… one forth of the Hamburg Punk Rock Days 2021, only!

Also this year the good people that orchestrate the Punk Rock Hamburg community put a small DIY event foward, making it Hamburg Punk Rock Days 2021. Spread across the Molotow, the Dschungel, the Hafenklang and the Knust it was to ensure that the locations where not forgotten.

For many it was the local replacement for the Blackpool Pilgrimage that was due over this weekend but like many other events got canceled.

Planning was not easy, rules unclear and eg. a boat trip on the MS Hedi was not possible. Instead it started on Wednesday at the Molotow with Cavity Search and Wreckage Dance, a date i had to miss due other commitments. I also did not find the time (and frank energy) to have a beer at the Dschungel on Thursday but i had my tickets fixed for Friday and Saturday at the Knust.

Came Friday and in my part of town, just about when i was to travel to the Knust, torrential rain came down, thunderstorm and … flooding. I was just about to skip the trip when a friend already at the Knust messaged me “it’s all sunny here, we are waiting for you”. So a wee bit late i set sail.

I thus arrived only when Küken had already claimed the stage. They jumped in for another band from out of town who could not make it (and in my mu-sick-al chart would not have featured anyway). And they delivered a perfect broadside!

Küken (Knust, Hamburg, 06.08.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

Some people claim “their songs all sound the same” but that is a naughty complaint. They have found their own niche and they fill it almost perfectly. They actually play very modern Rock’n’Roll if you ask, if only more bands would dare to do the same and not be copycats.

At the Knust they came tight, together and as one wall of sound … listen for yourself:

I am still hooked on them, their driving and fast paced guitar sound with the unique twin voices is really something i dig. Luckily i was not the only one and a number of the Blackpool Pilgrims in the audience took positive note too, up to and including fetching a record.

If you want to do the same, hop over to https://kueken.bandcamp.com/

Next on the best Ramonescore band in Germany (according to Luke) and with them a swift change of sound. Less “wall of sound”, more variation in speed and a different style of dual vocals.

I am definitely looking forward to this 4-piece hitting the studio to record the follow up to their epic 2019 LP Apparatus Of The Ultimate Power, if they again get to capture their energy it will be another class record.

The Haermorrhoids (Knust, Hamburg, 06.08.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

What did strike some (and me too) was the fact that whilst the outdoor seating at the Knust works quite fine the setup itself (2×4 people facing each other on beer benches) lures too many people into talking whilst the bands play. Somehow this leads to some “distance” and is quite unfair the band playing.

Maybe that is also the reason my recording device lost attentiveness exactly after 01:00 into this beautiful ode:

(Due to a malfunction the song is cut at exact 1:00, but i guess you get it folks)

In the end more than one of the Blackpool Pilgrims took a rather surprised note of them (finally!) and after the set they were able to sell some of their records in double quantities. Well deserved, though i still would want them to both do something on stage attire and with stage movements – for my liking it is all bit static.

And the folks attending? They were happy, they were chatty, they were smiling and the enjoyed time out with friends with good music. And that is what this small DIY thingy is about – from the community for the community.

Happy People at Hamburg Punk Rock Days 2021 (Knust, Hamburg, 06.08.2021) (c) gehkacken.de 2021

But somehow this was a fucked up weekend for me, as i missed 3/4th of the proceedings due to too many circumstances. But for the times we currently face this was well done, so capital Credit and Thanks to Punk Rock Hamburg (Arne, Perry), Knust, Molotow, Dschungel and Hafenklang.

Let’s get vaccinated, the sooner everything falls back into place for those who love and yearn for live mu-sick.

… 25 years! Thanks Hafenklang!

It is indeed a pity: Covid-19 and the rules that need to go with it have blown a big hole into me loveliest clubs intention to throw a summer of love. A summer of events across all the facets of the Hafenklang. So they have taken shelter elsewhere, where due to location (outdoor, namely) a higher amount of people can attend. Great solidarity between the clubs in demanding times.

Less solidarity came from the weather that Friday (pissing galore) and from concert goers: I guess not more than say 75 folks attended and a too large contingent (to my liking) decided to watch from the outside, by the looks largely people who supported the support from Berlin.

That support was named Trainingseineit Katzenkotze (Training Unit Cat Vomit if that works) claim the following:

Eine Band wie ein Dosenbier: harte Schale, spritziger Kern, schal im Abgang. Zwischen Jugendtraum und alltäglichen Kämpfen gegen Kapitalismus, Patriarchat und all die anderen Arschlöcher suchen wir uns die Nischen, aus denen wir unsere Punkrockkracher ins Herz der Bestie abfeuern. 
Wir sind keine echten Punks und keine originalen Queers, wir sind Pseudos und Kopien. Wir nehmen uns nicht ernst, wir nehmen euch nicht ernst, aber es ist uns verdammt ernst. Punkrock at its best!
Trainingseinheit Katzenkotze (Knust, Hamburg, 09.07.2021)

They looked like fallen out of time (or a different space/time continuum) and they sounded even more so: Humpta-Punk that last time plagued my mu-sick-al liking back in the 80s paired with bad cover jobs. I did not take a liking, many around me did not take a liking but some fans from Berlin in the audience did, also the younger ones outside the fence of the Lattenplatz.

