… a diverse community that strives, a family!

14.0 got Covid, 14.1 got Covid too – luckily 14.2 was only ever infested with the will to have a community meet with good music at a great location. The stuff you most likely do not get on New Year, hence the anual family meeting is on the 30th of December and allows you pass by any New Years Eve parties on the final day of the year.

The Razors this time round invited friends from near (Degenerate Ideol from Bremen) and far (Östro 430 all the way from the early 1980s). And the icing that came with it: Diversity. Both on stage but also mu-sick-ally. Can there be a better setting?

Degenerate Idol kicked off early, at 20:00 sharp. Most of the lot was still en-route to the Knust i guess, so they had to face at least some space down in the audience. But it did not deter them, they took the stage with humor, wit and a sound deeply rooted in the R of Punk Rock.

Degenerate Idol (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Some of their songs were really funny and their singer is defintly stage aware (and able to control the crowd) but for my liking some of their songs lacked drive and from where i stood the sound lacked guitar force … but hey, as ever, that is down to my own mu-sick-al likings. They had some cheers, some dancing and a good reception. And remember, they are from Bremen. Check them out yerself.

Next the reborn Östro 430. Their original incarnation dates all the way back to Düsseldorf in 1979 and i guess they where the first German all-female Punk band. And in true punk fashion they gave a flying fuck on norms: No guitar and songs with a view from the female mind, heart and i guess cunt. A realy refreshing change of view and views, specifically on sexuality.

Fast forward to 2019 and Östro 430 where re-born in Hamburg, i guess Martina was living here anyway, with locals added on drums and bass. And off it went, actually pretty quickly pretty well (and well received too).

Östro 430 (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They kicked off Christmas themed and then thanks to Martina being herself (that is largely expressing herself in what we call in Hamburg Kodderschnauze) they delivered some clear messages.

Some of the messages – as back then – where actually too strong to handle by some in the audience, Martina made some pointed remarks towards the use of gender stars etc in language and that seemed to piss off some young punks in front of the stage. To much fun for myself they took it as an offence that need retaliation by leaving the pit. Oh my, sign of times…

Östro 430 (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Östro 430 where just great, proved that mu-sick works without a guitar (and with double bass, when needed) and that girls (both on and off stage) are to be heard and not only seen. I thoroughly loved it, my guest of the night from Rotterdam was thoroughly surprised by them. Well done girls! All of their stuff is now available, i do hope new stuff is added soonest!

It was then for the Razors to carry diversity forward, they did it by using the big stage of the Knust and Sir Edwar Elgars Pomp And Circumstances March Number One for a grand intro …

Don’t go away now! Sure the lot did not want to go anywhere, here at the Knust they were perfectly happy and more than inclined to enjoy both the community feel and the Razors delivering a complete wash-up of their Œuvre, spanning from 1978 to today.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Whilst they did not have a lot of shows in 2022 they were well rehearsed and took it on like a well oiled old engine, with only a few selected replacement parts. Sven batters foward, Stoffel speeds, Christiane glues it and Klaus delivers it.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

And whilst there are fun moments (like this intro with one of the most famous Hamburg Punk nostalgia quotes) there are also loving memories, to those long gone but also to those whom we lost in 2022. For those it was We Love You, followed suit by 1977:

It is exactly this contrast (and that is song origin) and spread that i love the Razors for, being able to glue it all in a still relevant (aka modern) way and deliver it with all the energy they have – giving the audience a change to suck it up and sing it out loud in return. Just purrfect.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

I am not sure how much of the Razors repertoire (thsat is i guess around 50 songs) was used as time flew by without a single boring second and without a song that i could not sing-a-long to.

One of Klaus favorites all the way back from the time when Punk entered the scene was sure part of the set, here is their blistering delivery of Heroes.

Now sing-a-long:

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day

And you, you can be mean
And I, I'll drink all the time
'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we're lovers, and that is that
Though nothing will keep us together
We could steal time just for one day
We can be heroes for ever and ever
What d'you say?

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes, just for one day

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes

We're nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we're lying, then you better not stay
But we could be safer, just for one day

Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh, just for one day

It is a song about togetherness and together the lot was. And as always there was no boundary on and off stage, as such the family took the stage for the final song and helped Klaus to sing it out loud: You Never Walk Alone.

Razors Family (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

I had a friend from Rotterdam over and me mate Frosch had a guest from Berlin, both noted that the community and/or family feel they sensed on the night was astonishing and something they do not see or feel back home. I guess they are right, Hamburg has something special going here and it is absoluty a joyful thing.

The joy ended in front of the DJ both over at the Bar, where Christian was doing his best adding sing-a-long and dance-a-long singles from back then and later too much appreaceation by the lot. I was home late, knackered. I kept the promise toward me love to help with early shopping but had to drop dead for another and much longer round of sleep.

Now it is 2023 already and i look forward to a new year with hopefully more shows and this Punk Rock Hamburg community even striving further. Keep the love, keep the memories and look forward.

Can i pencil in Burn Down The Baum 15.0 already? Yes? Great, luv it!

… 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!