… when surprises get you left field: mOi!n it’s Hamburg 4!

I won’t be repeating that i dislike festivals in principle, as you will get just another praise of two great nights that actually belonged to a festival. Sam and Ralf from the Monkeys did put together another class event …

… the original line up!

… only to suffer from The Kids and Grade 2 having to pull out. Specifically The Kids are a mainstay in Hamburg, as such the loss was rather big. But with Knock Off and Rixe fitting replacements where found and the two days could set sail as per below.

… the final lineup for mOi!n it’s Hamburg, 2019 edition!

Given it was to be four bands on Friday the proceedings started rather early, too early for many that had to either travel or work on day. Snipper 66 from the US of A (and that’s Austin with a little help from Berlin this time round) thus faced a little bit of an empty space in front of the stage.

They not only brand themselves street punk i guess but they also look like it. And they hit hard, actually they have a rhythm section that not only provided that hard drive but also, and that was the best spin, added to the vocals. So with three folks singing (both solo and chorus) they provided some great variation.

Snipper 66 (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 27.09.2019)

Great to see the girl behind the drums: Not only hitting hard but also having fun and being able to emit that from stage. I won’t necessarily buy a record of them but i won’t pass them by, if there is an option to see them life. Great start.

With the 2nd band the visuals slightly changed, it was them unpretentious Lads from London, Fred Perry and Doc Martens and their unpretentious songs about Life (so fucking live it), Love, Footie and Politics. They love to be in Hamburg and Hamburg loves them.

Knock Off (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 27.09.2019)

They noted specifically that they love to play Hamburg for the size of the audience and i immediately wondered if they would know what the invite from the mighty Razoes for „Burn Down The Baum“ at year end would mean for them. They will face an even bigger stage and an even larger audience. And i damn sure then will win over that lot too!

mOi!n it’s Hamburg would be worthwhile event if it would not cultivate surprises and contrasts. But surprise and contrast came and it came with Gatans Lag from sunny Borås (city of the sheepshaggers eeer sheepshearers) and they not only flooded the stage but also had a large contingent in front of the stage.

Gatans Lag (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 27.09.2019)

They kicked off providing their essence: „We are Gatans Lag and we generally dislike people“ and took it from there. Where the singer from Bonecrusher likes to sing in the audience, the singer from Gatans Lag likes to throw himself into people in the audience and yell the words right there into their face. My sideline guess was he was drunk anyway, if not he got it during the set as he had about a beer per song.

… it was much more raunchy in Hamburg!

Sound wise they where great, well oiled, had a sax included and took no prisoners at all. They did not care about the audience they just cared about a force full show and that they delivered. For the encore they added another member and freed up the bass (who sported a great Doberman Cult shirt) and gave a final „in your face“.

Wow – that was an early high!

Headlining for the day was for them lads from Macclessfield, Cheshire, and was a return to Hamburg shores after 24 years (not so tricky, as they where on hiatus from 1996 to 2018): The Macc Lads, self-proclaimed „rudest, crudest, lewdest, drunkest band in Christendom„.

The Macc Lads (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 27.09.2019)

There where some from the Hamburg lot that just wanted nothing else then them, for me it was not really a burner. Their lad humor may work in England (less so abroad) and their silly songs (with a scent of silly humor) are glued into something that for me is just faster paced rock.

I listened, i watched and i gave in on the first doubt in my head. Rather than sustaining, i went home after day 5 songs and decided to catch a long sleep after the work week. Sorry Lads!

Without a doubt day one turned out better than i thought: Great bass/drums pair for a start with Sniper 66, lovely Knock Off and a massive surprise on what Gatans Lag where pushing upon the audience.

On Saturday it started even earlier (and that is me leaving out the reggae boot ride), that suited me anyway as i could take the short bike ride without being showered by the rain that was coming up. And luckily me and me mate where early, as we got to get the biggest surprise of the weekend as a starter.

I have never heard of Kalenko Urdangak, i have no clue what the name means as their local language does not lend itself to easy understanding and thus we had no clue what to expect.

To make it short: They tore down the place, they killed the audience and they left every single member of the audience (less those from Euskal Herria or Catalunya, i guess they knew what was comming) stunned. Perplex. Searching for words.

Kalenko Urdangak (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

And who did it? A thin singer with relentless energy, a full bodied guy with a Cockney Rejects shirt with a perfect harsh and driving guitar sound, a towering bass with perfect backup vocals and the coolest sideburns of the weekend on drums, always smiling away.

