… small crowd enthusiasm: Trench and Komintern Sect at the Monkeys!

It’s been a while: Work, a near death experience (men flu) and a not so great rooster had me away from live mu-sick for January but that had to stop. And the best to stop it was a band that had been a secret love for ample of years, so the return of Komintern Sect was a date not to be missed.

Paired with them Frenchies was Trench, who invented a neat lable for themselves: „Rough Øresund Streetpunk“ as in 2 ex-Lost Warning members from sunny Malmö paired with two danish (?) guys. And apparently not a single show under their belt. But hey, was Hamburg not anyway the place where bands strike fame on their initial years?

And that’s how they sounded like: Energy, power and a great way of twin vocals between the singer and the guitar player. Actually that one thing made them stick with me big time – i loved their short (7 songs) but tight set to the max.

Trench (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 09.02.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And i was not the only one, the rather spare crowd at the Monkeys gave quite some attention to Trench and cheered them up a wee bit more than usual for a support band. Best moment was when Trench had completed their set and listened in awe to the audience cheering „the whole set again, the whole set again“ upon disclosing that they could not do an encore due to the lack of more songs.

Whilst initially they suggest to the audience that they could choose a random number between 1 and 7 to select the encore song a slight grasp of commerciality made them choose one of the songs that will be on their debut EP on Contra Records . And i can assure you that Riot has all the hit potential to make that record sell – listen up youth for that encore:

Wow – that was a stunning set by a fresh band, i am looking forward to more. If they can stick to it and if they can capitalise their unique twin singing then they shall be a force beyond that bridge area.

Next on Komintern Sect and unfortunately the audience did not really grow by magic – only those who were glued to the bar or smoking in the pub earlier added to the numbers. Konintern Sect hail from Orléans, a french dwelling that can happily claim to have been conquered and destroyed by Julius Caesar in 52 BC – as long Komintern Sect seem to be around in the French scene and have well aged (despite that little belly growing on Carl).

What is worth to note is that they took a flight to Hamburg just to play this single date and most likely to enjoy the weekend in Hamburg. That is indeed humble and is just another praise for that little hut called Monkeys out there in Altona (the danish part of Hamburg, just another history lesson for you lot).

Komintern Sect (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 09.02.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

They took the stage and whilst on borrowed backline from Trench they had the sound just puuuurrrfect from the first chord. Melody, dual guitars and drive (without speeding). And on top Carl, commanding the audience and moving a wee bit more on stage than Alf, who fronted Trench. And they had all of these clever sing-a-long refrains that even the German audience could enter into in an attempt to break the language barrier:

Yes, they where great. They even sounded better than the last time i saw them in Hamburg and me and me mates thoroughly enjoyed their set. I think after a long long mu-sick-al path they have found that little niche that fits them and gives them the positive feedback they deserve.

Komintern Sect (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 09.02.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And no set of them is complete without that song to come, one of the signature songs of French punk (and most likely the setting stone for the French Streetpunk and Oi! scene). And indeed that was another smasher that had the crowd on sing-a-long mode and dancing.

So here is „Pour La Gloire“ (although Komintern Sect no longer need to seek fame, they have it!):

And as it is just a great song here is how it looked like back in 1983, pushed down from the stage by Camera Silens:

(I gotta show it because i love those visuals in the video to the max).

Komintern Sect did beat Trench on songs, they had 17 in their portfolio and they where pressed by the Hamburg lot to play some yet again – there was no stopping in encore requests and cheers.

And thus me and me mates where in a jolly good mood, got fuelled by some more booze and had more chats and drinks before resorting home in a perfect TGIF mode.

Great show but definitely a turnout too small. It was frickin‘ cold in Hamburg but that is not a valid reason to not show up. But those who did gave all their best to cheer two great set’s by two willing and able bands. And that’s how it should be.

Are ticket collectors pretentious arseholes?
Are ticket collectors pretentious arseholes?

… a stroll down memory lane: My secret love of the early 80s – them bands on „Chaos en France“!

Once somehow loosing interest in German or English Punk round about 1982 me and me mates discovered US Hardcore and … France. It must have been around 1983/1984 when the Chaos Productions records, first the compilations then the records by Reich Orgasm, Komintern Sect, Les Collabos and others hit us and boy did they hit us.

