People got quite exited when word came around that The Briefs are back for good and will hit Hamburg during their short Winter 2018 Tour in Europe. Back in the early 2000’s they spat out 5 great long players and endless singles (about 12 if i have my greedy record collector asshole memories right) and where the #1 party machine live. And thus folks where keen to see if that party just continues.
Support was for Spit Pink from sunny Recklinghausen. The last time i saw them was last years „Burn down the Baum“ at the Knust and my verdict was rather harsh. This time round tried to stay in front of the stage throughout their set and did manage that (for most of the time).
Spit Pink (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 11.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
At times their songs have great licks, great chords and ear pleasing songwriting – only to not sustain that throughout the whole song. They are still „too much rock infused punk“ to me though they do nothing wrong per se. It just is slightly off what pleases my single minded mu-sick-al ear.
And with that the well packed Monkeys eagerly awaited The Briefs. Whilst they setup the gear an agitated Briefs fan tried to add a missing song (at least according to his tastes) to the setlist, only to be turned down by the stage hand and the bass player with rude words: „Please don’t do that, that ain’t no good„…
… but it did not stop The Briefs to do a professional stage entry with an instrumental intro and storming into Stuck On You:
Yep, they are back and they still know how to throw a good party. And they had a packed dance floor with a lot of enthusiastic fans singing along. They even got the stage fuse going (or someone put beer into a socket, who knows) and had a temporarily shutdown (including leaving the stage).
The Briefs (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 11.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
The had a rooster of many hits lined up and if not mistaken they played both songs from their brand new 2018 single. And that made everybody thirsty for the 2019 to come record, by the looks that will be just another one to be added to the collection.
Also worth to note the high number of female fans in the front, whilst they kept their sun glasses on it looked like they are not only a boys party band but also something for them girls – which in hindsight anyway is the best setting. Shows with bullying males only out for physical accidents are dead boring and shows where everybody at the front happily dances away are simply the best.
The Briefs (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 11.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
And the last song prior to some encores was from the Angry Samoans – Todd Killingsmade the audience (or better, the card game producing part of the audience) go ape shit:
Spot on that is where them Briefs get the party credibility from: The mix of 1977 punk rock and high speed US punk elements. Rarely a band had that mix that much perfected. As such it is great pleasure that they record again and that they come out and play again. And if not mistaken this was just a trial run across Europe: With the new record in tow they seem to plan an much longer tour in 2019.
Great turnout for a cold Tuesday evening and great fun emitted from the stage. Two birthdays in the audience. A couple of pints. No hangover next day at work. Nice one.
It was that time of the year again: End of September, end of a lovely summer, and thus time again for mOi!n it’s Hamburg. A little gem in that little gem out in the danish part of Hamburg, two nights full of sing-a-long street punk and dance-a-long ska and reggae.
Day One had the tighter rooster and in hindsight that four band mix worked smarter than the full-on six band assault on Saturday (as Day Two lacked some of the relaxed Ska/Reggae sounds).
Kick-off was with Trench, a secret love of mine since their debut at the Monkeys earlier this year. We are still waiting for their debut EP (now slanted for December release) but in the meanwhile they continue to be a worthwhile enjoyment.
Trench (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
They are tight, hard, well paced and aggressive. All you actually need in that little cupboard labled „Streetpunk“.
The studio outtakes for said EP should actually water yer mouth or make yer ears eager to hear more. I’d love to see them more often in Hamburg, let’s hope that the good people running that great little venture will book them more often for support.
With a swift changeover the style also changed – The Hacklers from sunny Ireland took the stage with everything to put a dance party on: 6 lads inclusive of keyboards and sax. And for sure that’ll be Ska and Reggae and it was provided in the best possible way.
The Hacklers (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Where Trench had some people dancing, The Hacklers now had everyone in front of the stage moving. That’s indeed the distinct advantage of that different cupboard: It lends itself so much easier to both the female and the male contingent enjoying body movements (and you can’t stop yer feet mate, you can’t stop ‚em).
„Out on the Streets“ – a real gem of a hit! If you need a bit of party sounds and keep the people dancing – go and score their debut LP, it’s a worthy catch!
Next on the Arch Rivals and they were greeted by the lot with loads of cheers – they had conquered the Monkeys before and they speeded up the the proceedings a wee bit: Their little cupboard is working class Oi! and they command the proceedings both with their sound and through Mike, who mans the ramp.
