… come storm or high tide: Power Pop sets sail (Sixteen) Again!

Now that shows are less constrained once a venue has decided for what is in Germany called 2G (attendees and participants on the band and venue side need to be either be proven recovered from Covid or vaccinated ) also the smaller venues come back: Be it Hafenklang or MS Hedi.

What under normal circumstances would have been a nice boat ride into the sunset turned out in late October as a battle vs. storm Ignatz, who provided both wind, waves and a high tide leading to some flooding in the harbor area.

Some 60something folks set foot on the MS Hedi and where greeted by some groovy Brit Pop singles put on by DJ Helge.

Whilst his choice of music was good i have to admit his handling of precious singles was less: Don’t touch the vinyl is a ground rule that we #recordcollectorsrepretentiousassholes should always maintain!

Everybody on board was quite happy (and chatty) that live-mu-sick now comes back also beyond local bands, everybody starts to buy tickets again, all the way up to March next year.

Eventually DJing stopped and Sixteen Again took the floor (due to lack off a stage on the MS Hedi). As the stormy weather was still difficult it was decided to have the first set moored at dock.

Sixteen Again – Setlist (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 21.10.2021 (c) gehkacken.de)

The first set was solely dedicated to the Œuvre of Esquires Shelly and Diggle, all those juvenile love or teenage angst songs we all can sing-a-long, day or night. And singing-a-long and dancing (as much as possible) did the connoisseurs whilst the band tried to keep their posture … even moored there was enough movement of the floor.

Sixteen Again (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 21.10.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

Sixteen Again plowed through the set with both energy and fun and you could sense that they have managed to to fully get themselves into these songs. What sure also helps is that singing duties are split, giving the songs the different variations that are needed.

For the 2nd set the Captain of the MS Hedi decided to set sail, the low frequency feel of the engine did climb up our feet. It was to be a cautions route though, no too much into the open waters of the river Elbe, where wind and waves still rules the water.

Sixteen Again (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 21.10.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)

The 2nd set was dedicated to other British Power Pop, some of these songs worked surprisingly good, others where impacted by the much more wobbly waters. Unfortunately my own favorite one (Ghosts Of Princess In Towers) was totally slaughtered – both their redemption did not work and the waves did impact the play.

In the end two and a half hours of good entertainment with friends on the road back to normal. Given the Covid numbers still a long road, but i guess we are getting there.

What still frustrates the hell out of me though are people that moan about venues that for themselves (and their staff) decide for 2G, i really do not see how can ask for everything from anybody but yourself puts noting in for somebody.

Whatever, lets crack on: Next stop Hafenklang. Looking forward.

… yesterday Punk Rock Raduno, today Hamburg!

All my friends went to Punk Rock Raduno and all i ever got was … Kepi Ghoulie and The Copyrights.” On a boat. In Hamburg. But better than nothing. Actually quite good.

One of the Hamburg Punk Rock Raduno travelers was already back and joined me, the rest took easy flights home and were to be back in Hamburg later. And one of those who stayed on actually put an extra effort in to get me something more than nuthin’ back from Bergamo.

... my PRR Golden Tickets thanks to Nicole, though without luck!
… my PRR Golden Tickets thanks to Nicole, though without luck!

What was at stake was something super cool, something handcrafted (and something i would have me love to accept in front of our door):

Milo Doormat (limited edition #1/1)
Milo Doormat (limited edition #1/1)

Ticket #55 did win this beauty, with #58 on me this was near but unlucky. And damn to learn later that the beauty was won by Marien Jonkers of the beloved Windowsills from Rotterdamn. I think i now must consider to burn all of their records in my collection. Whilst i was without luck, that one Punk Rock Raduno traveler that came home early had a lucky ticket and won … a guitar. Lucky you Uli!

The well filled but not packed MS Hedi was to set sail early, for two round trips through the harbor. First on Kepi with an acoustic followed by The Copyrights with their own set. After a quick changeover dockside for replenishment of booze it would be then a 2nd trip, this time with Kepi Ghoulie + The Copyrights = Groovie Ghoulies.

Kepi Ghoulie (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 15.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Kepi first and the ever charming guy. Armed with his acoustic guitar and his harmonica as a secondary weapon he provided us with some gentle songs from his vast output. I am not a particular fan of “acoustic” as i prefer amplified strings. It may have worked better with some warm weather and sunshine but that Monday evening Hamburg was rather cloudy and cold.

Next The Copyrights, from Carbondale, Illinois in the US of A. From the school of Mass Giorgini as i like to refer this high energy pop-punk to. The internet (damn internet, never forgets) provides a much worse linkage: “Both the sloppy, slacker pop-punk of, say, early Green Day with the slightly more polished sheen of Teenage Bottlerocket or recent Bouncing Souls“.

I think i will never get used to people needing a navigation chart to make out music. It is to experienced live and it either speaks to you or not. It can be digested on vinyl (or other formats) and either speaks to you or not. If a band speaks both live and on record to you they most likely touch your heart, your soul and your brain. And you will enjoy.

The Copyrights (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 15.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And that’s what i did for the Copyrights own set – perfect pop (remember, it comes from popular) songs in best 1:23 tradition with loads of chorus, breaks and … little chance to make out lyrics given the tiny PA for vocals on the boat. But they have everything for getting a great live experience across. And they had a visible female support in the audience, actually not a surprise!

Bonus: Both guitars did not move the necks, hence non-one of the audience (standing in close combat distance) was hurt.

After a quick docking and a few more crates of beer being dragged on board the MS Hedi took off again into the sunset … almost. Kepi & The Copyrights took the floor and they kicked in like this:

It was to be a great mixture of Groovie Ghoulies songs either prepared or requested by the audience. Given the Copyrights energy and speed they where mostly uptempo and indeed they where fun.

