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!
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.
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:
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.
I missed the Get! Lost! Fest last year yet again due to overlap with my annual pilgrimage to Odsherred, so the Poor & Weird fest caught my eye early on … but only when i realized that it was Head from Seattle on the rooster i got really exited. Head, one of the coolest Ramonescore bands and with their early records forever a deep love of mine (and i never caught them live before).
The show was supposed to happen on the main stage of the Molotow but due to the tiny pre-sales (37 tickets if i understood correctly) it was moved up into the Sky Bar (and Lene Lovich took the main stage).
Kick off was early with Hamburgs own Küken and they faced more fellow musicians than paying customers i bet. But that did not stop them to deliver a very tight set, almost feeling like a block of metal: solid, no frills and coming at the audience!
To me still one of the best things Hamburg has to offer and quite off the beaten track with a unique sound. If only they would get a perfect setting in terms of stage, sound and a packed and eager audience. They deserve it.
They did max 30 mins (but i bet 15 songs or more) and then dropped it.
Next So What and i had no clue what to expect. What took the stage looked like something that would fit much better at the Monkeys, a few roads up west; A bit of skinhead look and plenty of sideburns (actually making them the “sideburns of the night” winner). I had no clue what to expect but they sounded like this:
And they have a great own cupboard to name their style: HARD GUM!
SO WHAT's debut LP is filled with stompers, hand clappers, and all the riffs that matter. Co-released by Just Add Water Records (USA) and Surfin' Ki (Italy). From the GLAMTASTIC pounding drums, Moogs, and big fuzzy riffs of "Where We Going" and "Why Can't I See You Tonight", to the EQUALS-esque "Don't Come Back" and "What You Said", this album is chock-full of HITS!
Go and check them out – they are worth it! Only after the event i learned that actually they struggled a bit: They bass player could not travel and was replaced plus their drummer had other touring duties and also had to be replaced – not the best setting but they did show that they have also found their own niche, somewhere next to Guida and more rooted in high energy rock.
So What (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
First surprise of the night for me, i will definitely check them out in more detail. And yet again another brick in that wall that is spray painted “you got to see bands to learn new sounds“!
Next Slander Tongue from Berlin Neuköln and with that a familiar face from the Get! Lost! circuit. And for me an almost immediate dislike: It took them way to long to get set and the guitar player on the left to me somehow made the impression that he was pissed off by something and was not happy.
The singer had a neat Billy Idol snear but their mu-sick meant nothing to me. Besides making a not happy impression they did have a Buddha like rhythm section of Bass and Drums that carried them along. I have no clue in reality of the working of that band but i would not have been surprised if they had split right in the stage. Sorry, not my thingy.
When the next group, The Scaners from sunny Lyon in France, prepared the stage it started to look different, namely as they setup some electrical stuff: Next to a keyboard with some effects they also mounted a Theremin, which is coolest thing since time travel was invented. The last band i saw with that was Man or Astro-man? and that means an immediate like!
And once they where done they also took on a unique stage uniform and that made them kings of the night by all counts (of mine, sure). And they sounded like this:
Bingo – i did hit jackpot! Scifi Hardcore! I always liked Scifi Surf but paring the theme with fast paced punk from 2077: Just a grand idea and just puuurfect! And speed they had, the songs on their first LP are about 1:something on average and here they packed like 20something songs into their set.
The Scaners (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Just a great show with all showmanship ingredients (and details) it needs: The drummer counting into the songs like DeeDee Ramone, the bass player putting the power into the songs, the guitar wandering around and making use of the Theremin with his guitar neck and the singer (with a Michael Jackson glove on one hand) providing the fancy sound from effects.
The Scaners (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
I did not expect this and i had no clue that such a little niche existed and was actually manned by those boys from France of all places. Now i see a Man or Astro-man? return tour to Germany and them Scaners as support in me brain, i guess i need to start playing lottery to make up the money for that event!
The Scaners got the crowd moving for the first time though it was not more than 50 people (and within that a large contingent from Italy that only ever flew in to see Head). Great Band, great show and indeed a unique kind of fun. You must trust me and check them out, now (or be poor forever)!
