… a triumphant return: Kaleko Urdangak ruled again!

Ever since Kaleko Urdangak stunned the hell out of the folks attending MOi!n It’s Hamburg #4 in 2019 i was looking forward to see them again in Hamburg. Finally in 2022 the Monkeys was able to put them back onto the stage, making me and a few others really happy people. Really happy!

Support was from the Suede Razors, hard hitting Bovver Rock from sunny California. And they are known too, be it for their series of cool 7″ vinyl or be it for playing in Bands like Harrington Saints, Ultra Sect or others.

Suede Razors (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

The start of their set was hampered with sound problems, a lot of eye contact across the stage like “i can’t hear your guitar/bass/vocals over here“, diminishing the value of the songs quite visibly. Once that got a proper resolution they took sail for real.

Unlike many others in the genre they have carved a unique niche: It is more hard and driving rock, it has less of an sing-a-long overcast. That said, as a team they deliver that very well and without too much fuzz: They like their things basic and real.

Suede Razors (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

The longer it went, the better it was i have to admit. So kudos to them for being able to turn a frustration into a solid delivery. And for all record collectors: Remember to hunt their 7″ output, it is worth it!

Without too much changeover Kaleko Urdangak from the equally sunny Basque Country took the stage and they promised the audience this set:

Kaleko Urdangak – Set List (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.10.2022)

And how did they kick off? They kicked off 45 Minutes of Skinhead Rock’n’Roll like this:

Intro, First song – BANG, back with a solid banger, much to the joy of the audience!

Luckily all sound issues had been fixed during the Suede Razors set so from the first chord it was all there:

Aggressive, direct, charming, multi-vocal choruses and action on stage by the whirlwind of a singer.

Kaleko Urdangak (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

From where i stand there is no better package currently around and it frustrates the hell out of me that a) the show was not sold out and b) the average age of the attendees was … more in the high than at youth level. This is the energy that should drive youth forward, this is the energy that should send you fist flying and give you a sore throat from singing along.

In that context it quite funny how good they are: Though they sing in their local language that most of us can not get at all they are able to trigger this sing-a-long reflex. Luckily with the new record they hand out a multi-lingual lyrics sheet, i am keen to see if indeed they sing about slaughtering unicorns as i guessed or something more meaningful.

Kaleko Urdangak (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

It was high speed and high value throughout the set, loads of smiling folks in the audience, some dancing but almost everybody having a great time. Compared to last time there was a bit more interaction with the audience but still to a certain extend with a bit of language barrier.

Kaleko Urdangak sure like what they do, seeing all 4 on stage not only mastering their instrument but also to get consistency into their songs and delivery is just joyful to watch. And it is not like a party band – it is for real: Energy, Drive, Charm packed with the ability to write great songs.

Kaleko Urdangak (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

I bet you they convinced even more people than in 2019 (as there where more – but not enough – in front of the stage) and i do hope they remain on a return path to Hamburg forever. I was yet again convinced and as always if a band is able to convince me playing live i score a record.

#recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes – limited edition in purple with gate fold cover including poster, multilingual lyrics sheet, postcard & badge – a worthy package to take home!

And whilst i stayed off booze during the show i sat down with mates after it, having a proper drink and playing some level limbo (i spare you the details). Chatting to members of both Suede Razors and Kaleko Urdangak whilst at it only ever cemented the good feeling towards the night: Perfect evening in perfect companionship, listening to great music and being entertained by great performers (at a location of choice).

Life is good, we must enjoy it!

… back on the map: MOi!n It’s Hamburg, Edition 7

After the 5th and 6th Edition being bogged down by Covid it was time again for the Monkeys to throw a proper MOi!n It’s Hamburg for the lot from near and far. And as ever i was eager to be there, as there are often hidden (and overlooked) gems to to be found – like on the last full 2 Day event in 2019 with Kaleko Urdangak.

Kick off on Friday was with Strikt from sunny Stockholm. Young lads and already fully in sync with rule #1: A band should dress for the occasion. All white, dark trousers – tick! Despite the Monkeys being more empty than full they where able to lure folks from the bar towards the stage.