Kepi Ghoulie and The Copyrights (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 15.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

For both it was the first time (as Kepi did not play bass for Chixdiggit when they graced the MS Hedi two years ago) playing on a small vessel and they had surprisingly steady feet (and stomachs) – nobody got seasick. They where lucky maybe, as there was little traffic in the harbor (ie. less waves from passing ships) and little wind.

An enjoyable evening with great music for me, my ear was also pleased by some sirens singing songs of “come to Punk Rock Raduno“. I think if i ever do a multi-day festival than it sure won’t be Rebellion and it can’t be Punk Rock Bowling. I guess then it must be Punk Rock Raduno. Let’s see what the 2020 schedule offers…

… how 4 people can enlighten 50 odd on a small vessel and how 11 people can get 28.000 aroused: A typical Monday evening nightmare!

Ever since my beloved football team resides in the 2nd League it has been a common fixture to see a Friday home game that kicks off at 18:30 followed by a show in one of my favourite clubs nearby starting somewhere after 21:00 – so a nice entry into a weekend with some great footie and some lovely mu-sick.

This Monday evening it was all upside down: The Haermorrhoids and Chixdiggit (a professional rock band from Calgary) where set to grace the MS Hedi (a tiny vessel orbiting the Hamburg Harbour) and Dynamo Dresden was set to face the mighty FCSP at the Millerntor in what was the first home game of the new season.

The MS Hedi would set sail at 19:00 and kick-off for the televised Monday Night Top Game was to be 20:30 and thus throwing me and some mates into difficulties. We decided to keep the route, though reversed and in consequence accepted a run from the riverside through St. Pauli to the stadium, knowing we would only make it to half time.

Support on the MS Hedi was by hometown heroes The Haermorrhoids who, by today logic, sport a rather old fashioned pop punk in US style. Currently they seem the play every slot they can go onto and playing so often has created a tight set. And indeed a tight set was delivered on the slippery planks of the MS Hedi.

The Haermorrhoids (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 07.08.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

They have their own songs, they have some clever (Dicks – Hate the Wasserschutzpolizei) and some less clever covers (Ramones – Havana Affair) but most of all they have drive, they have chorus and they have presence:

Much to my surprise I did dig them, either must have been the sunny surrounding or simply the fact that they were indeed solid. I guess I’ll soon have another chance to grab them and then will see if it also works in a dodgy, filthy and dark club.

With some short re-dock of the MS Hedi and some swap of equipment the party set sail for another journey and this time it was for Chixdiggit to accustom themselves to the non-existing stage, the ever moving floor and the fact that you just can’t swing around with your guitar neck out as you would hurt someone.

Without further ado KJ and his ever changing backing band took the floor, did little adjustments of the volume levels of the amps and questioned the audience if all sound great. It did and thus the show went ahead. And from the start it was “fun fun fun” and loads of smiles.

Chixdiggit (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 07.08.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

And as always KJ was the ever friendly and talkative frontman that kept the audience engaged and in sync. And because of the setting on the vessel he gave the song selection to the audience, seeking input and consent on what to play next.

Fun moment was when KJ got slightly distracted and his eyes went really big: Two huge Navy vessels came into very very close view (literally the tiny MS Hedi came to deliver a broadside of Mu-sick) and for a second KJ lost his plot. But then he was quick-witted to change the words of the song on the fly and put these nasty gray monsters into the flow.

Chixdiggit vs. Navy (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 07.08.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

And as this seemed to be a lucky day I was able to get my very personal favourite song done by simply throwing it in at the right point in time. So here is the ode to the famous Boston Bruins goalie, not played on ice but on the jucy waters of the river Elbe. Nevertheless, it’s a timeless beauty and one of the most perfect odes to a sports hero.

And they kept playing, KJ kept informing fans (many came from abroad for this very special charter cruise) about the things to see riverside (like our fucking expensive Opera House) and they just could not stop playing. Even as the captain turned the MS Hedi back to the landing bridge they blasted another one only to try to do a final song when the vessel was already moored (something that technically wasn’t allowed).

Great show, loads of fun and with a perfect sunset. Me mate Frosch got all exited that he wanted a memory but he spoiled it by telling KJ that he has a ticket for footie and no spare for Chixdiggit (who were interested too). Bad move mate, bad move!

KJ & Frosch (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 07.08.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)
KJ & Frosch (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 07.08.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)

And then we had to hurry, already knowing that we missed two goals (unfortunately it was 1:1 rather than a joyful 2:0). I arrived on my seat  just when the half time whistle was blown.

Me love and me friends reported “soso” for the first half and noted that we gave away a rather easy goal. Starting into he 2nd half FCSP got the better of it and was able to turn the almost perfect tactical set visualised below into quick attacks, scoring another goal by Buchtmann and almost scoring a 3rd one (offside by inches).

Millerntor (07.08.2017 21:44 (c) gehkacken.de)
Millerntor (07.08.2017 21:44 (c) gehkacken.de)

But then again a tiny miss in the defense gave away another goal and then Dresden did shut down and the mighty FCSP never got back into danger territory.

And just seeing one half was strange, so i never really got into it in the same way i usually do. Still, unbeaten and looking up rather than down – that’s a good start into the season and valued by the fans.

Millerntor (07.08.2017 22:28 (c) gehkacken.de)
Millerntor (07.08.2017 22:28 (c) gehkacken.de)

And as the evening started with singing it also closed with the crowd singing for the team.

And fun thing: All goals for FCSP this season scored so far by Buchtmann! Every “Team of the week” of the German footie paper Kicker included … Buchtmann! Great to see him excel this season!

Forza FCSP! And thanks Chixdiggit for ensuring my upsidedown Monday evening did work out.