… friends getting wasted: Burn down the fucking Baum 13.0!

Another year gone by like nothing – prior to this one i had like 100 bands across 35 shows under my belt for 2019. And within that seen the Razors 4 times, Knock Off twice and Sixteen Again once. And guess what? I was still eager towards this one as besides loving all three of them in playing live it was the meet life long friends setting (and my dislike of YE Parties on 31.12. in general) that ensured it was a show not to be missed.

Kick off was very early with Sixteen Again, i barely made it on time to the Knust. From the small stage of the Hafenklang they jumped onto the vast space of the Knust stage, something they did not take full use of (as in roaming space).

Sixteen Again (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2019)

Their job was cheer leading and boy did they do the job well – people already at the Knust where lured from the bar and from chatting towards the front of the stage and into plenty of sing-a-long.

That’s sure a rather easy task if you play Buzzcocks songs but it also is about how it comes across. And here it is coming across with plenty of appreciation and love for the muzak from Messrs. Shelley and Diggle.

Great stuff, despite some chord hickups, some lost entry points for singing and other human failures that only ever brought bright smiles onto the audience faces. I dig what they do and i dig how they pay tribute to one of the greatest bands from the class of 1976 (and i did not even realize that Helge was paying tribute to the late Pete Shelley by sporting facial hair).

Next Knock Off, hand picked by the Razors for this occasion and i am totally with them: Whilst sporting a slightly different sound they share a lot of things with the Razors (though they write the more complex songs).

And that’s one of them – a great song about survival (and the one song that got me hooked on them). Super lyrics and perfect guitar. Those who aim to strum this at home … here you are:

Now get out there and do your own thing! Knock Off do it since 2013 and are going strong. An old mate of mine, who never saw them prior, asked me „are they the short haired Ramones?“ and i had to correct him: There is more than three chords!

Knock Off (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2019)

Hamburg digs them, Hamburg loves them and that love is being mirrored.  Andy T, Andy C and Lozz just get it across totally unpretentious, totally non-made-up and just refreshingly easy.

They devoted this hymn to Micky Fitz (now sadly gone for 3 years due to the big fucking C, something the Hamburg lot also had too much of it in 2019) and Hamburg joined in full force:

Stand up, Stand up, Sing it loud
This is our scene, we are proud

That feeling of unity that the Razors provide to us elderly, that feeling also Knock Off get across. Just perfect and fitting well for this year end occasion that is actually all about a (certain) scene coming together, talking, drinking and singing. And selectively some dancing.

Knock Off (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2019)

Knock Off did a long set though at times seemed speeding through it. They finished off with their high speed assault Jack The Ripper:

Well done lads, though a bit of a sad evening, as it was the last time that Lozz was on bass, he needs to step down due to health issues. I am sure the guys will pick a great stand-in on bass (just like the Razors did) and i also would like to see Knock Off back in Hamburg in 2020 – you guys are always welcome here!

By now the audience had been warmed up sufficiently, had taken in drinks and was more than ready for a class entry of the Razors:

Sufficient Pomp for the Circumstances i’d say, like dressed up for the occasion (hint: those with a sharp eye will note my involvement in dressing up one Razorette for the occasion). And nope – the well filled Knust won’t go away on you!

The Razors have played a lot this year and thus thrusted out their set like a well oiled machine – this time round with plenty of old hits and old audience favorites.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2019)

What is forever striking me is that Wittes buzzsaw guitar sound is only ever getting better. Once i heard him back on 1982 on the Napalm EP he is one of my guitar heroes (only to sugar coat it later with eg. Noise Annoys). And that uptempo guitar also turns my favorite Razors song into the timeless beauty that it actually is:

Count me into the gang! And more traditions came upon us, it was Heiko joining them to take on the law (as the law is what we hate) and it was also time for more crowed favorites.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2019)

It included Sven and Klaus bragging their way into their 1980 smash hit on their own little hate for DISCO:

And as tradition has it the end of the show was reserved for being „in it together“: Because You’re Young turned the stage of the Knust into a massive sing-a-long space and the Razors and their friends (which i guess was anyway everyone in attendance) said hello to the year end day (it was past midnight by now) and fuck-off to age.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2019)

Great set, great fun and this year it felt even better than the years before. Maybe due to too much beer entrusted into my hands by friends, maybe because 2019 actually, besides all the painful losses, was still a great year for me.

