… neither poor in taste nor weird in sound: 6x pure surprises!

Already the 7th edition of this poor mans travelling circus, this time with The Briefs as headliner (and – wild guess – name giver). Location was to be the Molotow, which is for me always something … dunno … painful. Like some others i never got warm with their new location (and layout) at the bottom end of the Reeperbahn.

Kick off was very early and with the Anger Boys from sunny Recklinghausen. The classify themselves as „weird n‘ nervous hardcore punk!“ and they come across as short bursts of sometimes structured and sometime less structured noise topped with some very capable female vocals.

Anger Boys (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

They had like a 20 minute blast into a largely empty room (once they had sorted some bass amp signal issues) and they indeed did surprise me. I will definitely check out their demo and for sure i will give them another chance (on a different stage hopefully).

With a very quick changeover Bad Affair from Hamburg took the stage and they too surprised me. I saw them in April and boy have they improved since then. I would not even know where to start …

Bad Affair (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

… i guess key item is that they have balanced singing and guitar and that they have been able to pen down some really good songwriting: Complex where needed, powerful and with a real drive. I will definitively watch out for more, time being you will need to resort to their demo (as the last 6 tapes did sell out on that night, or?). Good stuff and again female fronted … something that unfortunately did not last through the proceedings.

Local heroes The Haermorrhoids claimed the stage next and they have by now perfected both their setup and how they deliver:

Tick for stage attire. Tick for in-sync movements of Guitar and Bass. Tick Tick Tick for being solid, together, tight – just class. Can’t phrase it different. The sound though at the Molotow was less than perfect – i’d love to see on the perfect stage, with the perfect sound system and the perfect sound man. That’ll be fun!

The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

The Molotow by now was well filled and sure their fan base was front row and cheering. If i noted correctly they have just come back from a short tour in Italy, so it was really a well oiled machine – delivering new songs and classics like this one from their debut record:

Boy do i look forward to the next album. And please do surprise me by having it recorded at Sonic Iguana and produced by Mass Giorgini or – if easier – record and produce it at the Blasting Room. Bang! That would put you and Hamburg on the map. Big time.

Class set as ever, quick, fast – no fills.

Next on from those alpine meadows of Switzerland the Bad Mojos. They took off where them Haermorrhoids left it: Fast paced and sunny one minute blasts of fun and joy. And they also knew that it take formal stage attire to be successful – so they dressed up for the occasion.

Nice cheap mans space outfit? Or sweat-suits as they have to make weight? What ever, it nicely fitted and gave their set the visual perfection that matched the music.

And another big surprise, as they got me left-field: I thought i have seen them before at a Get!Lost!Fest! but they did not impress me – now their less than 2 minutes blasts just sounded perfect.

Bad Mojos (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

And these blasts are lightweight high speed punk hymns with a strong fuck you anyway empathy, as expressed in their current record:

I HOPE YOU O​.​D. (Bad Mojos, released February 20, 2019)

 1. DIGGIN' MY OWN GRAVE 01:32	
 2. BABY I'M DOOMED 01:17	
 3. I WANNA BE DEAD 01:02	
 4. I HATE 01:09	
 5. COMMIT A CRIME 01:57	
 6. POLICE CAR 01:23	
 7. I HOPE YOU OD 01:48	
 8. TOO DRUNK 01:23	
 9. OUT OF CONTROL 01:46	
10. EVERYBODY HATES ME 01:28

Any doubts? Nope!

They were forced to play an encore (despite the running order not allowing for it) and gave an ode to Ian Stuart and safe car driving – indeed a perfect poor and weird extra! Well done lads!

With so much fun and high speed blasts it was time for something different. And something different we got: UK ’79 – ’81 (surprisingly the name of their recent effort) was the theme and the age of the musicians was slightly older than what we had seen before.

DefektDefekt (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

They hail from Bremen, have an English contingent and mix their string duties: Mid way bass and guitar swooped duties and with that also slightly changed the sound.

At the start it sound „hard mod„, later it sounded definitely like something i heard back then via John Peel on BFBS (and relentlessly taped it). They sing in German, in English and i believe i heard another language on top.

Great stuff, excellent musicians but … stage attired could be improved if you ask me. But to me they turned out as the biggest surprise: I tend to ignore Bremen where i can (for all sorts of bad reasons), so i did not catch them prior. Great set and towards a packed house by now.

It all felt rushed, or, in a positive way, without delays. Reason must be that the Molotow wanted to max turnover/turnaround on that Friday, ie. the live music should be over by 23:00 so that they can fill the club with entertainment seeking youth („suburban hipsters“ as someone pointed out).

Headlining thus came fast and furious … and from The Briefs – still one of the most entertaining party machines around. They conquered the Monkeys last December and they conquered indeed the packed Molotow this December.

