I do have a dislike towards Open Air shows, be it large festivals or just the fact that a band plays outside a building. And when then setting is paired with one of the main tourist events of Hamburg – the annual Harbor Birthday Celebration – then this dislike of thousands of tourist, zillions of drunks and endless food and drink stalls fends me off big time.
But this year Platzangst had a slot on the Jolly Roger stage and where opening for The Talks – so i did push my luck and did the trip down to the harbor .
Oh fuck – it was plain sunlight, around the stage was all sorts of disturbing sounds from booze or food stalls and in front of the stage way too few people.
Don’t know if they tailored their set to the rather unusual audience and stage but for my liking the set had too many „slower “ songs. But what did work was their stage appearance (though Boffer would have looked so much better if he too would have worn plain black or a full white contrast) and movements on the rather large stage. And the sound was perfect too, thanks to a very professional PA.
Next on The Talks, who played Hamburg in October last year when they graced the Hafenklang further down the road (and, in a better setting, sure indoor). They attracted more people (but that was down to sunset coming up) but they also attracted more who just strolled along the party as their sound is lighter, more „into the feet“ and that ska appeal that makes people naturally move.
I think they have a career ahead if they play their cards right, just on that edge of lighter indie/pop/ska play that in the UK attracts people. But also in Hamburg they where able to grab people just by the sound. So all-in-all not bad at all.
Once The Talks where done i could have stayed on to see C³I on the Störtbecker Stage up on Hafenstraße but my dislike of the surrounding (and the rather stiff cold blow from the riverside) did fend me off and i took the train home.
Both bands, indoor, i’ll take on anytime. Open Air? Just sucks.
Tradition is something to hold on to that gives you a warm and cozy feeling. To that extend i love traditions like eg. the annual christmas party we used to have at our favorite record shop „Unterm Durchschnitt“ in the 80s that always ended on booze and stupid (but sure executed) ideas like burning non-sold record (or records we believed should be burned). Sometimes traditions are also providing the warmth and coziness to overcome sad memories.
It has been another 4 years since Schwabe from the mighty Razors passed away following a sad accident. This fundamental loss for the Hamburg punk (and oldpunk specificaly) scene has fueled the continuation of a by now new tradition: Spend a day at year end with the Razors and some friends, live and loud. 2014 was V8 of this attempt and again it was „in style“.
Kick off was early with Eat The Bitch, a young hardcore band from Hamburg. As ever the first stint on the stage is the hardest but they managed their way through it. I’d say they gave the „edge“ to the evening!
Next on Hotel Energieball (at least partially from the ashes of „The Revolvers“) from what we call the „Ruhrpott“ – guests from far you could say. Musically for sure the most gifted, sound wise the cleanest and all vocals in plain german – some call it „Glam Punk“ but i just say it is plain good and driving musick. Their biggest bonus? Nope, not the surfer on guitar – it was the bass player. Go see yourself for a great and energetic performance!
And that gave way to more local heroes, Platzangst seem at it again and i am sure there is a record soon to happen. This time round they practiced more and they are now much better together. If i can have a christmas wish i’d say give Boffer some cleaner english (or stay with german vocals) and disallow Scholle some guitar wanking. But they had it all back in the early 80s and they still have it now and even some new songs of quality!
As a surprise guest Frankie (first ever singer for Platzangst) was back in Hamburg (he now resides in much more sunnier Portugal) and not only joined the party in front of the stage but gave vocals to the standard encore: „An der Waterkant“ remains „the“ Hamburg punk hymn. That was great to see!
And – for the fun of it – they now added a stage entry. Well done but next time remember to stay out of view whilst the song plays!
And the evening ended with Hamburgs finest: the Razors went from nowhere (and that was 1977 and Hamburg) to actually nowhere near stardom but a real cool punk rock band. Their first incarnation ceased in i think 1984, somewhere in the late 90s/early 2000 i believe they got it going again (at least i recall a killer show at Kampnagel) and by now they are at it again. What was really low key (by all means) punk rock in 70s, british influenced pogo punk in the 80s has now been tuned up, speeded up (namely by the blizzard guitar sound of Witte) and is „up to date“ (and for my likeing sometimes too fast).
I was to thrilled to record a song, but see here for yerself (with their own ode to Schwabe):
In case you like it, get their stuff. If you want to trial – download their full discography (the „Dirty Thrirty“ 2CD Album) from Youtu.be:
Note: It ain’t a bootlegged copy, it was the bands concious choice to put it there!
And it all ended with DJ Christian and even more musick that got the oldpunks going. And that was old German stuff, new and old Englisch stuff and the full blown sing-a-long rest. That and even more beer made it a worthwhile evening with lifelong friends – so the best setting to keep loving memories of those gone. And the best: when stumbling down to the tube we caught a train by chance and where home like nothing. Killer evening, killer hangover. Love the setting!
PS: Dress of the evening goes to Toni for the Descendents Christmas Sweater – JEALOUS!
Have you ever been close to tragedy? Or been close to folks who have? Have you ever felt the pain so powerful, so heavy you collapse? I’ve never had to knock on wood, but I know someone who has.
I do not know how lucky you guys and gurls have been, but if you are lucky than your loved ones are all still around and (more or less) all well. But life ain’t always that sunny and whilst you enjoy life there are some dark clouds around and eventually (and in the end for sure) some rain will fall.
One of me best mates was knocked into intensive care in hospital earlier this year out of the blue and had to battle hard. Very hard. And came out all lucky. Which made plenty of folks very happy. And it did prove that friendship is there to be proven in hard times and sustained in a crisis. That’s what the lot did, that’s why the lot did party, and hard it did party thanks to the bands and the DJ (who wasn’t hanged).
You know who you are, i do thank you and i do love you (all).