On top we discovered other stuff like Sub Kids („Kids of Glory“ remains one of my hit singles), Camera Silens and Oberkampf. See a great snippet from back then and Camera Silens storming into their über hit „Pour La Gloire“ in front of a very 80s audience:

The most strange thing: They did rarely sing in English and even if they did it was with a heavy accent – we did not understand a single word. But the sounds where utmost catchy and the visuals where a great mix of punk’n’skins’n’herberts – something that in Hamburg did not mix at all.

Unfortunately US H/C then took over full time and i somehow lost sight of how bands developed in France, though great stuff like Les Thugs did catch my eye every once in a while. And  by today some great bands are in full view and have placed France back again with me (and today, do i have to name Syndrome 81 or Lion’s Law?)

So it was a definite date for me when Komintern Sect and R.A.S. where to play in me stadium, just a couple of floors down where i have my season ticket. And on top it was a neat DIY show by the St. Pauli Skinheads, just another worthy reason.

First on Haddocks from Jena and as much as i do love seeing bands and discovering new bands their sing-a-long Oi! Punk did not really stick with me – though they were both firm on their attitude and well mannered.

Haddocks (Fanräume, Hamburg, 25.03.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)
Haddocks (Fanräume, Hamburg, 25.03.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)

And that gave way to them French who seemed to be out there in Hamburg in numbers. R.A.S. (or „Rien A Signaler„) where quick to setup and crowded the small stage with two guitars and two singers and sure thing had themselves setup or better dressed for the occasion (and, if i got it right, one them guitar players actually lives in Hamburg).

They kicked off with their signature hit „Rien A Signaler“ from their first 7″ (that dates back to 1983 and one in me collection, greedy record collector scum that i am) and they where boy oh so 1983 indeed. There was nothing polished, nothing fancy and sure thing … nothing in English.

R.A.S. (Fanräume, Hamburg, 25.03.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)
R.A.S. (Fanräume, Hamburg, 25.03.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)

They even got Carl from Komintern Sect onto the stage and got him to sing a song with them (aided by printed lyrics):

For me it was a mixed bag, they had their good moments and they too had moments that provided the feel of „public rehearsal“ – quotes i observed in the audience ranged from „authentic“, „basic“ to „karo einfach“. What did come through was the deep love for the music and being out to events like this.

Next on Komintern Sect and they have come a long way since, for example, this rather old (and somehow funny) TV snippet (and note that The Dogs poster in the backdrop of the dork TV host):

Actually they have come all the way into Blackpool fame, as some people from the Hamburg pilgrims where very vocal about Komintern Sect last year in Blackpool pulling off a great set and making a huge impression on the lot. Though some of the enthusiasm them pilgrims express in context of the Blackpool pilgrimage is debatable it did place a little light into me head to make sure to see Komintern Sect next time round.

Komintern Sect (Fanräume, Hamburg, 25.03.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

And yes, they had it all. Great music, tight set and the extra quality on songwriting. And Carl did his best to converse with the public in English so that the engagement was there.

And they got the crowd moving, they got plenty of sing-a-long and they got a tight set together that lasted much longer than Carl’s voice. He tried to finish but then they had another one. And one more.

Finishing off finally they did in style, a mixed bag of R.A.S. and Komintern Sect doing a neat memory to Micky Fitz and blasting „Real Enemy“ into an extremely satisfied audience.

RAS & Komintern Sect - (Fanräume, Hamburg, 25.03.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)
RAS & Komintern Sect (Fanräume, Hamburg, 25.03.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)

And with that i moved outside to gain some fresh air (inside was too much smoking) and – thanks to the DOM already closed and being dark – to seek some stars on the clear sky above. Lovely.

Was my thirst for French 80s Street Punk covered? Yes it was! Did i see some neat references? Yes, a Camera Silens T-Shirt, a Syndrome 81 shirt, a Collabos badge and a Sub Kids badge! Did i meet nice people? Yes indeed, amongst them an old fellow from out of town that i have not seen for ages (who still had memories of me and me mates back then in our little fanzine (over-)promoting french bands and declaring „Chaos en France“ as a killer record.

Great stuff, now i need to explore some more French stuff (yet again).