From the stage the lot took the party to the bar, to the DJ and got treated with old classics to continue sing-a-long and dance-a-long.

... endless party galore ( (c) gehkacken.de 2019)
… endless party galore ( (c) gehkacken.de 2019)

I have not yet  done a full tally but it was like 36 shows, 103 bands this year and this was the perfect icing on that mu-sick-all cake. I was home very late, sufficiently loaded and the best wife of all took on YE shopping without me (as i was neither alive nor presentable to the public). The perfect wasted feeling for a rather perfect year, both with music and in private life (for actually both me love and my humble self).

2020 – bring it on! 20 years of happy marriage, 41 years of Punk Rock for me. And it is only ever going uphill, so i consider myself utmost lucky.

… what a perfect debut album: Nasser Hund launch their LP!

Whilst i did get to see the record earlier, the formal record release party for the Nasser Hund debut album sure thing was the day where i was going to buy it. No matter what! The date was long awaited and thus the elderly Punk Rock connoisseurs from Hamburg did pack the Hafenklang upstairs. Yet again one of the „i know everyone in the audience“ evenings.

Fun moment on my short stroll down to the Hafenklang was bumping into the Adolescents, who used the band apartment to stay over before continuing on to their first EU date in Denmark. I tried to encourage them to show up later for Nasser Hund but i think they ran for food and did not make it (at least i did not note them later on).

To warm (and charm) people up Sixteen Again took the support slot. Sixteen Again? What is that? A kiddy band? Nope – Sixteen Again are a long contemplated idea by Helge (of Jam Today fame) to only play … Buzzcocks. And since the sad passing of Pete Shelley this is even more a very valid tribute.

So with the words of Pete here is the outline:

Feeling like I'm almost sixteen again
Layin' 'round doing nothing like all my friends
Play it cool don't get angry count up to ten
Just like I was sixteen again
Everybody gets the lowdown right from the start
Everybody gets the showdown right from the heart
But that's all that's on the menu and life's a la carte
I don't know

Things in life are not played for keeps
If it makes you happy it'll make you weep
And if you want some more practical advice
If you can't think once then don't think twice
'Cause things won't seem so nice
You'll wish you were sixteen again
Oh no

Feeling rather strange when you're sixteen again
Things don't seem the same the past is so plain
This future is our future this time's not a game
This time you're sixteen again

Always on your own when there's nobody else
Asking myself would I be someone else
But after all life's only death's recompense
I don't know

Things in life are not played for keeps
If it makes you happy it'll make you weep
And if you want some more practical advice
If you can't think once then don't think twice
'Cause things won't seem so nice
You'll wish you were sixteen again
Oh no

Look at me here I am for your eyes
Mirrored proof of what you recognize
I know I never will feel quite like you
And I know you won't treat me right till I do
But at least we'll know it's true
That we're sixteen again
Oh no

Feeling rather strange when you're sixteen again
Things don't seem the same the past is so plain
This future is our future this time's not a game
This time you're sixteen again

Always on your own when there's nobody else
Asking myself would I be someone else
But after all life's only death's recompense
I don't know

Look at me here I am for your eyes
Mirrored proof of love's suicide
I know I never will feel quite like you
And I know you won't treat me right till I do
But at least we'll know it's true
That we're sixteen again
Oh no

Sixteen again
Sixteen again

(Pete Shelley © Universal Music Publishing Group)

I guess that one was true for many in the audience, i would be bang right back in 1980 when Stiff Little Fingers played the Markthalle for my 16th birthday.

Sixteen Again (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And that is Nic, Helge, Ingo and Koshi and they devote themselves to the times of perfect Power-Pop, when love songs did matter for young punk rockers. From the vast œuvre  of the Buzzcocks they made a short but fine selection for their first live appearance.