Their game plan was like this:
Full frontal from the start they scored goal after goal and won over the crowd (that actually did not want anything else than to be won over). And tongue in check they finally gave way to their own sing-a-long ode (to them fucking self).
I bet you i was not the only one who did continue the sing-a-long when strolling home in the we of the night with a bit of slippery feet (due to too much beer). Great, just perfect. All people ever need to get out of their mind!
Arch Rivals (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
And at the end they put a final mark with a sing-a-long on loan from that other band that just played over here and all of the crowd did sing-a-long with loads of energy and loads of enthusiasm.
Arch Rivals? Bring ‚em on, anytime.
On that high it was hard to keep the momentum but Berlin’s one and only Party Machine was the very right choice to finish up the already all sweaty party crowd. After some hickup with the keyboards (a broken cable finally was identified as the culprit and eliminated from the proceedings) there was no stopping to and endless hit party.
Arthur and The Spooners (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Yet again it was the Monster Sound of Ska that made lame dance again and mute sing again. It most likely made blind hear again but Arthur ain’t no Jesus – he rather wants to be a Saturday Hero:
Bang! Boom! Done. All sweaty the crowd just gave in and danced the night away. It could have been endless but at the end everybody was done: On stage, off stage – just done.
Me myself and I where done too, to much of the black gold made it’s way into the pint and into me humble self. But that is the way it should be and that Friday mix of bands and style was just puuurfect.
Thus that picture had it all: Hamburg – Punk Rock City, with a beer and a stage and some choice live music. It can’t be better mate, it can’t be better.
With a neat hangover it joined the 2nd day, with 6 bands in front of me. Faces in the club slightly changed compared to Friday and some even did join the DJ Tour through the harbor. For me that would have been too much, i am to old for that shit and me body needs a good rest after a hangover.
Very early Ultra Razzia from Montreal had to take the stage, i think half of the club was still empty. As they – at least for me – turned out as a great surprise i was happy that i made it in time.
Ultra Razzia (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Just another cupboard was opened here, Oi! with a deep root in Punk i’d say. For me just perfect French Punk Rock and as ever with a problem of language as i don’t speak a single word of French.
Wow – for me the biggest surprise on both days. Very much to my liking and very much in sync with some of my favorite stuff. Please check them out, they have a neat demo for free!
Whilst Ultra Razzia where a surprise the next cupboard to be opened was a surprise by the sheer label tucked upon it: To me plain hardcore! And it was Concrete Elite from Austin with some self proclaimed Brick Wall Music.
Concrete Elite (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Very fast, very hard and the singer roaming like a H/C kid. Left, right, left, right and in between growls of anger and hate (as much as i could make out). They sounded like this:
A wee bit left field for this event but as ever there is nothing bad in stretching mu-sick-al boundaries. One thing is for sure though – they will not be voted as crowd favorites, i guess they even where too offensive for some.
What was great though was to see and hear that lead guitar (back there in the white shirt): He did hide away and did little moves but i bet ya he writes all the songs and his great guitar play carries all the songs!
Luckily next on some more mellow sounds, Bromure from Paris with some known faces. Their sound was clearly and deeply rooted in 80s French Punk and the addition of the sax makes it indeed special.
Bromure (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
They had more people in front of the stage and they had people dancing (no wonder vs. the break neck speed of Concrete Elite). I am not to sure with the sound though, to my ears that one did not sound as perfect and something felt lost in the mix (at least for my ears).
I dig them and i dig them specifically because they are different (and somehow are like having been fallen out of time). Class effort!
Where all the changeovers on stage earlier had been rather quick it took Menace a wee bit more time to be ready. That provided at least me and some around me with some frustration and that frustration did grow when they started.
Menace (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
From crowd reaction they seemed to have a top status, both the Oi! faction and the Blackpool Pilgrims had them down as great. I did see them a couple of times in the last 10 years and i have to admit i was never satisfied live.
This time round it was drawn into two directions: Once they where together on stage and sounded ok i realized that they have taken on power and speed and actually sounded very modern and up-to-date. On the other hand i did miss the bare Menace sound of all their early output and thus could not really enjoy the old favorites in the new sound.
But i was pretty much alone with that feel – around me a lot of happy people where singing and dancing and thus Menace did everything right (and i guess for once i was wrong). But that it how it is: For every band you have a sound in your brain and it is difficult to adjust your bearings.
Many people took it as the perfect set, i took it with some reservation though i guess the crowd can’t be wrong.
Next Bad Co. Project, forever with the burden of eg. „…from the ashes of Oxymoron„. Just like Menace it took them a wee bit to be ready but then they took the audience, with plenty of folks from Berlin, by storm.
