… ready for Punk Rock Raduno 2023!

Hamburg not only has the Rebellion Pilgrims but also the Punk Rock Raduno Pellegrini. And whilst good old Charlie Harper (meanwhile at a whopping age of 78) would go on to play for the Rebellion lot on Saturday at the Fabrik the weekend started actually with a double feature for the Raduno lot:

On Friday it was Randells (Sweden) and Travoltas (Dutchistan) at the Monkeys and on Saturday it would be the Puke Fest in Münster. And not only Hamburgs local heroes The Haermorrhoids would be there, also a number of those attending at the Monkeys (and a few more) would take the train down to Münster.

Kick off was with the Randells from sunny Blekinge County in Sweden and they set the scene tongue-in-check with a sing-a-long that i guess everybody in Germany can sing to (at least in my g-g-g-generation):

And here is the original, in best Beat Club Fashion:

Her eyes were exciting her hair was golden,
The lips were inviting, and my heart she's stolen!

And whilst at it, there is sure a German cover:

With such a setting them Randells already have won me over, even more upon realizing that they adhere to one of my favorite ground rules: Matching and/or orchestrated stage attire!

Like many others from Sweden who play in the oddly dubbed Pop Punk genre (and remember, the “Pop” in Pop-Mu-Sick stands for “Popular”) they throw in a healthy dose of America, Beach, Sun and Surf. Which yet again on my side at least makes click for the last three.

Randells (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 20.01.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

Their stage presentation was very structured, three songs, little break, next three songs. Between the songs just a few word to the audience, they where not really chatty.

And this is how it sounded, this is Cheese from their 2012 effort:

I liked them and the longer they played the more they won over the audience, as their songs are rather on the clever than simple side. They also seemed to build more confidence on stage and at at the end really had a big share of applause.

I would suggest you check them out, just go here! And, frank, sporting a Flying V Guitar out of genre wins me over at any time, anyway!

Next on my longest wait as i never had a chance to see them before, so this forever was my mental intro (hum away):

Responsible disclosure: I am a Travoltas devotee ever since this song was song #1 on my Playlist #1 (done back in 2000).

Their set list was immediately inspected by those in the know and positively comment with respect to the wide mix the songs originate from.

Travoltas – Setlist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 20.01.2023)

So this is how they kicked-off, One For The Road from Endless Summer (2002):

Bang – all the ingredients i was yearning for: Speed variations, harmony bridges, vocal bridges, choruses. Plus energy. Plus positive vibes. Yippieeeee!

It sure ain’t a surprise that as a consequence their songs are considerably longer than the normal Pop Punk stuff, just looking at the stuff of them i have on file it is on average 3:31 (and all of the other stuff in the genre hoovers around the 2:20 mark).

With 6 people on stage they almost exceeded the capacity of the Monkeys stage but that is what creates their unique and wide sound: Keyboard, two guitars, bass, drums and the singer (with a very wide vocal reach).

Travoltas (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 20.01.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

It is a clever and damn simple recipe in the end, normally put to simple words as “… an energetic mix of the Beach Boys and Ramones with a dash of The Cars“. And to be frank, this is straight down my road:

Whenever i get mellow and the harsh sounds from H/C and Oi! need some offset it is this little niche of sugar coated harmonies that makes me smile, happy and sing-a-long. But it does need some Ramonescore under the belt, else it is too much sugar to swallow.

They played quite long, got loads of cheers and towards the end topped it with an endless barrage of hits:

First a cover of Major Tom (a true timeless beauty hat has also been flawlessly covered by Face To Face), then followed by Pray For Sun from their glorious Teenbeat album (all the way from 2000):

Little secret: That chorus always cheers me up and is in my mind when i stroll Danish beaches with the love of me life…

Let me go to the shore
On the beach where we belong
I always prayed for sun
There we go, don't say no
To the city by the bay
I know it will be home

But not without you, but not without you again, oh no
I'm not going without you
Please pray for sun

Next Waimea from Baja California (1997) only to return to another glorious sing-a-long from Teenbeat, that actually should have made it gold with any Radio Station serving a coastal area with sunny beaches:

Pacific Coast Highway, here we come!