Strikt (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.09.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

I would not count them strictly into Oi! territory, they rather have a nice balance of sing-a-long, slower stuff and more old Swedish Punk annotations. The singer sported a nice KSMB tattoo – can’t be a coincidence. They did not have their brand new record yet but in best DIY did some self burned CD’s with the songs (a highly limited edition you #recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes). How did it sound? Check out their ode to their hometown: Stockholm.

Next The Bois, originally from Singapore. They date back to 2001 but if i understood correctly they are now a slightly different band, with members from SG, UK and DE. With them it was more traditional Oi! with a proud and clear SHARP message.

The Bois (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.09.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

The songs are sometimes musically heavy and loaded (with complexity) but still carry simple messages (like in Till I Die). They sure had the Hamburg lot in front of the stage, singing along and dancing. Not particularly my cup of tea but by all means check out their stuff. Their old stuff is available here as a nice compilation.

The Analogs where on next and for them it was a return to the Monkeys following their support slot in 2018 for Bonecrusher. The have a long history but i take technically they are no longer that band from the 90s.

The Analogs (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.09.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They play Punk Rock with an emphasis on Rock and have a shitload mu-sick-al complexity in their songs. And seeing them on stage you note that they all seem to be experts with their instruments, specifically the drummer has a very unique style. The only think that was strange was the language – my ears are just not accustomed to hear lyrics in Polish, it all sound very harsh to me. But hey, it’s their mother tongue, so sure ok.

I liked them, to a certain extend also because they are indeed different (and great musicians).

Headliner for Friday was Giuda and i have not seen them live for quite a while, mainly because i had the feeling they where on the way to hit big. Not sure if they did, though i saw a couple of praises in the mainstream mu-sick press.

Sam as been giving them one of the first opportunities in Germany, dating back to 2014 with a stunning show at the Indra. They sure have grown beyond that, i was told they now employ professional management and a team for touring. In front of the stage you could note it by the simple fact that they now have a stage entry sound being played.

Giuda (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.09.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

I was not sure if i still like them but from the first chord the songs, the stomping and the smiles of the singer got me into it, again. Not sure if the feeling was right but i took they concentrated on the older stuff more – sing-a-long galore for the lot. They also employ some orchestrated stage movement (and the bass player got some strong looks for being out of sync and too wild).

8 years after seeing them for the first time i have to admit that they did dig themselves a unique niche, filled it with old tube amps and great 70s glam rock sound (with stomping rock being key) and just do that very professional.

The audience loved it and it was a great finish for the first day, way after midnight (though Giuda did not play overly long).

Day 2 started early (with attending a Brunch thrown by a mate that just passed 60ty), lead on to the decisions to pass the St. Pauli home game (that oddly was timed for 20:30 kick off) and be at the Monkeys rather.

And it was a good choice to be early has the hidden gem was right there as the start of Day 2: Complete Loss hail from Dülmen in North Rhine-Westphalia and they hit my mu-sick-al nerve from the first chord.

Almost on the total opposite of the MOi!n spectrum they play very modern Skinhead Hardcore in an American style. Hard hitting, fast paced. Just right up my alley. On top the singer cultivates a “grabbing my ass” style whilst singing right out of the Milo Auckerman playbook (and thus hitting another nerve).

Complete Loss (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 01.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

I was quickly sold on them and was so engulfed that i did not take note how many more people actually took them in (it felt open in front of the stage though). You got to check out their first vinyl that just has seen the light: It carries for example hit’s like Needle Park. I am now looking forward to see them again, maybe in a more hardcore setting at the Hafenklang?

After that high came … not a low but something that i could not get into that much on this evening. Bull Brigade from Turino play just another sound, a wide mixture of sing-a-long Oi! mixed with modern US styles from H/C. Loads of rhythm and tempo changes, loads of chants.

