible occasion to finish off the mu-sick-al year early and with friends from near and far. And far this year stretched from Calgary to Perth, so basically the Razors where able to lure the globe to Hamburg – perfect!

Kick off was by the Fro-Tee Slips up from the grim north, from the place all you yobs with driver licenses keep yer points: Flensburg, as far north as you can get without bliver dansk (though exiled danish lads where in attendance too).

They have been around since 1989 and for a reason i have avoided them all these years. Still, here and now, i was to give them a chance.

Fro-Tee Slips (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

The Fro-Tee Slips play fast paced Deutschpunk with some Oh-Oh-Choruses and loads of talking between the songs. Actually the north Germans most like call the singer a Labertasche. But they are funny and they had a number of fans and a number of folks being able to sing along in the audience, so there must be some form of attraction (next to the cheap trick of free booze for the audience).

Did i like them? No, there won’t grow love. Do i appreciate what they do? Yes i do, as with any band going up there and play. Just not my niche. They get an extra bonus though for stage attire, as i prefer bands that wear uniform stage uniforms.

Having surveyed the grim north the lot faced some crazy nutters from down South. Switzerland that was, the country that invented punk („Wer hat’s erfunden? Die Schweizer!„) for the German speaking territories.

And with them we not only got stage attire but also stage personas. And a proper intro song based on the name of the band. And i can only assume that the name of band comes thanks to Peter:

You know those kids they get at school,
they've got a motorbike they think they're cool. 
They've got a moped for their sixteenth birthday, 
now you can hear them coming from half a mile away. 

It's the moped lads, they like to think they're bad, 
it's the moped lads, if you hit 'em they'll tell their dads. 

They follow the school bus 'cos they think they're next, 
they try to impress the girls on the back seat. 

They go up the Youth Club and stand outside, 
and talk about the bikes they can only just ride. 

They're about as hard as a lump of shit, 
but they've got two wheels so they think they're it. 
They always show off and try to act flash, 
but the best thing about 'em is 
when they crash. 

(Peter & The Test Tube Babies - Moped Lads)

A reference that today will only ever throw a blank face into any 14 year old – for us in our mid-50s it actually means a lot (and a youth reality).

And here they are – from funny Luzern – the Möped Lads!

Möped Lads (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Great stuff. And great stage personas indeed: On the far left one of the lads who played in Crazy (for me one of the most definite punk bands from CH) sporting a Johnny Moped Commando overall, a nutty singer in the center, another guitar with punk’n’roll outfit and a bass with a heads off to The Clash. And a drummer who got out of his seat for every final chord of a song. Lovely!

How did it sound? It sounded like this:

Maximum energy punk’n’roll with loads of power bulldozing the Knust. For some too simple as a mu-sick-al recipe, for me actually fitting very well the setup of the night.

Möped Lads (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And they just did not stop or held back, song after song they only ever plowed forward. They also recognized the language barrier and made and effort to explain some of the Swizz words used in the songs. Thanks mates!

Best moment for sure was their adaption of Crazy’s long lost hit „Weisst du noch?„. Just perfect!

Möped Lads (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Great stuff by some great people (who keep a great scene afloat at the Stedel in Luzern).  They got some appreciation from the audience but i have to admit that they deserved even more. I liked them, for many reasons!

That gave way to the Razors, still with Christiane for the off sick Old Erwin (best recovery wishes to him, stay strong!) and in best shape.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

They tailored the setlist down a bit and for the occasion, old classics like „Tommys Gang“ needed to make space for some new references like „Razors in the night„.

Razors - Setlist (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018)
Razors – Setlist (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018)

From the first chord they had the attention of the packed Knust and had the audience enjoying it. Song after song they got the people singing and dancing. Within that they also had some perfect memories all the way back to 1978 – it’s has been a while. It has been 40 fucking years actually!

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

I watched out for this rather new song – a fully fitting ode to our youth:

And now sing-a-long:

It was in 1977
when some school friends came together
No ideas - searching for beers
No more school - acting like fools

There was a new sound called Punk Rock
Driven by guitars - loud´n ready to shock
That give us the kick to build a band
Hey ho - we were in wonderland

We played for us - it was cool
We had so much fun
Rotten clothes - colored hair
Fuck the rules - we don´t care

1977 - punks entered the scene
1977 - smashed up systems dream
1977 - leather studs and booze
1977 - nothing else to loose

No rules - just beer and dope - we cried out loud
No Future - No Hope

And sing-a-long it was for the encore, the lot was up there on the stage and gave the best they had: Their looks, their voices and their energy.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

The best perfect end for the show: There ain’t no boundary between those up there and those down there. Actually more often this years i saw those up there seeing other bands with me from down here. In footie it would be UNITED ON THE TERRACES, i’d say here it is UNITY.