… thank god for subtitles!

Say hello to my newest favorite live band. And it was not only me, also all of the Hamburg lot i was checking with had the same feeling of just being exposed to a perfect skinhead rock’n’roll set. The best was that the singer was able to bridge the language barrier in the songs by lots of gestures, so that you halfway could make out what it is about. And even with that barrier it was sing-a-long galore to great songs!

Kalenko Urdangak (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

Nowadays (and with a too large record collection) i live by the rule „only buy a record when the band has convinced you live on stage“ and my praise for Kalenko Urdangak thus ends with the confession that i bought their vinyl. Later at home i realized they have more out, i got to hunt that down too!

They also included Pour La Gloire into the set and got some prominent French contingent with them on stage to sing it. Me mate Thomas, as ever dressed for the occasion, proudly sported his Camera Silens shirt at the front of the stage.

After that killer set someone had the poor task to continue, it was the Warrior Kids, one of the best bands of the massive wave of early 80s French Street Punk. By the looks they arrived late in Hamburg and had to do a sound check right there on stage. As such sound was less then perfect and they where forced to play against an already exhausted audience. After a couple of songs Marc asked in frustration „…are you asleep?“

Warrior Kids (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

Once into the set and adding some ska and reggae themed stuff they got at least some people moving, that part of the set went well. The rest was just the wrong point in time stuff, unlucky them! I do hope they did not drive from windy Marseille all the way for this rather frustrating set. It was not their fault!

With a quick turnover La Inquisicion from Cap i Casal de Catalunya took the stage … and blasted the audience in all forms: Visually, stage performance wise and by their songs. I saw them last year at Barna’n’Roll where they played in the full sun as the first band. Back then my verdict was: „They got some cheers but did not manage to impress me. I guess that stage and that emptiness was just too big for them.

La Inquisicion (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

Boy did this change: Against my memory they have speeded up, tightend up, added a scent of hardcore metal and took it from there (and the by now massive Basque and Catalan contingent in front of the stage by storm). Wow, i felt yet again blasted away.

Thinking about it after the gig i am damn sure that coming from Euskal Herria or Catalunya is something that puts a shitload of energy into you: The need to fight. The urge to fight. The will to stand up. All of that accumulated right here at the Monkeys with both Kaleko Urdangak and La Inqusicion.

Rixe (out of Paris) had to climb that by now larger than life stage next and their attempt to blow it up resulted in beer being spilled into electrics and thus blown fuses forcing power cuts on stage. Not once but twice and that somehow took some of the early energy away.

Rixe (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

Still, their bare bones Oi! sound in it’s simplicity and harshness got the people moving and the longer the set lasted the better they sounded and the more the audience was up for it. I like them and they are of the same type of unpretentiousness as Knock Off. Well done and providing good vibes.

MUSIC IS LIFE. THAT’S WHY OUR HEARTS HAVE BEATS.
#HOMEISWHERETHEMUSICIS #HOMEISWHERETHEBOOZEIS
#HOMEISWHEREMEMATESARE

I by now was almost exhausted and thought about leaving, i could not think of this Upstarts version, with Mensi back from retirement, will do the trick. But given uplifting performances already seen, given the amount of friends met, chatted with and given the booze already taken i stayed on. It was both a worthy decision and one that would have a knock-on …

I think i have all their vinyl up until say 1987 and Sham, Cockney and the Upstarts where key bands for my early life in punk. But then i disbanded them somehow, some efforts where lackluster and some line-ups not fit for purpose. Here and now on the small stage they where greeted with cheers and as the first thing stormed into „2.000.000 Voices“ and had the audience sing-a-long from 0 to 100 in one go.

Angelic Upstarts (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

I got carried away in sing-a-long too, though my rationale inner self kept trying to remind me that it was a speeded up version of the Upstarts with Mensi (in Celtic outfit) giving an almost spoken word performance on top. It is clear that age and size disallow him to move at the same pace, so the best moments (at least for me) where stuff like „Solidarity“.

At the end i have to confess that they converted me from „doubtful“ to „accepted“, though i still won’t add any new vinyl of them to my collection. But as a highlight to finish of mOi!n it’s Hamburg #4 it worked perfectly well.

On that high and with some surprise mates joining the proceedings late (after missing out all other bands on Saturday) i should have resorted home but somehow got stuck in the pub, chatting, praising and drinking. And one more. And a free Helbing from Sam. And another chat.