All singing, all dancing and a huge number of smiles in the faces of the good people attending. Whilst on stage it was sans the female element in front of the stage a notable number of female enjoyed it and danced away. To get you into the mood spin the video and sing-a-long:

Outside the walls a curtain calls
i cant believe were here at all
what you see i do believe
i got no place, no place to bleed
i've got nothing left, i've got nothing right
i've got not place to sleep tonite,
cuz what you see is what you get
i don't want your sympathy yet

Ain't it the truth
ain't it the truth that hurts
there's no excuse
and it could only get worse

Faze in this world are hard to face
i must agree i hate this place
the cover ups have all been shown
we pay no mind, don't want to know
we don't hear a word, we don't need to think
we don't want no trouble don't change a thing
cuz life's much better when you close your eyes
But i cant live in your disguise

Ain't it the truth
Ain't it the truth that hurts
There's no excuse
and it will only get worse, and worse, and worse...

So all the morons stand it lines
we turn cheeks and eat the lies
the TV news is nice and dull
the networks keep us comfortable
leave it alone, there's nothing wrong
shows over folks so just move along
and in the end we'll wonder why
then we'll count to ten and say good bye

Ain't it the truth
ain't it the truth that hurts
there's no excuse
ain't it the truth that always hurts
ain't it the truth... etc...

Steve and Daniel on Guitar, Chris on Drums and Pascal on Bass – did anyone actually realize that this makes the Briefs a 50% German band? Chris lives here and Pascal is German. Great to claim such a great band!

There was no stopping in the barrage of hits and there was no stopping in the audience enjoying it. They are though not too much a chatty band, they rely on the songs to get their message across.

The Briefs (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)

Once done the audience demand more and screwing the set timeline they embarked on a couple of songs encore, including their own little self-assessment of them as Americans:

Sing-a-long again:

We American's is dirty
We American's is positive
We don't know if we should be
We American's is cowboys
We American's love guns
Ain't no one can stop us
Not even them injuns

So shoot the president
Forget the national debt
It makes no difference to me
It don't effect my rent you see
And it has always been this way and it won't change
God bless the good old USA

We American's can't write
We American's don't read
And we don't want nobody
Telling us what we need

'cause were better then that
And were better then this
And were better then everybody else
We got the dollars and we got the cents

And it has always been this way and it won't change
God bless the fucked up USA

You know you can't complain
We'll just wipe out the stains
We like to suck before we spit
We spray pain on the walls
'cause we love those shopping malls
All those purple track suits make me sick
That's it, we quit

We American's is stupid
We American's don't write
Ain't no one can stop us
'cause we do what we like

Classic and actually no surprise. But how nicely it all fitted together over 6 bands and how great the tight schedule worked to give the audience a non-stop enjoyment from 18:30 to 23:15 – wow! And for the The Briefs the surprise i would like to see is … get them to cover the first two The Boys records!

Surprisingly good entertainment on a Saturday evening in December, at a location that just does not resonate with as much as the bands resonated with me.

Great travelling circus and by no means poor entertainment and weird music – i hope this now gets a firm annual repeat!

… poor attendance and weird scifi punk from 2077: Surprises on all fronts!

I missed the Get! Lost! Fest last year yet again due to overlap with my annual pilgrimage to Odsherred, so the Poor & Weird fest caught my eye early on … but only when i realized that it was Head from Seattle on the rooster i got really exited. Head, one of the coolest Ramonescore bands and with their early records forever a deep love of mine (and i never caught them live before).

The show was supposed to happen on the main stage of the Molotow but due to the tiny pre-sales (37 tickets if i understood correctly) it was moved up into the Sky Bar (and Lene Lovich took the main stage).

Kick off was early with Hamburgs own Küken and they faced more fellow musicians than paying customers i bet. But that did not stop them to deliver a very tight set, almost feeling like a block of metal: solid, no frills and coming at the audience!

Küken (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

To me still one of the best things Hamburg has to offer and quite off the beaten track with a unique sound. If only they would get a perfect setting in terms of stage, sound and a packed and eager audience. They deserve it.

They did max 30 mins (but i bet 15 songs or more) and then dropped it.

Next So What and i had no clue what to expect. What took the stage looked like something that would fit much better at the Monkeys, a few roads up west; A bit of skinhead look and plenty of sideburns (actually making them the „sideburns of the night“ winner). I had no clue what to expect but they sounded like this:

And they have a great own cupboard to name their style: HARD GUM!

