… showboating with the Razors!

It will be a busy week for the Razors, they have a rather big show ahead at the Markthalle as support for Toxoplasma and Dead Kennedys (sans Jello). As a warm up they took largely Friends and Family in a perfect showboat setting through the Hamburg Harbor.

Best weather after another hot day in Hamburg, with a slight breeze coming from the east, calm waters and still beautiful sunshine … there ain’t not better way to cruise the harbor than that.

With a slight delay the MS Hedi took off for a first round towards the west, aiming to please the lot with a first “classic” set.

Razors – Set List 1st leg (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 23.08.2022)

As always on the MS Hedi it is the non-existent stage, the non-existent distance between band and audience and the need for steady feet (as the mighty river Elbe can be surprisingly bumpy, specifically for a tiny vessel like the MS Hedi) that makes shows so intimate and – with the right weather like on this evening – so joyful, almost like a holiday cruise.

Razors (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 23.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

The Razors kicked off and had some rather sympathetic hick-ups, false starts and missed chords along the way, all of them simply smiled away and laughed off – both by the band the audience.

From the start it was rather sing-a-long, having an after work drink with friends and enjoying classic Razors songs and classic covers.

Razors (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 23.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

After venturing out towards the big container ships moored at the Tollerort the Hedi slowly returned towards the landing bridge for allowing passengers off/on, just to start again.

This time round the Razors treated the lot with a different set and uncommon covers from Damned and Dirt Box Disco.

Razors – Set List 2nd leg (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 23.08.2022)

By now the Razors were in the groove and fueled the fun like a well oiled engine and the lot reflect the fun back to them … one happy family.

Razors (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 23.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

And believe it or not, that engine ain’t an old, battered and rather powerless engine like in Sven’s motorcycle (a 1974 Japanese device) but has the ability to go boost. And boost it got on “No Brains” – they offered it fast and where challenged to complete it below 30 seconds (on the first LP from 1980 it is 0:36, the re-recording on “New Trash” (from 2021) clocks in at 0:34).

Sven took that challenge and indeed battered them home below 30 seconds. Only to be challenged again for an even faster version. And they did! “No Brains” again, even faster, and reaching towards the 0:20 mark. Almost Weinerschnitzel territory!

Razors (MS Hedi, Hamburg, 23.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

And to the sing-a-long ode “Because You’re Young” the MS Hedi took back towards the mooring, alongside the Promenade that was full of tourists. Those tourists looked quite astonished down towards the tiny vessel full of singing people (being backed by blaring noise). Home bound we where – never walking alone!

Perfect evening out with perfect companionship. I do hope the Razors can play an at least half full Markthalle on the weekend and get the same cheering support. I will miss it, both due to not being really fond of the other bands and the simple fact that me and me love take off for some well deserved battery recharging at Jammerbugten.

… records for the masses, Razors style!

If these odd times are good for one thing, then it may be providing leasure time for people to record something. Also our hometown heroes, the Razors, had an urge to get something done and documented, i guess both because of the new line up and because the last real Razors vinyl dates back to 2004 (the Cut The Crap Single on Klartext Records).

So in October 2020 the Razors went back to the Studio, recorded 6 songs including two cover songs that for a long time had been live favorites and queued for pressing capacities in the record production plants. And now it’s June 2021 and their New Trash 12″ is out on Hamburgs own La Pochette Surprise Records.

When and how a record release party could be thrown was for some time not clear but once regulation allowed eg. the Knust to throw outdoor shows a date was fixed. And lucky they where, in best summer weather the Razors could say “Hi there” to 220 friends who where both up for the moment and up for another sunny afternoon with good music and friends.

They kicked off early, the kicked off in the blinding sun and in parallel to my Danish friends winning just another game at this rather useless footie event. So there they stood, locking shiny and good and getting blinded by the sun.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

For me it is still an unusual setting, 200+ folks with max. 8 per table in a seated arrangement. But it does lead to more talking, it does lead to more booze. And frank, as with the limited tickets that can be sold, the clubs need to have booze turnover to break even. I guess the Knust eagerly waits for the next Gerd show, as then record booze turnover is guaranteed.

How did it sound? It sounded actually perfect, though it looks strange to see amplifiers turned towards the band rather then the audience. But the Knust invested into a cool setup for the outdoor shows and thus the sound was near perfect (and eventually had to respect Neighbors in the near living quarter).

They had fun, both playing these old songs and throwing in newer ones (and newer ones means that they came eg. after 1982). Whatever, the lot liked it and the lot knew it was a proper lead in for another friendly family meeting.

The family actually spreads wide, some folks took 500 km trips to spend the weekend with the Razors and the lot (and too much booze). Call it family, call it community – i just call many of them long running friends. Would you listen in to discussions about the Boomtown Rats show 1978 in Hamburg anywhere else? Would somewhere else newspaper clips about the Lurkers show in the Sounds (Wandsbek back then) be handed out?

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

It is the Razors at something like a new high, well embedded into that community and being a tight family also up there, on the stage. They have picked up a slightly better sound since they added Stoffel and you can sense that they are fully in it, as much as you can be in a non-professional DIY setting.

