… the return of boozing and dancing in front of the stage – don’t let it stop here!

It has been a while (since i attended a show standing) and it took a while until our local government set the new rules under a higher (but not high enough) vaccination quota. And then it took a while for clubs, regulars and bands to get their head around it and come to a conclusion.

The Molotow decided for 2G, specifically as their backyards counts as “outdoor” and thus allowed for standing, drinking and … no masks. The only funny (or odd, if you will) item was that i could stand unconstrained with the lot in front of the stage but should we be in need of a pee we had to wear a mask, as the loo is indoors. But an easy price to pay for that time travel back almost two years!

First on THIAVV, who are not really from my circuit but in their little corner of the mu-sick-al universe are treated as hot shit. I have seen all bands they originate from (Plastic Propaganda, Cavity/Search, Violent Instinct) and was surprised that THIAVV is not just a blend of everything but something unique (though like fallen out of time, eg. straight from 1985).

What did i get? Pounding drums managed by the Animal. A driving bass with almost feminine vocals exercised by the towering Pablo Boredom. And across all of that an overtone of high pitched flirting guitar, i guess full of effects, delivered by Julian Human Capital.

See for yerself how it looked and sounded:

They came together in 2017, took stage in early 2020 with the intend to go strong … and got cut short by Covid. As they did not give in, they seem to be earnest with what they are doing and continued to practice and get new songs under their belt.

It is not exactly what i look for in mu-sick but as ever i do recognize effort and determination and for that they got my applause. Their little niche is a niche that i avoided post punk, whilst others took that path i took on H/C rather.

THIAVV (Molotow, Hamburg, 21.09.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

They played a crisp set, did not wander off into endless soundscapes and by the looks of it they had fun. I guess as much fun as the audience in front of the stage, where everyone enjoyed live mu-sick with maskless walking around, direct social interaction and drinking – be it booze or not.

On came the headliners and local heroes Spitfire Stevens. They still are at odds with a single mu-sick-al cupboard, the best i ever heard is that Luke and his vocals stretch them between Ian Curtis dark room and GG Allins hate chamber. Indeed – he is a kind of a personality. By the way one of the most charming and positive persons around and the only one i know that can do the gum-knee-dance.

Spitfire Stevens (Molotow, Hamburg, 21.09.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

They delivered all of their spread: From slow, post-punk and Joy Division like all they way to short crisp snotty punk smashers. Here is a rather mellow song from their 2017 10″ (and you got to love them for their preferred vinyl format choice):

They played much longer than i thought, though both myself and other noted a little bit of stretching within it. Where other bands go bang-bang-bang, they take their time and enjoy their breaks.

Spitfire Stevens (Molotow, Hamburg, 21.09.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

They had the audience anyway but given the circumstances the audience had an almost normal setting back and was thus super-duper happy. That said i would guess that for quite a while we will continue to enjoy local heroes rather than traveling bands, as touring across all the various patches of rules is almost impracticable.

At the end both band and fans where happy and the net result could be seen scattered around the Molotw backyard tables …

And whilst the first young folks entered the place for a Friday night out dancing to indie mu-sick the Oldpunk lot kept bragging, drinking and largely enjoying the evening.

Many of the lot got ready to see Sixteen Again, Kücken, Sheep On A Tree and Razors the day after outdoor in the Harburg Harbor, i had to turn to a family thingy and had to let that opportunity go by. My hangover on Saturday anyway asked for a break though that little sun that started growing again on Friday did warm my day.

Now i want more of these G2 gigs, it is the right way forward as far as i am concerned. Next Stop: Jam Today / Sixteen Again on the MS Hedi, who luckily also starts to set sail again. And, double lucky, the Hafenklang also is open again.


… it’s a long way back to … Ramonescore!

The circuit already started to pick up again but i was enjoying a break away to Danish shores, so this slot was my first show since … 23.09.2020. 9 months without a seeing and feeling live mu-sick. Daunting. Devastating for both Clubs and Bands.

But with vaccination picking up, numbers currently being rather down, the outdoor seated (and regulated) show has resurfaced and everybody is willing to put something up, provided the Club actually has access to an outdoor area (with my loveliest Club hasn’t, damn).

This time round it was the Molotow and the reformed (and enlarged) Haermorrhoids that lured people towards the end of the Reeperbahn.

Kick off was early, queuing was eager as it was first come first serves when it comes to front row seating. The support was taken by Notgemeinschaft Peter Pan, another local outfit. And just another band that could not really keep practicing during the pandemic situation.

Notgemeinschaft Peter Pan (Molotow, Hamburg, 25.06.2021)

Their approach to Punk Rock is neither 77, nor hardcore and also not humpta-humpta Deutschpunk. They rather work on the fringes of all of that, most of the time the later two. Paired with strong political lyrics and their neat ability of dual vocals (the drummer sings half of the songs) it came across not at all bad.

They got good feedback but you could feel that both the audience was up for Ramonescore and they needed some time to get back into it.

Next on The Haermorrhoids, the best band in the world (as one assured member in the audience kept on bragging). They exchanged they sturdy bass player for two new members: A new bass (almost as tall as the old one) and an additional guitar. So a fresh start into the post-pandemic circuit, hopefully also with fresh output – the long awaited 2nd long player.

And the start was … like this:

Hui, the addition of the 2nd guitar has strengthened their own wall of sound. I guess as they had to bring two new members on board they did rehearse a lot and thus sounded quite together, tight and almost perfect.

The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 25.06.2021)

The only complaint i got to make is about stage attire and stage movements, it was all pretty much static and thus some of the energy of the songs got a bit lost. Specific the bass in the middle was almost shy, i guess it was the nervousness of the first show.

The longer it went, the better it sound – specifically also for new songs. If they keep direction, if they keep pace and if they capitalize on the additional guitar then we are in for something mighty!

The audience had much fun, plenty of booze and enjoyed it thoroughly. And as ever, the finish got me me loveliest song by them, now it is OVERDOSE as a four piece, cool.

Great start into getting back onto and in front of a stage, little did i know that the beer quality in the Molotow Back Yard would lead to some headaches next morning. But their ain’t no headache that can’t be cured with … more beer next day. And that was waiting at the Knust, where we would be stopping next for … DeALL!

… a happy family, united!

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).

The CHUCKS GANG: Hamburg 1977 Punk Rockers paired with a star from GERD – one mask is missing or two masks are surplus…

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.

So please be generous. Support your scene, now!