… when surprises get you left field: mOi!n it’s Hamburg 4!

I won’t be repeating that i dislike festivals in principle, as you will get just another praise of two great nights that actually belonged to a festival. Sam and Ralf from the Monkeys did put together another class event …

… the original line up!

… only to suffer from The Kids and Grade 2 having to pull out. Specifically The Kids are a mainstay in Hamburg, as such the loss was rather big. But with Knock Off and Rixe fitting replacements where found and the two days could set sail as per below.

… the final lineup for mOi!n it’s Hamburg, 2019 edition!

Given it was to be four bands on Friday the proceedings started rather early, too early for many that had to either travel or work on day. Snipper 66 from the US of A (and that’s Austin with a little help from Berlin this time round) thus faced a little bit of an empty space in front of the stage.

They not only brand themselves street punk i guess but they also look like it. And they hit hard, actually they have a rhythm section that not only provided that hard drive but also, and that was the best spin, added to the vocals. So with three folks singing (both solo and chorus) they provided some great variation.

Snipper 66 (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 27.09.2019)

Great to see the girl behind the drums: Not only hitting hard but also having fun and being able to emit that from stage. I won’t necessarily buy a record of them but i won’t pass them by, if there is an option to see them life. Great start.

With the 2nd band the visuals slightly changed, it was them unpretentious Lads from London, Fred Perry and Doc Martens and their unpretentious songs about Life (so fucking live it), Love, Footie and Politics. They love to be in Hamburg and Hamburg loves them.

Knock Off (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 27.09.2019)

They noted specifically that they love to play Hamburg for the size of the audience and i immediately wondered if they would know what the invite from the mighty Razoes for „Burn Down The Baum“ at year end would mean for them. They will face an even bigger stage and an even larger audience. And i damn sure then will win over that lot too!

mOi!n it’s Hamburg would be worthwhile event if it would not cultivate surprises and contrasts. But surprise and contrast came and it came with Gatans Lag from sunny Borås (city of the sheepshaggers eeer sheepshearers) and they not only flooded the stage but also had a large contingent in front of the stage.

Gatans Lag (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 27.09.2019)

They kicked off providing their essence: „We are Gatans Lag and we generally dislike people“ and took it from there. Where the singer from Bonecrusher likes to sing in the audience, the singer from Gatans Lag likes to throw himself into people in the audience and yell the words right there into their face. My sideline guess was he was drunk anyway, if not he got it during the set as he had about a beer per song.

… it was much more raunchy in Hamburg!

Sound wise they where great, well oiled, had a sax included and took no prisoners at all. They did not care about the audience they just cared about a force full show and that they delivered. For the encore they added another member and freed up the bass (who sported a great Doberman Cult shirt) and gave a final „in your face“.

Wow – that was an early high!

Headlining for the day was for them lads from Macclessfield, Cheshire, and was a return to Hamburg shores after 24 years (not so tricky, as they where on hiatus from 1996 to 2018): The Macc Lads, self-proclaimed „rudest, crudest, lewdest, drunkest band in Christendom„.

The Macc Lads (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 27.09.2019)

There where some from the Hamburg lot that just wanted nothing else then them, for me it was not really a burner. Their lad humor may work in England (less so abroad) and their silly songs (with a scent of silly humor) are glued into something that for me is just faster paced rock.

I listened, i watched and i gave in on the first doubt in my head. Rather than sustaining, i went home after day 5 songs and decided to catch a long sleep after the work week. Sorry Lads!

Without a doubt day one turned out better than i thought: Great bass/drums pair for a start with Sniper 66, lovely Knock Off and a massive surprise on what Gatans Lag where pushing upon the audience.

On Saturday it started even earlier (and that is me leaving out the reggae boot ride), that suited me anyway as i could take the short bike ride without being showered by the rain that was coming up. And luckily me and me mate where early, as we got to get the biggest surprise of the weekend as a starter.

I have never heard of Kalenko Urdangak, i have no clue what the name means as their local language does not lend itself to easy understanding and thus we had no clue what to expect.

To make it short: They tore down the place, they killed the audience and they left every single member of the audience (less those from Euskal Herria or Catalunya, i guess they knew what was comming) stunned. Perplex. Searching for words.

Kalenko Urdangak (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

And who did it? A thin singer with relentless energy, a full bodied guy with a Cockney Rejects shirt with a perfect harsh and driving guitar sound, a towering bass with perfect backup vocals and the coolest sideburns of the weekend on drums, always smiling away.

… thank god for subtitles!

Say hello to my newest favorite live band. And it was not only me, also all of the Hamburg lot i was checking with had the same feeling of just being exposed to a perfect skinhead rock’n’roll set. The best was that the singer was able to bridge the language barrier in the songs by lots of gestures, so that you halfway could make out what it is about. And even with that barrier it was sing-a-long galore to great songs!

Kalenko Urdangak (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

Nowadays (and with a too large record collection) i live by the rule „only buy a record when the band has convinced you live on stage“ and my praise for Kalenko Urdangak thus ends with the confession that i bought their vinyl. Later at home i realized they have more out, i got to hunt that down too!