In a nutshell it was late, later and … hungover on Sunday. Well done. I should have been up and to the Millerntor on Sunday but the bad weather and too much booze mixed with people smoking forced me towards the easy way out: I watched St. Pauli kill Sandhausen from the Sofa.

Big time thanks for Sam & Ralf and the Monkeys crew for pulling this off and big time FANX for all the mu-sick-al surprises (i got to name Gatans Lag and Kaleko Urdangak again here). It was two worthwhile nights that some people would call a festival. I call it two class shows!

nb: If you belong to the doubtful caste too then pen 02nd to 4th of October 2020 into your diary and give it a try at mOi!n it’s Hamburg, 5th edition!

Bonus, Bonus, Bonus: Milo, Stephen, Karl and Bill reloaded in sunny Barcelona.

I am not necessarily a big away follower when it comes to shows, i prefer the smaller clubs in Hamburg. Some of me mates tend to go wide and far for mu-sick but that itch rarely get’s me: All attempts to lure or shanghai me to Blackpool for Rebellion just did not succeed. That said, there are some mu-sick-al items that make me at least listen. And so i did listen to the proposal of seeing the Descendents twice on this years short European Tour despite my dislike for festivals per se.

The destination was Barcelona and the weekend was going to be a long one, fly in on Friday and leave on Sunday. That gave time for us to see something more, including for me visiting an old work mate that got stuck in Barcelona 14 years ago and never got around to leave.

Following an easy flight out our little travel group split apart, my two friends went to town to dine with others of the Punk Rock Hamburg travel circus and i went down south and suburban to Castelldefels to see me mate.

Out there in the suburban homes of Castelldefels (c) gehkacken.de)

Out there it is indeed very very nice: Beach, Mountains (with Foxes not on the run) and many Football Player homes. We had a great Dinner at the local Marina and loads of chatting about work, life and family. And whilst i took the scenic route out with Public Transport (for cheap € 2,20) i choose the taxi home as the last bus was gone when we parted.

Next day we met late and did some scouting through the city in damn heat. It is nice but it is also very much a tourist destination – very crowded. We strolled around until we gave in and rested for cold drinks and food in a local cafe.

Following a nap in the strategically located Hotel near the venue we took on to get a bite and then into the proceedings. Proceedings that were going to be lengthy but hey, never complain.

We screwed up eating, as the place we choose was actually part of the location and thus did not serve as we thought. Never mind, food is overrated, so into the Poble Espanyol and drinks it was.

The location was uphill and an artificial Spanish town yard … and well empty when we arrived.

La Inquisición (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
La Inquisición (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

Up on stage where La Inquisición, a young local band. They had the fun to play vs. the sun and for a rather empty space. They got some cheers but did not manage to impress me. I guess that stage and that emptiness was just too big for them.

Next on A Wilhelm Scream and as they did not impress us on Tuesday in Hamburg we happily let them go. Watching them from the distance (as far as it got actually) we all concluded that they are just not what we like nor need.

Gatillazo took stage next and they seemed to be local heroes. Not only a couple of shirts where to be seen in the audience but also loads of sing-a-long by the locals.

Gatillazo (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Gatillazo (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

For us it was complicated: We do not speak the local language and we just do not understand what they are singing about. Luckily the singer was a bit single minded and from his many wanking gestures we at least where able to conclude it was either about lone male teenage sex or something similar. And we made out some potentially negative comments about the police and about Real (as in Real Madrid). From a musical perspective there where most likely the equivalent to Fun Punk.

Final local heroes where CRIM, who already have a name outside Catalonia and Spain. They had a huge fan base in the audience, the number of people with a CRIM shirt was by the hundred.

Crim (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Crim (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

And they have it: Good and mu-sick-ally more complex songs and an impressive voice by the singer. For them it was sing-a-long by the full crowd (sans the foreigners) and plenty of applause. Whilst they sport a particular bad logo they have something, that little difference. I will definitely check out their vinyl output and will get something from them into my collection.

By now we had 4 bands done and it was time to take account: Beer was good, plenty and cheap. Water was plenty and ever cheaper. The locals consumed red wine with ice and … the food was piss-poor. Damn. Outside there are so many good places for perfect food and up there … aarrgghhh. After a short trial we stayed with liquid food which given the heat was anyway better.

And whilst the sun gently came down it was Sick Of It All who had to play a stage that still did not need artificial light, a setting that for me was a wee bit strange.