Bull Brigade (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 01.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

As far as i could make out there was footie in the mix too and the singer had like 3 faces & gesture that he mixed throughout the set, for me and some around that was a wee bit … posing? Boring? Nevermind, they do their thing and they seem to do it good – plenty of applause actually.

And whilst i was still mentally moaning i got hit by a 2 miles long fright train full of Canadian wheat heading for the US of A. Say hello to Reckless Upstarts (not Americans, as they pointed out) from Windsor, Ontario. It is the southernmost city of Canada, just opposite of Detroit. It’s called the City of Roses and what a beautiful mu-sick-al rose these Upstarts are!

Reckless Upstarts (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 01.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

16 strings with great guitar work to the front, all singing, and a heavy hitting drummer in the background. Their main asset is “being tight” and indeed they pushed forward like as a joint force. Their songs are about work, working class and about grinding down fascists. Check out Dying For A Living Wage or all of their output. Good Stuff, delivered perfectly live.

Next on Brutal Bravo from sunny Friburg im Brisgau and i never saw them live prior but based on their output i was keen to. They have some really cool bare to the bone songs out there and with “Brutal Bravo Über Alles” they have a tongue-in-check scene hit with pointed lyrics:

We corrupt morals and vitiate the air
And we are the resurrection of your saviour
We speak truth and we demand surrender
You`re ours for now and you will be forever.

You`re the lambs, we`re the birds of prey
We make the rules and you are forced to play
If you wanna make us happy, get down on your knees
This reign is unjust and we don`t kill to eat

It is pretty simple. a law of nature
If you don`t obey your master, you`ll be treated as a traitor
There are no more options, no more possibilities
God has no need for diplomacy.

We created evil and we created good
Brutal Bravo Brutal Bravo Über Alles
We bring the drought and we bring the flood
Brutal Bravo Brutal Bravo Über Alles
We turn day into night and night into day.
Brutal Bravo Brutal Bravo Über Alles
We are the mightiest and we rule - okay!
Brutal Bravo Brutal Bravo Über Alles
Brutal Bravo (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 01.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

I guess next to me many more where eager to see them, just like with Giuda it was packed, though less dancing but more physical in front of the stage. And whilst, when playing, it was really great hard hitting stuff there was a feel of discomfort with me. And soon i had the impression that somehow they are a dysfunctional band, at least this evening.

Debates about what (and how to play), raised eyebrows across the stage and a singer that either forgot the lyrics or was too intoxicated to call them from memory. And whilst resorting to printed lyrics he threw them around on stage and was soon unable to locate the right sheet.

And when it looked to go sour they somehow choose to play “Brutal Bravo Über Alles” to please the audience. Not once, not twice but three times. From where i stand no surprise that the band just a couple of days prior announced the end of the venture, i guess one more show and that’s it. Mhhhhhh, not what i expected.

With Gimp Fist at least the final headliner was far away from dysfunctional, to me they seem the friendliest people on earth and a well oiled machine. And this is what they set out for the lot:

Gimp Fist – Setlist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 01.10.2022)

And on most of these songs the audience did sing-a-long almost louder than the band and both in front of the stage and on the stage there where plenty of smiles. My smile was big when they played my current favorite song – the starting one of their Isolation LP is a versatile hit, packed into 1:32 and still offering a cinematic intro. Check out Ambition and sing-a-long: Well i don’t give a fuck!

Gimp Fist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 01.10.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Where Giuda as headliner threw a professional headlining show on Friday it was Gimp Fist as the headliner for Saturday to thoroughly break down the barrier between on and off stage and united everyone in the Monkeys. Simply by being unpretentious, honest and open – and with a message. They are the essence of humble and thus i had not even a slightly raised eyebrow for a mate who sported a Gimp Fist T-Shirt (that takes us back to rule #2: Never wear a shirt of the band that plays). Still loving you mate!

And much faster than anticipated it was over, two great days at the Monkey, two new discoveries, one disappointment, a St. Pauli home draw that turned out not to be that bad (though we simply need to score, more) and still a long weekend to recover as Monday would be a public holiday in Germany.