SO WHAT's debut LP is filled with stompers, hand clappers, and all the riffs that matter. Co-released by Just Add Water Records (USA) and Surfin' Ki (Italy). From the GLAMTASTIC pounding drums, Moogs, and big fuzzy riffs of "Where We Going" and "Why Can't I See You Tonight", to the EQUALS-esque "Don't Come Back" and "What You Said", this album is chock-full of HITS! 

Go and check them out – they are worth it! Only after the event i learned that actually they struggled a bit: They bass player could not travel and was replaced plus their drummer had other touring duties and also had to be replaced – not the best setting but they did show that they have also found their own niche, somewhere next to Guida and more rooted in high energy rock.

So What (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

First surprise of the night for me, i will definitely check them out in more detail. And yet again another brick in that wall that is spray painted „you got to see bands to learn new sounds„!

Next Slander Tongue from Berlin Neuköln and with that a familiar face from the Get! Lost! circuit. And for me an almost immediate dislike: It took them way to long to get set and the guitar player on the left to me somehow made the impression that he was pissed off by something and was not happy.

Slander Tongue (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

The singer had a neat Billy Idol snear but their mu-sick meant nothing to me. Besides making a not happy impression they did have a Buddha like rhythm section of Bass and Drums that carried them along. I have no clue in reality of the working of that band but i would not have been surprised if they had split right in the stage. Sorry, not my thingy.

When the next group, The Scaners from sunny Lyon in France, prepared the stage it started to look different, namely as they setup some electrical stuff: Next to a keyboard with some effects they also mounted a Theremin, which is coolest thing since time travel was invented. The last band i saw with that was Man or Astro-man? and that means an immediate like!

And once they where done they also took on a unique stage uniform and that made them kings of the night by all counts (of mine, sure). And they sounded like this:

Bingo – i did hit jackpot! Scifi Hardcore! I always liked Scifi Surf but paring the theme with fast paced punk from 2077: Just a grand idea and just puuurfect! And speed they had, the songs on their first LP are about 1:something on average and here they packed like 20something songs into their set.

The Scaners (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Just a great show with all showmanship ingredients (and details) it needs: The drummer counting into the songs like DeeDee Ramone, the bass player putting the power into the songs, the guitar wandering around and making use of the Theremin with his guitar neck and the singer (with a Michael Jackson glove on one hand) providing the fancy sound from effects.

The Scaners (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

I did not expect this and i had no clue that such a little niche existed and was actually manned by those boys from France of all places. Now i see a Man or Astro-man? return tour to Germany and them Scaners as support in me brain, i guess i need to start playing lottery to make up the money for that event!

The Scaners got the crowd moving for the first time though it was not more than 50 people (and within that a large contingent from Italy that only ever flew in to see Head). Great Band, great show and indeed a unique kind of fun. You must trust me and check them out, now (or be poor forever)!

And the next surprise followed suit: That Head where a 3 piece by now i knew but when they setup their gear they looked … almost non-descriptive. Evading identification. But it must be Head, as they setup the barest of things: A guitar left, a bass right and the drummer only a bass drum and a snare, paired with two sets of cymbals. No toms whatsoever.

Head (Molotow, Hamburg, 10.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Soundcheck was done by doing three chords and asking the audience „is it loud enough?„, that’s how i expect it from a band with some routine. And they delivered a set that was somehow also surprising, first see for yerself:

I had a bit of an itch, a nagging in the back of my brain and i could not make out what it was until one of me mates asked me „… we have been to shows now for almost 40 years, we have never seen a band with less charisma haven’t we?“ that i realized what itch was nagging me. In some form it was the essence of bare bone, the core of reduction, the … nevermind, it felt strange. It was strange.

What was not strange was the songs, though they had some hick-ups within them (they seemed not fully oiled). The Italian fans in front of the stage where decently loaded and did not mind, they sang away with joy (as i did silently) and had their fists in the air.

Sure thing i took on to get the vinyl on offer: The 2xLP Version of the discography (somehow not needed as i have all stuff on Evil Clown Records from them) and the new German styled tour EP. Neat.

#recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes
#recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes

And after Head i was done (and i was not the only one). The day started with a first beer at 12:00 (for a 13:00 home game kick off) and by now had stretched quite far into the night. I decided to stroll home and miss Derv Gordon. Two mates stayed and reported later that it went on to become a bit of party fun with old Equals songs … not sure if it would have been enough for me to sustain further on.

It may have sound like this aka Derv Gordon with So What as backing band:

And that against the original sound from the B/W times (and a funny video from the Bremen Beat Club filmed in the old part of Bremen):

In sum a neat and diverse package that Otis Tours put on the road, it just did hit Hamburg on the wrong day (against shows in every other club in town) and thus with a tiny turnout (and a loss for those putting it on). I can only forever urge people to come out and try something – there may be surprises friends, just like on this Poor & Weird Fest!