Sick Of It All (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Sick Of It All (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

And with them a different league and a different sound took the place: Much harder, much more paced and – if you ask me – in absolute perfection. On top Lou, as ever, took every effort to engage the audience. For me this was one of the highlights and i do look forward for them to return to Hamburg with their new record, if i got the rumors right then that will be like January 2019.

What was also nice was that they had two little girls (i guess family) up there dancing happily on the huge stage and with these funny kid ear protectors. I loved that view and that sheer joy!

Next Mr. Biafra who was anounced locally as more Dead Kennedy than School of Medicine, something that actually is unfair to his band.

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

I am not a huge fan of his recent output but i am a huge fan of his early stuff, be it DK or his collaborations with D.O.A. (was there ever a more epic punk rock song than Full Metal Jackoff?) and with LARD. My judgement thus was reserved and whilst i tried to ignore his (this time short) lectures i did have to recognise that his backing band has some very gifted musicans. And when they play old DK songs and the lead guitar goes into the East Bay Ray type of flittering guitar, allmost surf, then i am sold against my own will!

By now the yard was full but not full capacity, there was still enough room to roam around, get drinks, get to the front and get accross. I have no clue about the capacity but we guessed it was 2.500 folks attending.

Poble Espanyol (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Poble Espanyol (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

The audience itself was rather young and what did stand out was that a) whereever you stood there was like 20 young girls with krickel-krackel tattoo’s around you and b) the same amount of people (male and female) with spider net tattoo’s on their elbow. And on top i could not stop noting that about more than 50% of the female contingent in the audience actually sported lipstick. All in all the audience was very friendly and we felt absolutely great to be part of it.

Next on the reason for existence being here: Milo. Stephen. Karl. Bill. And they lured us into the front row so that we can live our groupie life.

Descendents (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Descendents (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

The set was about the same as in Hamburg, just a couple of newer songs where removed. What was stunning to see (and hear) was that like 80% of the audience was able to sing-a-long to the songs. And the older the songs, the louder the singing. We felt totaly home in the crowed and we did love every single second.

Descendents - Setlist (Barna'n'Roll, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Descendents – Setlist (Barna’n’Roll, Barcelona, 14.07.2018 – from the collection of SillyGirl77)

Fun moment was when Milo decided to leave the stage and realized that there were no steps down … after some head scratching he decided to just jump the 2 meters. And whilst he did so the Descendents Crew rolled their eyes about that unplanned stunt that also got the mic cable into trouble.

Milo in the pit (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Milo in the pit (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

Double-fun was to see Milo realizing only after finishing his close contact combat with the audience that missing steps down also mean missing steps up. First he tried to lift himself, then he resortet to the stage rig on the side and with some gentle help of a photographer he made it back up again.

I loved it even more than in Hamburg, as the set – due to time limits of the stage slots – was tighter. And that benefitet the net result. And i am now sure that the next time they will be in Europe i will consider an even wider round trip to stalk them.

With that i was well exhausted though not loaded. Me and me friends strolled back and decided to see Cock Sparrer from the distance and with some final drinks.

Cock Sparrer (Barna'n'Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)
Cock Sparrer (Barna’n’Roll 2018, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona, 14.07.2018)

Cock Sparrer most likely got the loudest sing-a-long (at least on their old hits) and most of the audience moving. What i did like was the option to see them sans idiots and their twin guitar work (i think that remains one of the best around). What i do not like is that they somehow evolved into something that is a wee bit Status Quo like: Same sound, same rythm, same gestures.

Long after 02:00 it came to and end, we left after the first encore from Cock Sparrer and whilst strolling down to our hotel slowley i think i heard another encore – but we were thoroughly done.

It took a loooong sleep and a late breakfast to get us going again, this time for a final sightseeing effort.

Out there in the Parc Güell (c) gehkacken.de)

Parc Güell, designed by Gaudi, is one of the attractions and given it’s hilltop location it also provides grand views and some fresh air. We strolled around, we saw the construction work on the monument and we resorted to a silent corner with some shadow to rest. And we all came to the conclusion that not only Barcelona was a lovely town that warrants a longer stay outside the main summer period but that it also was a great show.

With that in mind we took home and with some delay we arrived happy and tired at home sweet home.

nb: If we would have been super eager we could have joined the warm-up show too but that would have been another show into the wee of the morning. And thus we did give a pass to this opportunity (though Penny Cocks and Violets would have been great assets for the main event too).