I had no hangover, as i stayed off booze both days and that indeed was a refreshing feeling. And frank, seeing some folks in various stages of drunkenness on Saturday it felt right.

Big Thanks again to Sam & the Monkeys crew for making this possible, much appreciated. Count me in in 2023 too!

MOi!n It’s Hamburg #7 2022

… sauna clubbing ctd: Cockney Rejects and a lovely audience!

Actually i do not know where to start nor to finish. Whilst many of me mates where in Blackpool the other week they brought home only good stories about Jeff (doing a spoken word performance) and Cockney Rejects (doing a great show). For me as a regular Blackpool absentee it did not matter too much, i was just keen to see them again (having had to miss the 2019 edition of the Sauna event).

Just like 2019 they where paired with This Means War from Belgium, who technically took the stage 2nd, as there was a short Book presentation in the pub for starters. I preferred to stay outside, enjoying plenty of chats with people from near and far, watching them brothers Nickel applying liquid drugs through the eyeballs on Matthias and trying to stay out of the sauna – it was damn hot in Hamburg.

This Means War kicked off to an already well filled Monkeys and they play Oi! with a definite scent of Hard Rock, though not leaning too far into that territory.

This Means War (Monkey Music Club, Hamburg, 13.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

For me it was a mixed bag, i sometimes felt a wee bit offended by them trying to bond with the audience. Not sure what did offend me, because i guess they just tried to be friendly and with the audience, rather than fronting the audience.

Within their rooster they do have one or the other quite melodic song with sing-a-long qualities, overall most of them without “speeding”. They played for about 30 minutes i take and they got some cheers (and even some folks singing along).

This Means War (Monkey Music Club, Hamburg, 13.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

For me there was one ill-fated choice though, but again it may just be stubborn and selfish me: If i would do support for Cockney Rejects i would not cover Cock Sparrer in my set and if i cover Cock Sparrer then definitely not “Suicide Girls”. Period.

With a quick changeover it was all ready for the Rejects and by now the Monkeys was well filed (though i believe not sold out). And what was awaiting the lot? A mixture of old and new, classic Oi! anthems and selected songs from their later efforts.

Cockney Rejects – Set List (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 13.08.2022)

They took the stage totally unpretentious and stormed into their set as a well oiled engine. And the engine got some new extra horsepower, the young lad on drums was pushing them forward a wee bit more than in the past (at least it felt like that).

Cockney Rejects (Monkey Music Club, Hamburg, 13.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

As always Jeff was the engagement manager and due to the smaller stage he could not do as much sparing as he does on bigger ones. He was having a little chat here, a little smile there and consistent messaging: We are the Cockney Rejects and we do what we like to do. Period.

The lot from start to finish went with the band, and then a bit more and then over the top. And it was mostly fun in front of the stage, thanks largely to the absence of the football faction. Even more, there was a large female contingent front row and one individual specifically with non-stop dancing, not bothered by male bodies throwing themselves around.

Great view that pit, great view.

Cockney Rejects (Monkey Music Club, Hamburg, 13.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They gave 75 minutes i guess, came back for some encore and in all honesty thanked the club and the lot for having them. As someone noted it may just be that Bridgehouse feeling that they need from time to time.

For me the best ever Cockney Rejects show in Hamburg and a total teardown as we say in German. And the best is that them Brothers Geggus are still consistent with their 1981 attitude.

Snippet from Melody Maker, August 22nd 1981

It is worth to add that they only ever flew in & out for this club show, so big thanks from the Hamburg lot for that effort (in times of travel disruptions left, right and center – as many of the Blackpool Pilgrims experienced on their way home). I also heard some folks saying that most likely they will not do this small stints anymore and instead will concentrate on bigger festival like appearances, if only.

What is definitely true is that their last ever album, Power Grab, is about to come in September. Whatever route they choose will be right for them, i am damn sure. For what they have injected both into Punk (and that little niche Oi!) and into Hamburg at the Monkeys i am forever grateful.

If this was the end, it was a perfect ending.