Not my thingy at all. If it is yours, enjoy it!

Next on Es War Mord and the sound turned around that harsh that i was looking for Doctor Emmett Brown, as he must have turned the dial on the trusted DeLorrean. California, anytime post 1981 it must have been. Some people claim they take a deep dive into Depro-Punk (a mu-sick-al cupboard i do not understand) i feel completely on the contrary: What they gave was a perfect set of almost sunny California Hardcore with a small scent of flirting guitar on top, just very very short of fully embracing a surf overcast.

And frank, i would love they attempt that stunt, i think their guitar on the left will master that one easily.

Es War Mord (Knust, Hamburg, 09.07.2021)

Boy do they sound good now! To my ears an absolute perfect set in a non-perfect setting. I think i pestered Fab from the Hafenklang twice to pair them with the Adolescents next year. It would be a match from heaven!

Also i would love to see Gregor from Sounds of Subterrania putting out that sound as a next vinyl in the same near perfect packaging as the other records. In short: Currently i am sold on them. Why? Listen for yerself:

Great stuff, though the enjoyment was short (show was supposed to end at 20:00) and was impacted by the piss-poor weather. What also was apparent was that their music would work so much better in a packed Hafenklang, but that’s the one item we won’t get soon – at least nor before we have assurance how that ugly 4th wave now unfolds.

The Hafenklang also took the 25th anniversary opportunity to issue a small Fanzine, looking at both history (below) and some fun facts around what they do, how they are integrated into the community and what you can expect of them (a lot, actually).

Thank you Hafenklang!

I am ready to get my 2022 season ticket, unconstrained.

Just bring it on!

… records for the masses, Razors style!

If these odd times are good for one thing, then it may be providing leasure time for people to record something. Also our hometown heroes, the Razors, had an urge to get something done and documented, i guess both because of the new line up and because the last real Razors vinyl dates back to 2004 (the Cut The Crap Single on Klartext Records).

So in October 2020 the Razors went back to the Studio, recorded 6 songs including two cover songs that for a long time had been live favorites and queued for pressing capacities in the record production plants. And now it’s June 2021 and their New Trash 12″ is out on Hamburgs own La Pochette Surprise Records.

When and how a record release party could be thrown was for some time not clear but once regulation allowed eg. the Knust to throw outdoor shows a date was fixed. And lucky they where, in best summer weather the Razors could say “Hi there” to 220 friends who where both up for the moment and up for another sunny afternoon with good music and friends.

They kicked off early, the kicked off in the blinding sun and in parallel to my Danish friends winning just another game at this rather useless footie event. So there they stood, locking shiny and good and getting blinded by the sun.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

For me it is still an unusual setting, 200+ folks with max. 8 per table in a seated arrangement. But it does lead to more talking, it does lead to more booze. And frank, as with the limited tickets that can be sold, the clubs need to have booze turnover to break even. I guess the Knust eagerly waits for the next Gerd show, as then record booze turnover is guaranteed.

How did it sound? It sounded actually perfect, though it looks strange to see amplifiers turned towards the band rather then the audience. But the Knust invested into a cool setup for the outdoor shows and thus the sound was near perfect (and eventually had to respect Neighbors in the near living quarter).

They had fun, both playing these old songs and throwing in newer ones (and newer ones means that they came eg. after 1982). Whatever, the lot liked it and the lot knew it was a proper lead in for another friendly family meeting.

The family actually spreads wide, some folks took 500 km trips to spend the weekend with the Razors and the lot (and too much booze). Call it family, call it community – i just call many of them long running friends. Would you listen in to discussions about the Boomtown Rats show 1978 in Hamburg anywhere else? Would somewhere else newspaper clips about the Lurkers show in the Sounds (Wandsbek back then) be handed out?

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

It is the Razors at something like a new high, well embedded into that community and being a tight family also up there, on the stage. They have picked up a slightly better sound since they added Stoffel and you can sense that they are fully in it, as much as you can be in a non-professional DIY setting.

I like it and i do like to hear my all time favorite:

Yep, one of the first “sing-a-long raise your fist we are the gang” songs that i absorbed early on from a German band. And German bands where notoriously bad back then in getting such a thing done in style.

It went like a breeze on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon (that it actually was) and it went utterly unpretentious. Yes, there was the equivalent to an encore. Yes, there where T-Shirts sold (plenty). And yes, there where fans that got their records signed (though particular member of the Razors attempted to cross out other members signatures). And there was one fellow who decided to get his body autographed (and subsequently may even got that tattooed).

As you can see – a worthwhile record release party, DIY style.

After that came the 2nd best part, listening DJ Christian with some classic punk singles, criss-crossing the sub-genres and years plus chatting with friends from near and far.

A happy family! (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

Happy customers? Nope, happy family. Without a doubt. If eventually that setting is the new normal for the remainder of the summer and into autumn so it be, i am ready for it though i need to reduce the acceptance of booze.

Thanks again to those who made it possible (you know who you are, we love you) and thanks to those who cheered the band. Almost 45 years in and now putting out one of the greatest power pop songs of all times in Razors style – cudos!

And thus it is time that you get this red beauty too my friend, you will not be disappointed!