… 2020 in numbers

2020 in numbers should reflect the gruesome death toll of Covid-19, should it not? For all the years to come Covid-19 has impacted 2020 and will continue to impact 2021 too. So no surprise that my tracking of both seeing shows and reading books reveals an impact:

On the show side 2020 was all fucked, my treasured season ticket at the Hafenklang was literally of no-use (but a perfect sponsorship for a club that needs the money, as it has been cut off from any income). So i saw less (but ended up giving more, including auctioning off memorabilia via Punk Rock Hamburg and it’s Solidarity campaign and selling some pricey vinyl to fellow collectors and donating the money) and i do fear for my loved local clubs.


Best show? That was the Solidary Punk Rock Days at the Knust, without a doubt. A huge “Love & Kisses” to Dirk, Perry and Arne for that weekend!

Little did we know that this joyful feeling of warm summer days and the return of shows would not last at all. Now the circuit is dead way into 2021 and i guess it will even take up to 2022 to give us back international touring. Damn.

On the book front i had the feeling that did read less but as it turns out i did read exactly the same number of books, though slightly more pages with an average of 89 pages a calendar day.

# of books# of pages

What did i read most? Sure crime! 14 books came from Polar Verlag, still by far the most exiting edition of crime books around. On 2nd place Suhrkamp, with 7 books from the capable Hands of Thomas Wörtche. Other cool editions are Ariadne, Ars Vivendi and Atrium Verlag – by coincidence a triple A.

Best read 2020? That is spread but almost all female:

Outstanding was Valentine Imhof – Aus Lauter Zorn (Polar Verlag, 2020), the best combination of music, violence and tattoos. In a crime setting. With a female main character. Just eye and brain cinema pleasing.

2nd best and only by a short margin was Melissa Scrivner Love – Capitana (Suhrkamp Nova, 2020) with her 2nd book on lovely Lola Vasquez.

On 3rd i would place all the Canada stuff (Dietrich Kalteis – Shootout (Suhrkamp, 2018), Ron Corbett – Preisgegeben (Polar Verlag, 2020), Scott Thornley – Der Gute Cop (Suhrkamp, 2020) and Mike Knowles – Tin Men (Polar Verlag, 2020)) that surprised me so much in 2020 as a crime location.

Biggest pain? My all time favorite James Ellroy making it a pain to read 959 pages of … whatever.

Best music read was Debbie Harry – Face It (Dey St., 2019) for being totally honest with herself. And surprising me with details i had no clue about.

Best record of 2020? X, with a surprise new record.

X – Alphabetland (Fat Possum Records, 2020)

… 2019 in numbers

As i am not yet back at the treadmill it’s time to take a toll on 2019. As ever i kept track of what i read and what i listen too (via this blog and via the playlists published here).

On the show side 2019 was great, up to and including a single away trip to savior and pay homage to the Descendents in Hannover with some of me close mates. Biggest miss was not taking the trip to Punk Rock Raduno #4 in sunny Bergamo – i have been reminded more than once by the Hamburg lot attending it.

Here is the tally:

Bands seen:104
Shows attended36

Best show? I think that goes to D.I. at the Hafenklang, closely followed by Descendents in Hannover, Hag and Axe Rash at the Hafenklang and mOi!n it’s Hamburg #4 at the Monkeys.

And at that show also the biggest single surprise did play: Kalenko Urdangak from the sunny Basque country single handedly did not only blew the roof off but stunned 200 odd people versed in the genre.

Runners up where Nasser Hund with their record release party at the Hafenklang, Yard Bomb with their D.I. support and Loose Nukes during the K-Town Warm-up. And just slightly off the standard pattern Hola Ghost with their stunning Scandinavian B-Movie Mariachi Rock, Gringo style (at the Monkeys).

Biggest miss for me? Sharp/Shock at the Monkeys. Damn. Killer band.

Honorable mentions need to go the Mighty Mighty BossTones for coming back to Hamburg after 21 long years, Clowns for repeating last years blow-out of the Hafenklang and to the Bar Stool Preachers for matching the Adolescents in speed during their surprise show at the Hafenklang.

Most heart warming moment of the year was Old Erwin’s farewell at the Knust, there are no words that can spell out the loss for our little circuit.

So a big thanks to the venues, the bands and all those in attendance with me. I love you. Biggest surprise on that front was that the Hafenklang finally took up my suggestion to sell a season ticket. I am now proud holder of a 2020 All Shows tickets for the Hafenklang and i am even more spoiled by the fact that this is season ticket #1.

May i suggest that Sam and Ralf of the Monkeys give it a thought too? I would be tempted.

And on the reading front? Here we go:

# of books# of pages

Now that is significantly less than 2018, namely due to the fact that we moved house and that requires you to pack / unpack your 1000’s of books and records rather than reading them or listening to them.

Pity that i did not get to read more music books, i think i will need to redouble the effort on that side of things.

Best read 2019 was Ivy Pochodas “Wonder Valley” followed by anything from Garry Disher. And if you trust people – i trust those who run the Polar Verlag and Pulp Master. I buy their stuff without any pre-checks or hesitation.

And i can also safely recommend anything that has been going through the hands of either Thomas Wörtche or through a translation by the wonderful Conny Lösch. Honestly. Trust. Me.

And on the record front? Discogs count moved from 4.732 to 4.783 (this is due to my self imposed rule to only buy records from bands that i have seen live and preferably at the show itself – and yes, i do break that rule for the occasion).

Best records 2019 down below – get your own copy!

Best away record:


Best home record (tie at 1st place):

Nasser Hund – Gute Idee (2019)
Yard Bomb – s/t (2019)