Sing-a-long to that great chorus (that is also forever tied to my favorite shoreline on Jammerbugten):

And I will run to the ocean
I will run along the coastline
We'll be gone, no more worries
On the never ending shore

And those two songs in an ever better setting, live at Punk Rock Raduno (the best little festival in the world), all the way back in 2017. And rumors have it that this year the Punk Rock Raduno Pellegrini might have it yet again:

It was a pity that the turnout at the Monkeys was more small then medium (and sure not sold out) but all present in front of the stage by this time had a smile (or a broad smile) and where moving. Those who knew them sang along, those who did not where positively surprised.

At the end plenty of cheers, plenty of applause and a two song encore. As far as i was concerned i was flat out happy, as far as my friends heading for Puke Fest where concerned they where looking forward for yet another dose of the Travoltas.

And those who where at Puke Fest came back with even bigger praise about a complete tear down of the sold out place:

Puke-Fest description as per their Facebook site: Annual Punk-Festival in Münster, Germany. 100% pure old-school pop-punk!

Their conclusion on this years edition: „Puke Fest 2023 was beyond all of our wildest dreams! What a night! Unbelievable!" 

You could just leave it at that, but i got to go into a little more detail: It was a perfect one day festival exactly half way between Raduno(s).

Setting was inside the Sputnik Hall in a rather small club, completely sold out this year, so you don’t feel or think about the winter outside.

8 bands in 7 hours, with band #4, The Shivvies from Rotterdam, getting the party really started.  Consisting of the Real Danger rhythm section plus the pop punk genius Marien Nicotine of Apers/Windowsill/Giant Eagles fame on guitar and vocals, they play their s/t hit by hit album almost in it’s entirety, closing off with the faster Ramones style tracks.

Very hard to follow now but next band up on stage were our hometown heroes: The Haermorrhoids!

And … they simply played their best ever show, people went absolutely ape shit, bodies flying around from the very start. They did not slip a thing, all go no slow, it just could not have gotten much better than this. 

Can’t wait for their 2nd album, they should be HUGE, ideally releasing it on a label like Fat Wreck, ruling today‘s punk rock world beyond their current circle of influence! 

Things calmed down just a little bit with the Randells, who seemed very happy and more confident than in Hamburg in front of that wild Puke Fest party crowd.

Perfect bubblegum beach punk, not unlike fellow swedes Psychotic Youth. Austrias No. 1 DeeCRACKS followed up with more hard hitting Ramones style punk.

And from midnight the headliners Travoltas rounded off a memorable night, that has set the bar very high for live shows this year, a real contender for „Best Show Of The Year“, as early as January. 

Same as the Randells they really enjoyed playing to a full capacity, enthusiastic crowd, and delivered in perfect style. As if it needed another singalong after glorious hits like „Liv Tyler“ the Puke Fest crowd also got treated to Peter Schilling’s „Major Tom“: „…Völlig losgelöst von der Erde…“, nothing could describe the feeling of this night any better.

Now they only need to give us „Do The Gal-I-Gator“ next time they play, hopefully at Punk Rock Raduno this summer. Daan, je hebt het beloofd!.

Thanks to the Puke Fest crew to make this happen - the Hamburg/Kiel contingent was utmost happy!

See you at Punk Rock Raduno 2023!

Thanks to me mate Frosch for the summary and Kai Uwe and Kati for the pictures.

It is worth to note that since the Travoltas re-united they also face “long distance friendship” as their singer now resides in sunny Stockholm and runs a studio. Those interested in a wider mu-sick-al context might want to listen in:

In sum a great night that should have deserved more people in front of the stage and from where i stand a cemented love between Punk Rock Hamburg and the Travoltas (as visible on the tiles of the Monkeys loo).

Punk Rock Hamburg ❤ Travoltas

My dream date anyway would still be: Giant Eagles, The Shivvies, The Windowsill and Travoltas as a Dutch Package, during Summer on the Hamburg harbor front or on a boat cruising the harbor. Can i dream? Anybody willing to make dreams come true?

… 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