Given my hangover from Friday i kept intake limited and headed off before the raunchy party with DJ Schaub was in full swing (and booze would be added to beer).

Well done 2018, you finished on a high!

… after 27.5 years of stadium tours finally back in Hamburg: Gerd in a Top Of the Pops club show!

It has been a long time that a seminal Rock Band with decades of stadium touring has descended down on Hamburg – only 2nd class acts like Barclay James Harvest , Electric Light Orchestra or Slayer have come down to Hamburg recently respectively are to come. Within that rooster it was an outstanding achievement by the good people of the Knust to get their hand onto Gerd and somehow trick them into a club show.

The show was not only sold-out in record time (tickets basically where traded under the tables via tell tale) but also was setup with two class mates of Gerd (though of smaller rating): Worldlevel and DEVO made the cut for the most open secret club show of all times.

First on Weltnieveau and thus a seasoned touring engine that has been around Hamburg and lesser towns since 1996 or so. They bring all the rock showman ship that you need, starting with proper stage attire (including all wearing proper white showmanship footwear) down to inviting surprise guests onto the stage.

Weltniveau (Knust, Hamburg, 14.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Weltnivau play fast paced rock with great German words and thus have made a fortune across the German speaking parts of northern Germany. And they have songs that many admire, be it about love, be it about no wanting to go home with her or being about the pure essence of life: BIRTH-SCHOOL-WORK-DEATH is their signature song that got everybody to sing-a-long.

How did it sound and look? See for yourself:

Great stuff, they even managed to throw a Gerd cover in (another Gerd original that went to fame on that island yonder with a band from Scotland called Bay City Rollers). They where the local heroes that the big stars want as support: Quick, efficient and getting some early movement into the packed house.

With some amount of changeover (and some installations on stage) the next star guests from Akron err Herne where to take the stage. They where indeed special guests and long traveled ones too. Their setup was not without hick-ups and the whole show was riddled with things that did not work out in the way it should.

DEVO-tion (Knust, Hamburg, 14.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Lights where below perfect, stage layout small and it had all the rock star annotation of the main act being afraid of the support act to steal their fans and put down a much better show. I think Gerd even used some voodoo channeling from their backstage penthouse to bring songs to a spontaneous combustion:

The lot had some high hopes for this but somehow all i spoke to where at least a bit disappointed. They played too many covers (eg. from Gary Newman, Flock of Seagulls) and they bypassed all their early 70s hits. Maybe they get a 2nd chance, a bigger stage and someone who fixes setup and lights. I’d love to see that actually.

And that paved way for the stars, descending down onto the rather small stage of a small club in a small town (at least compared to their more recent stadium tours).

And with all the rock star glamour they kicked in like this:

G.E.R.D. – the song that Lemmy somehow took off them to give it to those brothers in NYC.  And with that they took the lot by storm, from the first mighty chords it was a set piece that would lead to a nice first goal.

Gerd (Knust, Hamburg, 14.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And Gerd followed up with song after song from their endless rooster of first class party hits.

Did anything go wrong? Nope! Did any chord sit wrong? Never! Where there technical issues (eg. „too hot for the guitar“ like)? No! They just had all the knobs of the amps to 12 and emitted all the routine of a perfect rock show from the stage.

Gerd (Knust, Hamburg, 14.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

There where some in the audience that took note of the recent announcement of Spinal Tap getting back together in 2019 and there was somehow an undercurrent of fear that Gerds prime spot could be challenged.

But lets be frank: with that rooster of hits there is nobody in the whole wide world to succeed in a challenge…

Gerd - Set List (Knust, Hamburg, 24.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Gerd – Set List (Knust, Hamburg, 24.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Gerd are the simple message that plain simple rock music is not dead, that rock stars can actually descend down into small clubs and that a successful show includes always a medley.

And Gerd have that medley themed after their little home niche in Hamburg – Hamburg Horn:

And with that all barriers where crushed, all borders where open and the floodgates could no longer hold back the fans (from more visits to the bar and more booze).

Whatever you like for a living, whatever you like for entertainment: If you do not desire to see Gerd than you are a lost case.

Without Gerd large parts of the 70 rock circuit just would not have happened.

Without Gerd there would not have been a reason for the punk revolution.

Without Gerd there would be no need to drive back to Hamburg.

And without Gerd, there would be no stiffening.

You, me – we all love Gerd. Try to be part of that universal love!