Sixteen Again - Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2019)
Sixteen Again – Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2019)

You could sense some nervousness on stage and within the audience at the start but with the 3rd song already they had convinced the audience (and themselves). Promises is indeed not an easy song by Messrs Diggle & Shelley to master  but here it comes in all beauty (and remember it dates back to 1978):

If you, like myself, have the urge to sing-a-long, here is your chance:

Ah, loving you is easy, you are on my side
We play the game strictly to our rules
We led the field, a love affair
Which made all other lovers fools

Oh
How can you ever let me down? (how)
How can you ever let me down? (how) 
How can you ever let me down?
These promises are made for us (oh-oh)

We promised that we'd always have time for each other
Whenever I needed you'd be there
We promised to be true, there'd be no other
We promised that for ever we would care

Oh
How can you ever let me down? (how)
How can you ever let me down? (how)
How can you ever let me down?
These promises are made for us (oh-oh)

We had to change
Oh, but you stayed the same
You wouldn't change
Oh, what a shame

'Cause loving you's not easy, you're not on my side
We play a game with two sets of rules
We lead the field in a love affair
Ah, strictly meant for fools

Oh
Why did you ever let me down? (now)
Why did you ever let me down? (now)
Why did you ever let me down?
Those promises were made for us (oh-oh)

You never have any time for me
Whenever I need you, you're not there
You've never been true and it's plain to see
The fact is you never really cared

Oh
Why did you ever let me down? (now)
Why did you ever let me down? (now)
Why did you ever let me down?
Those promises we made for us (oh-oh)

(Steve Diggle / Pete Shelley - © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.)

Deal! And with every song that followed the audience took more and more over the singing, up to the point where Helge noted that he got a line wrong (and the audience right). Perfect entertainment! Let’s hope that this set gives them the confidence to do more – i’d love to see more, i’d love to see them even more outgoing!

For Nasser Hund it left an enthusiastic audience, eager to get them and the songs from their record. And this is how they kicked off:

In my book this is down as a near perfect pop song: Drive, great lyrics with a near perfect rhyme (take „Sie haben ihren Eltern nie verziehen, sie lächeln nur auf Fotografien„) , some great surprising chords and … 2 minutes long. If that ain’t get them radio play, what else would?

And for sure they have more of that quality, like this one on friendship:

Great stuff, hard hitting and every chord, every beat and every hook by the bass in it’s place. You can see that Jan, Kay and Arne all made their peace with mu-sick: They just write and play because they love it. And that emits from both the stage and the record.

Nasser Hund (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

But it is not only short and crisp songs they do, they can also do more complex and longer stuff, just like this one: Nasser Hund play Nasser Hund for you:

They got like 20 songs done with great applause from the audience, who more and more got into the groove, singing and dancing. And generally being joyful (though one attendant choose to be an outsider).

... pure enjoyment in front of the stage!
… pure enjoyment in front of the stage!

And after the 20 songs came encores and a repeat. And as the audience was still not fully satisfied it Arne decided to throw in a song from one of this other ventures (and that gives a full circle back to Sixteen Again, the desire to find love and the start of the evening):

Power-Pop sing-a-long yet again. Class.

I can only urge you dear reader to now go out (or online) to get this record. A great DIY debut LP, perfectly styled and available now!

Nasser Hund - Gute Idee (Loxi Poloxi L-P 001, 2019)
Nasser Hund – Gute Idee (Loxi Poloxi L-P 001, 2019)

If your local record dealer does not have it – taunt him! If you reside off site then check Sounds Of Subterrania or Copasetic Mailorder to get it.

I guess the lot had more fun at the Hafenklang, i had to sneak out and meet some old work mates from London for some chatting and some serious alcohol at my favorite (local) bar. I was home at 03:00 and well loaded but with a broad smile on my face. And by now the record has spun twice on my player (and the 2nd copy i bought is in the mail as a gift to a person outside Hamburg).

Great night, great bands and great friends around me. Can it be any better? Nope, #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic!