Slowly the circuit is taking up traction again, though times are still tough and that 2nd wave not only ripples through other countries but also through Germany. Plus continued issues with some bars, clubs and locations on the entertainment circuit that do not adhere to the rules and good practices to keep themselves and their customers save making it harder for the clubs to put on shows.
The Knust did open air and seated indoors, the Monkeys does the same (though took a month out now), the Hafenklang given size stays shut (though has a Kiosk thing going) and the Molotow uses the open-air backyard to enable some seated live shows.
The Razors family came from near (that is obviously Hamburg) and far (that is as far as another hanseatic city on a shallow river to the south-west).
Folks where eager and happy, though procedures still suck: As me mate Luke experienced prior to the show you can only get a beer from the nearby pub if you are seated. And in the Molotow you are guided to your table. 8 per table, split into 4 vs. 4 with a segregation made from plastic. Not really the most sexy setting but at last it is „live and loud“ and i can chat with fellow #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic connoisseurs.
First off Never Wanted, a young 3 piece from Hamburg. Following rather odd jokes around „where is their bass player“ we realized it is intended to be Vocals, Guitar and Drums alone. Strange stage visual, specifically as the stage was set for a 4 piece, so it had a wide open left side.
Never Wanted (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.09.2020)
I always try to be fair but i also always stick to write up what i saw, heard – experienced for myself. And here the setup just did not work: German humpta-punk with a much too dominating rock guitar (up to and including axe wanking and a way too large effect board on the floor).
Sorry, did not make click for single minute, just only ever for seconds. At least the lyrics where above humpta slogans occasionally, though still had elements of it. Not my thing, sorry.
Next the Razors, 2nd gig with Stoffel on Guitar. And Gott locked away behind a wall of plastic, one of the new normal we gotta accept time being. Prior to the show they all emitted quite some joy of playing life again so quickly and that joy was transported over in the show.
To the max. See them „Jump“:
For me there was a large part of feeling „back home“, same feeling i had during the Punk Rock Hamburg weekend last month. Boy did i miss this: Chatting with friends, having a drink, surprising mates with a drink, being surprised with a drink and the friends on stage pushing great loud and fast mu-sick into me ears.
Razors (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.09.2020)
Whilst the outdoor setting still sucks the Molotow backyard is a rather cozy place, with lots of parasols and that gives an almost indoor feeling. And whilst the Razors plowed ahead both the band and the audience had their smiles growing: This is what we thrive for, collectively.
And with new blood the Razors indeed have turned around very old songs and upgraded them to almost hardcore smashers. Whilst i value that attempt (to the max actually), i did complain with the band after the show that where not able to clock this in below the 02:00 mark – i’d say that should be a first goal.
And if i have a wish free (and i guess a paying customer always has a wish free) then they should attempt to clock one in below the 01:00 mark even.
Take it Stoffel:
Perfect mid-week entertainment at a very early timing (doors at 18:30 and close-down by 21something) with loads of friends. With that energy i do look forward to the year end procedures (the annual BURN THE BAUM DOWN at the Knust). When closing down Danker unintentionally (i believe) seem to have given away that this year they not only do 30.12. but there will be a 31.12. Year End show too.
If that is true than without me, both because of the natural hangover from 30st but also as i tend to enjoy my YE changeover in privacy with me love. But if such a YE show happens it’ll be a grand finale for a fucked up year on the live mu-sick circuit in Hamburg.
At the start i captured „one mask missing, two masks surplus„, here you have „two masks missing, one mask surplus“ and the sheer joy of friends loving live mu-sick singing along to the Razors.
Sing-a-long, with or without mask but with a JEVER!
And that is, what still provides hope in all of this shit.
And this is what you will be missing if you don’t put in something extra for you loved band, your loved record label and your loved clubs. As said 2nd wave is coming there is literally no hope that touring bands from abroad will come around and clubs will be able to put a solid rooster up.
Already the 7th edition of this poor mans travelling circus, this time with The Briefs as headliner (and – wild guess – name giver). Location was to be the Molotow, which is for me always something … dunno … painful. Like some others i never got warm with their new location (and layout) at the bottom end of the Reeperbahn.
Kick off was very early and with the Anger Boys from sunny Recklinghausen. The classify themselves as „weird n‘ nervous hardcore punk!“ and they come across as short bursts of sometimes structured and sometime less structured noise topped with some very capable female vocals.
Anger Boys (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
They had like a 20 minute blast into a largely empty room (once they had sorted some bass amp signal issues) and they indeed did surprise me. I will definitely check out their demo and for sure i will give them another chance (on a different stage hopefully).
With a very quick changeover Bad Affair from Hamburg took the stage and they too surprised me. I saw them in April and boy have they improved since then. I would not even know where to start …
Bad Affair (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
… i guess key item is that they have balanced singing and guitar and that they have been able to pen down some really good songwriting: Complex where needed, powerful and with a real drive. I will definitively watch out for more, time being you will need to resort to their demo (as the last 6 tapes did sell out on that night, or?). Good stuff and again female fronted … something that unfortunately did not last through the proceedings.
Local heroes The Haermorrhoids claimed the stage next and they have by now perfected both their setup and how they deliver:
Tick for stage attire. Tick for in-sync movements of Guitar and Bass. Tick Tick Tick for being solid, together, tight – just class. Can’t phrase it different. The sound though at the Molotow was less than perfect – i’d love to see on the perfect stage, with the perfect sound system and the perfect sound man. That’ll be fun!
The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
The Molotow by now was well filled and sure their fan base was front row and cheering. If i noted correctly they have just come back from a short tour in Italy, so it was really a well oiled machine – delivering new songs and classics like this one from their debut record:
Boy do i look forward to the next album. And please do surprise me by having it recorded at Sonic Iguana and produced by Mass Giorgini or – if easier – record and produce it at the Blasting Room. Bang! That would put you and Hamburg on the map. Big time.
Class set as ever, quick, fast – no fills.
Next on from those alpine meadows of Switzerland the Bad Mojos. They took off where them Haermorrhoids left it: Fast paced and sunny one minute blasts of fun and joy. And they also knew that it take formal stage attire to be successful – so they dressed up for the occasion.
Nice cheap mans space outfit? Or sweat-suits as they have to make weight? What ever, it nicely fitted and gave their set the visual perfection that matched the music.
And another big surprise, as they got me left-field: I thought i have seen them before at a Get!Lost!Fest! but they did not impress me – now their less than 2 minutes blasts just sounded perfect.
Bad Mojos (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
And these blasts are lightweight high speed punk hymns with a strong fuck you anyway empathy, as expressed in their current record:
I HOPE YOU O.D. (Bad Mojos, released February 20, 2019)
1. DIGGIN' MY OWN GRAVE 01:32
2. BABY I'M DOOMED 01:17
3. I WANNA BE DEAD 01:02
4. I HATE 01:09
5. COMMIT A CRIME 01:57
6. POLICE CAR 01:23
7. I HOPE YOU OD 01:48
8. TOO DRUNK 01:23
9. OUT OF CONTROL 01:46
10. EVERYBODY HATES ME 01:28
Any doubts? Nope!
They were forced to play an encore (despite the running order not allowing for it) and gave an ode to Ian Stuart and safe car driving – indeed a perfect poor and weird extra! Well done lads!
With so much fun and high speed blasts it was time for something different. And something different we got: UK ’79 – ’81 (surprisingly the name of their recent effort) was the theme and the age of the musicians was slightly older than what we had seen before.
DefektDefekt (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
They hail from Bremen, have an English contingent and mix their string duties: Mid way bass and guitar swooped duties and with that also slightly changed the sound.
At the start it sound „hard mod„, later it sounded definitely like something i heard back then via John Peel on BFBS (and relentlessly taped it). They sing in German, in English and i believe i heard another language on top.
Great stuff, excellent musicians but … stage attired could be improved if you ask me. But to me they turned out as the biggest surprise: I tend to ignore Bremen where i can (for all sorts of bad reasons), so i did not catch them prior. Great set and towards a packed house by now.
It all felt rushed, or, in a positive way, without delays. Reason must be that the Molotow wanted to max turnover/turnaround on that Friday, ie. the live music should be over by 23:00 so that they can fill the club with entertainment seeking youth („suburban hipsters“ as someone pointed out).
Headlining thus came fast and furious … and from The Briefs – still one of the most entertaining party machines around. They conquered the Monkeys last December and they conquered indeed the packed Molotow this December.
All singing, all dancing and a huge number of smiles in the faces of the good people attending. Whilst on stage it was sans the female element in front of the stage a notable number of female enjoyed it and danced away. To get you into the mood spin the video and sing-a-long:
Outside the walls a curtain calls
i cant believe were here at all
what you see i do believe
i got no place, no place to bleed
i've got nothing left, i've got nothing right
i've got not place to sleep tonite,
cuz what you see is what you get
i don't want your sympathy yet
Ain't it the truth
ain't it the truth that hurts
there's no excuse
and it could only get worse
Faze in this world are hard to face
i must agree i hate this place
the cover ups have all been shown
we pay no mind, don't want to know
we don't hear a word, we don't need to think
we don't want no trouble don't change a thing
cuz life's much better when you close your eyes
But i cant live in your disguise
Ain't it the truth
Ain't it the truth that hurts
There's no excuse
and it will only get worse, and worse, and worse...
So all the morons stand it lines
we turn cheeks and eat the lies
the TV news is nice and dull
the networks keep us comfortable
leave it alone, there's nothing wrong
shows over folks so just move along
and in the end we'll wonder why
then we'll count to ten and say good bye
Ain't it the truth
ain't it the truth that hurts
there's no excuse
ain't it the truth that always hurts
ain't it the truth... etc...
Steve and Daniel on Guitar, Chris on Drums and Pascal on Bass – did anyone actually realize that this makes the Briefs a 50% German band? Chris lives here and Pascal is German. Great to claim such a great band!
There was no stopping in the barrage of hits and there was no stopping in the audience enjoying it. They are though not too much a chatty band, they rely on the songs to get their message across.
The Briefs (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
Once done the audience demand more and screwing the set timeline they embarked on a couple of songs encore, including their own little self-assessment of them as Americans:
We American's is dirty
We American's is positive
We don't know if we should be
We American's is cowboys
We American's love guns
Ain't no one can stop us
Not even them injuns
So shoot the president
Forget the national debt
It makes no difference to me
It don't effect my rent you see
And it has always been this way and it won't change
God bless the good old USA
We American's can't write
We American's don't read
And we don't want nobody
Telling us what we need
'cause were better then that
And were better then this
And were better then everybody else
We got the dollars and we got the cents
And it has always been this way and it won't change
God bless the fucked up USA
You know you can't complain
We'll just wipe out the stains
We like to suck before we spit
We spray pain on the walls
'cause we love those shopping malls
All those purple track suits make me sick
That's it, we quit
We American's is stupid
We American's don't write
Ain't no one can stop us
'cause we do what we like
Classic and actually no surprise. But how nicely it all fitted together over 6 bands and how great the tight schedule worked to give the audience a non-stop enjoyment from 18:30 to 23:15 – wow! And for the The Briefs the surprise i would like to see is … get them to cover the first two The Boys records!
Surprisingly good entertainment on a Saturday evening in December, at a location that just does not resonate with as much as the bands resonated with me.
Great travelling circus and by no means poor entertainment and weird music – i hope this now gets a firm annual repeat!
A long and sunny Easter weekend was followed with the most simple but yet successful receipt for fun: Some good simple Ramonescore. And how attractive that was i could see be the diverse number of friends that came out to see the package in the well filled Molotow.
Them Haermorrhoids, with their hot album just out, had the pleasure of getting on dead early, at 20:00 sharp. I guess they have been practicing like hell as they are now totally in it and can deliver a 17 song set in like 27 minutes.
The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)
There are next to no breaks or delays between songs and the „all vocals, all chorus“ type of singing just works like a treat. I do hope that their support slot for Teenage Bootlerocket opens them additional avenues for success, they deserve it!
They finished their set with my favorite song, the sad ode to overdose.
You were your own worst enemy
Now you're dead
Take it DeeD… er Nils:
If you like what you see and what you hear then make sure you buy the record. It is a perfect piece of DIY Ramonescore and it comes in a beautiful yellow cover. And it comes with 20 songs, so has a perfect balance in terms of money vs. what you get.
Rumors have it that the next recording is just around the corner, i do hope that they are able to keep pace and quality, as i would love them to be successful beyond Hamburg and on bigger stages.
As such: Give them a chance. Please.
And whilst we had some drinks and chats in the backyard of the Molotow after the set someone asked if the next band was on. He got multiple replies „naa, listen, they are still spinning records“ whilst Fat By The Gallon actually where already on the stage.
Fat By The Gallon (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)
For me this was the my personal big problem with them: They sounded so perfect, so polished, so much like on a perfect studio production that i just could not relate to their light weight, fast paced pop punk. But as ever, #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic – even when the band does not work for you.
Make you own choice, i for myself won’t buy a record of them:
And that did lead to Teenage Bootlerocket, who have come a long way since 2000 and by now are playing „any size“ with an emphasis on bigger places in the US and the occasional rather small place over here in Europe. And all that playing has made them an almost perfect entertainment machine with loads of professional (and semi-professional) gimmicks thrown into the live performance.
And a live performance that is, the sad loss of Brandon has not stopped them from just being a great band that knows how to carry the audience along and to emit energy from the stage. And, bonus, the twin guitars and the distinct different singing between Ray and Kody is a definite unique selling proposition.
Great set, delivered with precision and professionalism (and with a slight risk of being too perfect in showmanship) and thus the perfect finish for this early show with plenty of friends. And looking at the bright smiles across the packed audience of the Molotow also all the other people enjoyed it too.
The Haermorrhoids will enjoy a couple of more shows with Teenage Bootlerocket and be right back here with us in Hamburg soon.