They also included Pour La Gloire into the set and got some prominent French contingent with them on stage to sing it. Me mate Thomas, as ever dressed for the occasion, proudly sported his Camera Silens shirt at the front of the stage.

After that killer set someone had the poor task to continue, it was the Warrior Kids, one of the best bands of the massive wave of early 80s French Street Punk. By the looks they arrived late in Hamburg and had to do a sound check right there on stage. As such sound was less then perfect and they where forced to play against an already exhausted audience. After a couple of songs Marc asked in frustration „…are you asleep?“

Warrior Kids (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

Once into the set and adding some ska and reggae themed stuff they got at least some people moving, that part of the set went well. The rest was just the wrong point in time stuff, unlucky them! I do hope they did not drive from windy Marseille all the way for this rather frustrating set. It was not their fault!

With a quick turnover La Inquisicion from Cap i Casal de Catalunya took the stage … and blasted the audience in all forms: Visually, stage performance wise and by their songs. I saw them last year at Barna’n’Roll where they played in the full sun as the first band. Back then my verdict was: „They got some cheers but did not manage to impress me. I guess that stage and that emptiness was just too big for them.

La Inquisicion (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

Boy did this change: Against my memory they have speeded up, tightend up, added a scent of hardcore metal and took it from there (and the by now massive Basque and Catalan contingent in front of the stage by storm). Wow, i felt yet again blasted away.

Thinking about it after the gig i am damn sure that coming from Euskal Herria or Catalunya is something that puts a shitload of energy into you: The need to fight. The urge to fight. The will to stand up. All of that accumulated right here at the Monkeys with both Kaleko Urdangak and La Inqusicion.

Rixe (out of Paris) had to climb that by now larger than life stage next and their attempt to blow it up resulted in beer being spilled into electrics and thus blown fuses forcing power cuts on stage. Not once but twice and that somehow took some of the early energy away.

Rixe (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

Still, their bare bones Oi! sound in it’s simplicity and harshness got the people moving and the longer the set lasted the better they sounded and the more the audience was up for it. I like them and they are of the same type of unpretentiousness as Knock Off. Well done and providing good vibes.

MUSIC IS LIFE. THAT’S WHY OUR HEARTS HAVE BEATS.
#HOMEISWHERETHEMUSICIS #HOMEISWHERETHEBOOZEIS
#HOMEISWHEREMEMATESARE

I by now was almost exhausted and thought about leaving, i could not think of this Upstarts version, with Mensi back from retirement, will do the trick. But given uplifting performances already seen, given the amount of friends met, chatted with and given the booze already taken i stayed on. It was both a worthy decision and one that would have a knock-on …

I think i have all their vinyl up until say 1987 and Sham, Cockney and the Upstarts where key bands for my early life in punk. But then i disbanded them somehow, some efforts where lackluster and some line-ups not fit for purpose. Here and now on the small stage they where greeted with cheers and as the first thing stormed into „2.000.000 Voices“ and had the audience sing-a-long from 0 to 100 in one go.

Angelic Upstarts (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2019)

I got carried away in sing-a-long too, though my rationale inner self kept trying to remind me that it was a speeded up version of the Upstarts with Mensi (in Celtic outfit) giving an almost spoken word performance on top. It is clear that age and size disallow him to move at the same pace, so the best moments (at least for me) where stuff like „Solidarity“.

At the end i have to confess that they converted me from „doubtful“ to „accepted“, though i still won’t add any new vinyl of them to my collection. But as a highlight to finish of mOi!n it’s Hamburg #4 it worked perfectly well.

On that high and with some surprise mates joining the proceedings late (after missing out all other bands on Saturday) i should have resorted home but somehow got stuck in the pub, chatting, praising and drinking. And one more. And a free Helbing from Sam. And another chat.

In a nutshell it was late, later and … hungover on Sunday. Well done. I should have been up and to the Millerntor on Sunday but the bad weather and too much booze mixed with people smoking forced me towards the easy way out: I watched St. Pauli kill Sandhausen from the Sofa.

Big time thanks for Sam & Ralf and the Monkeys crew for pulling this off and big time FANX for all the mu-sick-al surprises (i got to name Gatans Lag and Kaleko Urdangak again here). It was two worthwhile nights that some people would call a festival. I call it two class shows!

nb: If you belong to the doubtful caste too then pen 02nd to 4th of October 2020 into your diary and give it a try at mOi!n it’s Hamburg, 5th edition!

… winding down K-Town H/C weekend in Hamburg with surprise guests!

The good folks at the Hafenklang are just good folks – not only the opportunity for a K-Town warm up is being used year-on-year but this year they also got a bit of a wind down show together, initially themed more „Oi!“ – from France Rixe and from the US No Time (a current favourite with some fellow folks in Hamburg and big time with my humble self).

Ahead of the show the Hafenklang announced that Protester and Red Death where to join too (without raising the bargain ticket price of 7€) because of them needing to travel through Hamburg anyway to finish their EU tour.

Protester (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Protester (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

And Protester gave it a go: Wow, just another change – They lost their bass player en-route from K-Town and the singer took bass duties. Some in the audience made jokes like „… he needed to fly home, school restarts“ but these where odd jokes actually! Or?