I like it and i do like to hear my all time favorite:

Yep, one of the first “sing-a-long raise your fist we are the gang” songs that i absorbed early on from a German band. And German bands where notoriously bad back then in getting such a thing done in style.

It went like a breeze on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon (that it actually was) and it went utterly unpretentious. Yes, there was the equivalent to an encore. Yes, there where T-Shirts sold (plenty). And yes, there where fans that got their records signed (though particular member of the Razors attempted to cross out other members signatures). And there was one fellow who decided to get his body autographed (and subsequently may even got that tattooed).

As you can see – a worthwhile record release party, DIY style.

After that came the 2nd best part, listening DJ Christian with some classic punk singles, criss-crossing the sub-genres and years plus chatting with friends from near and far.

A happy family! (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

Happy customers? Nope, happy family. Without a doubt. If eventually that setting is the new normal for the remainder of the summer and into autumn so it be, i am ready for it though i need to reduce the acceptance of booze.

Thanks again to those who made it possible (you know who you are, we love you) and thanks to those who cheered the band. Almost 45 years in and now putting out one of the greatest power pop songs of all times in Razors style – cudos!

And thus it is time that you get this red beauty too my friend, you will not be disappointed!

… a happy family, united!

Slowly the circuit is taking up traction again, though times are still tough and that 2nd wave not only ripples through other countries but also through Germany. Plus continued issues with some bars, clubs and locations on the entertainment circuit that do not adhere to the rules and good practices to keep themselves and their customers save making it harder for the clubs to put on shows.

The Knust did open air and seated indoors, the Monkeys does the same (though took a month out now), the Hafenklang given size stays shut (though has a Kiosk thing going) and the Molotow uses the open-air backyard to enable some seated live shows.

The Razors family came from near (that is obviously Hamburg) and far (that is as far as another hanseatic city on a shallow river to the south-west).

The CHUCKS GANG: Hamburg 1977 Punk Rockers paired with a star from GERD – one mask is missing or two masks are surplus…

Folks where eager and happy, though procedures still suck: As me mate Luke experienced prior to the show you can only get a beer from the nearby pub if you are seated. And in the Molotow you are guided to your table. 8 per table, split into 4 vs. 4 with a segregation made from plastic. Not really the most sexy setting but at last it is “live and loud” and i can chat with fellow #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic connoisseurs.

First off Never Wanted, a young 3 piece from Hamburg. Following rather odd jokes around “where is their bass player” we realized it is intended to be Vocals, Guitar and Drums alone. Strange stage visual, specifically as the stage was set for a 4 piece, so it had a wide open left side.

Never Wanted (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.09.2020)

I always try to be fair but i also always stick to write up what i saw, heard – experienced for myself. And here the setup just did not work: German humpta-punk with a much too dominating rock guitar (up to and including axe wanking and a way too large effect board on the floor).

Sorry, did not make click for single minute, just only ever for seconds. At least the lyrics where above humpta slogans occasionally, though still had elements of it. Not my thing, sorry.

Next the Razors, 2nd gig with Stoffel on Guitar. And Gott locked away behind a wall of plastic, one of the new normal we gotta accept time being. Prior to the show they all emitted quite some joy of playing life again so quickly and that joy was transported over in the show.

To the max. See them “Jump”:

For me there was a large part of feeling “back home”, same feeling i had during the Punk Rock Hamburg weekend last month. Boy did i miss this: Chatting with friends, having a drink, surprising mates with a drink, being surprised with a drink and the friends on stage pushing great loud and fast mu-sick into me ears.

Razors (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.09.2020)

Whilst the outdoor setting still sucks the Molotow backyard is a rather cozy place, with lots of parasols and that gives an almost indoor feeling. And whilst the Razors plowed ahead both the band and the audience had their smiles growing: This is what we thrive for, collectively.

And with new blood the Razors indeed have turned around very old songs and upgraded them to almost hardcore smashers. Whilst i value that attempt (to the max actually), i did complain with the band after the show that where not able to clock this in below the 02:00 mark – i’d say that should be a first goal.

And if i have a wish free (and i guess a paying customer always has a wish free) then they should attempt to clock one in below the 01:00 mark even.

Take it Stoffel:

Perfect mid-week entertainment at a very early timing (doors at 18:30 and close-down by 21something) with loads of friends. With that energy i do look forward to the year end procedures (the annual BURN THE BAUM DOWN at the Knust). When closing down Danker unintentionally (i believe) seem to have given away that this year they not only do 30.12. but there will be a 31.12. Year End show too.

If that is true than without me, both because of the natural hangover from 30st but also as i tend to enjoy my YE changeover in privacy with me love. But if such a YE show happens it’ll be a grand finale for a fucked up year on the live mu-sick circuit in Hamburg.

At the start i captured “one mask missing, two masks surplus“, here you have “two masks missing, one mask surplus” and the sheer joy of friends loving live mu-sick singing along to the Razors.

Sing-a-long, with or without mask but with a JEVER!

And that is, what still provides hope in all of this shit.

And this is what you will be missing if you don’t put in something extra for you loved band, your loved record label and your loved clubs. As said 2nd wave is coming there is literally no hope that touring bands from abroad will come around and clubs will be able to put a solid rooster up.

So please be generous. Support your scene, now!