BAd Co. Project (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
It’s not that i don’t like them but it is just that their mu-sick just does not resonate with me. Nothing wrong with that, it resonated with many people in the crowd and as such they seemed to have delivered what the crowd waited for (and i think it was the first ever time they graced Hamburg, so the crowd did wait for some time). Bonus: Their bass player, centered on the stage, did seem to smile through all songs and choruses – so it looked like they had fun.
Finally and quite late Gimp Fist and thus the perfect encore for the two days event. Straight on Punk Rock with some scents of early Newtown Neurotics (at least for my ears) and an ever friendly (off and on stage) Jonny Robson.
They have nothing fancy and that makes them so special. They did not even need a long setup, a few twangs and a nodding „that’ll be alright„. Menace were the loud crowd favorites – Gimp Fist were the silent majority i guess. Yet again they bring it all together and match up many sides: Be it the Blackpool Pilgrim, be it the Cock Sparrer Maniac or be it the Football, Skinhead Punk’n’Roll Fan.
Gimp Fist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
They hail from the North East, from the lovely county of Durham and as lovely as the area they are themselves. And they sure know about footie:
Perfect closure of the night i’d say. And a lot of happy faces in the audience (and one big fan almost in tears – you know who you are mate!).
Perfect two day, as said with the first day sporting a perfect setting and great variety and the 2nd day a wee bit too long (for me and me hangover). And on the next day i realized that my two days ticket had a magic number that was to help the magical FCSP through the local derby (which i skipped, for many reasons).
Thanks to all bands and fans and deep thanks to the good folks at the Monkeys for making this happen and providing a shelter for this type of Music. Your endeavors are duly noted and at least i keep you in my morning prayers!
Cock Sparrer on a European Club Tour – that was a good enough reason for the Monkeys to put together a little warm up (though i would rather guess it was supposed to be a stocking up of liquids or training ground on beer consumption for many).
The mix was great: Berlin Blackouts with a Cock Sparrer like chorus quality and The Angry Agenda a solid Oi! street credibility.
First on the Blackouts (from Berlin, indeed) and whilst on social media it was like 156 people interested in the event the turnout was … i guess not more than 50. And most of them rather into the Oi! side of things, so the Berlin Blackouts had to face a rather empty dance floor.
(Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 07.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Since i saw them last time (2015, support slot for Bishops Green) they have shrunk to a 3 piece but without loosing too much. Actually, in my ears, they gained tightness and a bit more vocal diversity. What they do they to perfect and their sound indeed is so pleasant that sometimes i miss the edges. For some it also contained too much of whoahoah in he male vocals but hey – that’s his way of singing.
And it sounded like this:
For playing a mere 20 people in front of the stage they did a solid performance and they should be back in front of many more people all geared for some sing-a-long punk. That would give them what they deserve. And more people would also improve sound, without bodies to break the sound it had a bit of an empty closet type of sound.
Actually one member in the audience spotted a point here and noted „… i think we had more people in the rehearsal room back then at times than they have here„.
With just a little bit of changeover it was then time for Watfords finest: The Angry Agenda. They are around since 2011 and they had put a heavy marker with their first 12“ „Here comes trouble„, a record full of angry barrages.
Whilst all that anger seemed to manifest itself in the front man (actually, a real Rampen-Sau as we say in German) the rest of the band was quiet (and almost shy) in the background.
The Angry Agenda
(Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 07.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Indeed they have it: The backline delivers a rock solid Oi! with an emphasis on Rock: They got more of that Motörhead or Rose Tattoo sound than of almost pop like guitar works of Cock Sparrer. And they have a loudmouth on vocals who has a story to tell – in every fucking song.
To me that was the one item that made them stand out actually – they seem not to have songs but go back to old tradition of story telling in the pub (with a bit of fitting mu-sick in the backdrop). Quite unique and very much ok with me (though i would not do every effort to see them).
They had more people in front of the stage, they had a bit of dancing but in the end of the day they too suffered from the rather low turnout.
With them done people resorted either to more beer or went home. As i was to let go Cock Sparrer at the Knust for many reasons i had a final one for the road and did hit home.
Those who love Cock Sparrer, a pint and some more i am led to believe had fun over at the Knust the next day, though local news papers seem to make a bit of a fuzz about a full blown riot (and some football rivalry) – i hear it was less of that but some unjustified violence did occur. Nevermind, that was only the 3rd reason to let that one go by…