They kicked off like this:

Ok, also sans that bass player quite some neat sound. They looked no way tired and the guy on guitar yet again did a stunning job. They played a handful of songs and where quite thankful for yet another stage time at the Hafenklang. They also lowered the price tag for their LP from 15€ to 12€ and that was just another bargain on that day.

And as Protester where there sure that other band with 2/4th of Protester was there too and with little change Red Death kicked off:

A wee bit more to the metal side of things compared to Thursday but still a tight set and with some great enjoyment on stage – less so in front of said stage as a) not too many people did show up on this lovely Sunday evening and b) the OI! contingent present was rather waiting outside to see Rixe and No Time (and maybe c) even where taken by surprise by the two late additions). Never mind, that combination of Protester and Red Death being almost one touring band is a neat idea indeed.

Red Death (Hamburg, Hafenklang, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Red Death (Hamburg, Hafenklang, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

And that did lead into the proposed setting, Rixe from France (with Wattie from Lions Law on bass) and No Time from Pittsburgh, PA (as in the US of A) were to kick some ass! And it was for Rixe to kick the audience into a complete reset of sound:

Old style Oi! with french vocals, so hard to make out what the actually sing about (as i just do not speak no fucking french). No to bad but also not too driving – think „Chaos en France“ 1984ish – and in stark contrast to the two predecessors on stage. But sturdy, indeed sturdy.

Rixe (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Rixe (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

They got their fair share of applause from the now more crowed space in front of the stage and they sure set a great marker in the more traditional Oi! sphere.

Them having played K-Town H/C Fest is just a cool confirmation that people do love and accept the wide range of good music in our little genre of the overall genre of rock mu-sick.

And then it was time for No Time, eagerly awaited by many. Me mates Frosch and Markus where so eager that they actually did drive up to Kiel to see them on the previous Tuesday (in front of less than 30 people, though tally of the number people at the Schaubude in Kiel is not fully confirmed). Other members of the audience went as far as ensuring to wear Blitz gear, something that the singer of No Time did mimic.

And they blasted into their set as follows:

Wow – from the first chords we where in a different league. Melodic but hard, tight and full front assault on the audience! One of the quotes if saw on them was „This stomp-feast is loaded with constant power-chords, rock-fused guitar leads, driving bass and drums and throaty vocal grunts.“ Oh boy, that is indeed so true!

No Time (Hamburg, Hafenklang, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
No Time (Hamburg, Hafenklang, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

And a great setting on stage: Left a beard and long hair on guitar, next a bald bass player, a normal dude on drums and a guitar on the right again bold and tattooed to the max. And fronted by someone who prior (and after) to the show is mild mannered normal guy and with the first chord turns into an aggressive beast and bellows out the quite harsh lyrics.

Stunning, just stunning. And really delivered on a high level of mu-sick-al quality. And you could also sense that some in the audience where already in possession of their LP, as many did sing-a-long with No Time and had their fists in the air.

When they entered into their secret hit „Anti-Social“ there was no more holding back – just listen to the folks getting aroused:

Hit, Hit, Hit! Now listen and repeat!

I'm giving up on today 
Aint nothing gonna go my way 
Damned if I do, damned if I don't 
You say it's gonna get better, it fucking won't 
I just wanna be left alone 
I'd be better off just staying at home 
Even the simplest things seem so involved 
I just wanna say fuck it all 

I'm anti-social 
Just stay away 
I'm anti-social 
Anti-social today 

Can't get this monkey off my back 
I'm a loose cannon, about to snap 
There's too much pressure, too much stress 
My life's in shambles, my heads a mess 
Got no hope, I'm at the end of my rope 
The week just started and I'm already broke 
Walk down the street with violent thoughts in my head 
Today the only thing I'm seeing is red 

I'm anti-social today

Just puuuuurfect!

No Time (Hamburg, Hafenklang, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

No Time (Hamburg, Hafenklang, 19.06.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

The only odd thing was that they only perfected like 13 (or 14) songs for the tour (and i wonder if they have more) and where done quite quickly. People would have loved more, and then some. So what they got was a nice „Fuck You“:

… and sure thing a Blitz cover to finish the set off:

Did the kids feel alright? Yes they did! Did some one die that night? Nope. Was it razor sharp? Indeed! So all in all a perfect Sunday that closed off what started on Thursday and what gave Hamburg as much exposure to the content of the K-Town H/C Festival as possible. Next we will see all US bands that play Rebellion in Blackpool, also playing left and right of that date in Hamburg (if only JFA would do the same).

K-TOWN WIND DOWN SHOPPING SPREE (c) gehkacken.de
K-TOWN WIND DOWN SHOPPING SPREE (c) gehkacken.de

And for many folks the night ended with some serious shopping, No Time LP’s went the bucket full and also Protester did sell some more. T-Shirts did not sell that well as the designs where – in my and some other views – imperfect.

But hey, yet again we are complaining on a first world problem i guess. We got perfect life music delivered by bands who love it, live it and enjoy it – what else do we want? Thanks again to Hafenklang for making it happen twice this year, much appreciated!