Punk Rock Hamburg with their own “Third verse, different from the first” rather – twice delayed due to Covid. By design another evening fully local (bands and audience alike) and off the beaten track (both location down south, over the mighty river Elbe, and spread of mu-sick-al styles).
5 Bands, early start and luckily only a fast train ride south with easiest access to the location: The Stellwerk (in English Signal Box) is an unused space in the Hamburg Harburg Central Station (warning, sarcasm incoming) – a former Signal Box given up when switches and signals where electrified.
In the spacious main room the Punk Rock Hamburg family setup stage, merch and was ready for a sold-out fun evening.
The hardship of being first came down to Nixda!, who had to embark with one member being off sick. In my head i had little bad boy saying “lucky“, as the missing member was the girl who normally operates the flute (and rather strange instrument in on single-minded mu-sick-al horizon).
Nixda! (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)
Thanks to Dennis on the front they had stage presence but taking all in it was not really up my alley: They do have excellent German lyrics, some even on the clever side but their music is at bad time rather Deutsch Rock to me, at good time Deutsch Punk. But they put everything in and thus had their share of applause.
What came next though was a welcome contrast: Punk Du Arsch! are local heroes with loud (and indeed loudmouth), intolerant and exhausting Asi-Punk paired with a real showman up front.
Punk Du Arsch! (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)
They pick’n’choose from a wide variety of styles – a bit of Glam here, a bit of old Sparrer there but always fast paced and forward driving. And most of the times the lyrics aim to confront the listener or tell a tale – like this one:
And in Englisch it sounds even more hilarious: It is an ode to an unnamed Returnable Bottles Collector Of Love. Lovely stuff! They had more people in front of the stage and they had more applause – well deserved.
Next Fat Flag, a band that i never ever noted before. They already won me over when they changed on stage into stage uniform: One of the principals i stick to is that bands need to dress for the occasion and that this dressing should be orchestrated. Well done lads, you had my attention from the start.
Fat Flag (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)
Mu-sick-aly they took the audience down a more modern, more US like route with loads of breaks, speed changes and paired with German lyrics – sometimes on the clever side. And on the funny side, specifically for me mate Frosch, they had a song about spawn and pong. Very Froggy!
They where fun, they had humor and emitted that from stage And their sound actually did please my ear. I really wonder how i missed them, they seem to be around for a while. My biggest surprise that night and one of the reasons why it is worth to take such a local thingy in.
Next Norden, back from the ashes of Norden. Their start though was hampered with sound issues, not so much in front of the stage but more for Natascha on the stage. More than once she threw up her hands in frustration though whilst still trying to plow on.
Whilst she was frustrated with the sound i was frustrated with the light, it was washed up in blue with some little red thrown over, it neither looked nice in real nor anyway good on the few pics i took. Not sure if it was desired by the band, if so – just pitch dark would have worked too.
Norden (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)
With Norden the sound was moving yet again into a different direction, to the bone song structures driven forward by Jan’s excellent guitar play and the rhythm section. And on top almost storytelling by Jan with again to the bone German lyrics.
I do like what they do, specifically as it is definitely off the beaten Punk track. That said, somehow i felt that appeal was not commonly shared – i guess only a subset of the audience actually did dig them.
Late (against the running order) came the headliner and this is how they kicked off:
Bang! Different style, different speed, different presentation. The Haermorrhoids just had a blast at the Puke Fest in Münster and following the account of those present simply blew the roof of the house.
The Haermorrhoids (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)
Back home they continued in that vein, though the audience never went fully ape shit like in Münster (no flying bodies anywhere) – it was the stereotypical reserved reaction. That said, the floor was full and people where moving and enjoying it.
Their set was sharp, delivered almost without break (to make up lost time vs. the running order) and at break neck speed. As always they finished their set with my very own favorite Overdose:
Following that stage time was up but they did not give too much shit about it – speeding up even more they bashed out three more perfect Ramonescore blasts!
They had plenty of cheers, loads of applause – though that all turned into a bit of a sad moment after the show when i got to know that their bass player is no longer able to play for them. I do hope that quickly they can get someone fitting in place as currently they are a very well oiled machine at an outstanding level of performance!
And that finished off Punk Rock Hamburg Fest #3, way after midnight. The train ride home was pleasant when it came to companions but really strange when it came to locals from down south doing a Saturday night trip towards the Reeperbahn. Strange people, strange behaviors.
I guess the 3rd sold out Punk Rock Hamburg Fest was a solid success, though i have to admit that i hated the amount of smoking going on. When i finally woke up Sunday to get ready to enjoy a home win (and a home win was delivered) i had severe throat issues and felt hungover (though i only had a single beer) – all down to the smoke. If i could have a plea – non-smoking please.
I know that won’t deter the good people at #entstationpunk and #punkrockhamburg (who are to be thanked for this local festival, year on year) so here is the link for the early bid tickets for 2024. Be there or be square!