And the next surprise followed suit: That Head where a 3 piece by now i knew but when they setup their gear they looked … almost non-descriptive. Evading identification. But it must be Head, as they setup the barest of things: A guitar left, a bass right and the drummer only a bass drum and a snare, paired with two sets of cymbals. No toms whatsoever.
Head (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Soundcheck was done by doing three chords and asking the audience “is it loud enough?“, that’s how i expect it from a band with some routine. And they delivered a set that was somehow also surprising, first see for yerself:
I had a bit of an itch, a nagging in the back of my brain and i could not make out what it was until one of me mates asked me “… we have been to shows now for almost 40 years, we have never seen a band with less charisma haven’t we?” that i realized what itch was nagging me. In some form it was the essence of bare bone, the core of reduction, the … nevermind, it felt strange. It was strange.
What was not strange was the songs, though they had some hick-ups within them (they seemed not fully oiled). The Italian fans in front of the stage where decently loaded and did not mind, they sang away with joy (as i did silently) and had their fists in the air.
Sure thing i took on to get the vinyl on offer: The 2xLP Version of the discography (somehow not needed as i have all stuff on Evil Clown Records from them) and the new German styled tour EP. Neat.
And after Head i was done (and i was not the only one). The day started with a first beer at 12:00 (for a 13:00 home game kick off) and by now had stretched quite far into the night. I decided to stroll home and miss Derv Gordon. Two mates stayed and reported later that it went on to become a bit of party fun with old Equals songs … not sure if it would have been enough for me to sustain further on.
It may have sound like this aka Derv Gordon with So What as backing band:
And that against the original sound from the B/W times (and a funny video from the Bremen Beat Club filmed in the old part of Bremen):
In sum a neat and diverse package that Otis Tours put on the road, it just did hit Hamburg on the wrong day (against shows in every other club in town) and thus with a tiny turnout (and a loss for those putting it on). I can only forever urge people to come out and try something – there may be surprises friends, just like on this Poor & Weird Fest!
Fitting live mu-sick into me weekend plans normally is a piece of cake – a “just do it”. But there is one time in the year where this needs to be carefully balanced with another obsession that me love and myself have: Watching stars. And watching meteors. And meteor showers.
Say hello to comet Swift–Tuttle and his tails of debris and to the fact that the earth rotation around the sun crosses that tail on a very predictable course. So every August, around the 12th, there is this thing called “Perseids” and it will enable you (best with no moon and sure on a cloudless sky without light pollution) to see a lot of shooting stars.
And sure thing the best night to see them was Saturday, so all my hopes where on an early start of the show, so that i could bugger off quickly, hop into the car and drive away from the light doom that the city created.
To my dismay I found the planning of the Hafenklang and the bands to create some friction with my plans, both Küken and Gorilla Angreb where to take stage way later than planned. What also hampered the show was the fact that an early show by Swedens Baboon Show around the corner and in an open air setting was moved to later and further away at the Knust, so some people who would have enjoyed both shows in sequence would not make it.
Kick off was with Hamburgs own Küken and towards a rather empty space in front of the stage. So their blast of 16 songs in 26 minutes went largely into a void, though they got one of the Gorilla Angreb guys dancing. And the blast sounded like this:
Whatever you like in mu-sick you got to accept that they have found and perfected their little niche and that they have become rock solid. No frills, no cheap bargaining with the audience just blasting through the set with almost no breaks. I would think they somehow even underscore the Ramones as in their early days and that sure thing is a bonus, on all fronts.
And with Küken being done, i had to make a call towards stars rather than Gorilla Angreb. And luck we had, after some drive towards the north and some waiting for clouds to clear off we had a grand view and saw quite some meteors.
That moon though was quite bright, so whilst you could see a lot of stars it took away the option to see the Milky Way … but hey, that is complaining on a very high level.
Great to see Küken, sad to had to let go Gorilla Angreb and more than happy to have seen the Perseid (despite me love not being able to capture them on Photo but that is an art we still need to fully understand and learn).
Did i take the right (hard) choice? Yes, out with me love seeking stars!