… the return of Snuff as the return of normal?

Oh Boy, it has been a while – actually pre-wave 4 and wave 5 of Covid i guess – that me and me mates enjoyed a more or less unconstrained (though 2G+) show. The Hafenklang waited long to reopen the flood gates for show but now is back at it, though still not filling the place to 100% of the capacity.

Kick-off was with The Rumperts, from Austria, and it was somehow strange. I expected 3 females and one male singing (at least that is what i saw checking upon them prior to the show) and i got 3 males and one female operating the guitar (through a cool tube powered Laney amplifier). I did not really get what happened there and frank wasn’t bothered to check after the show …

The Rumperts (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

… as they did not really get into my mu-sick-al universe: Too much mid-tempo, too many expected sounds and somehow sounding way too … indifferent to my ears. They did have some small sections that worked well (and where uptempo) but they also had moments where i (and some folks around me) where just shaking heads (especially when they literally slaughtered Nervous Breakdown by Black Flag). I am happy to give them a 2nd chance but then please let it be the girls with the singer.

Without a great deal of delay Snuff came on and surprised some in the audience with the full brass section to the left of the stage. I wasn’t surprised – i was rather eager! And this is how Duncan forced his troops into combat:

Just perfect. Back where they took a break i’d say. And all of the drive that unfortunately i missed with The Rumperts, also all of that umpfff, sing-a-long feeling and sugar coating from the brass section. And that drive into the legs of the audience that visibly go most of the people moving, either big time in front of the stage and less around the pit.

Snuff kept tempo and did drive through new stuff and selected old stuff (always accompanied by a some form of on-stage banter around “buuuhhh, boring old stuff”). They had as much joy on stage as the folks in front of the stage.

Snuff (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Looking at the setlist the first item to note was that it was too short. Actually way too short. Me and me mates traded like 20 more songs that should be there plus a couple of songs we individually would love to see. Riebe pointedly remarked: “A Snuff show without Do Nothing is not a Snuff show” but that maybe was taking the discussion too far.

Also sans brass they kept the pace and the beauty of the mu-sick. Within the audience where some Swedish Exchange students by chance (apparently they stumbled across the club and took their chances to see live music in a seedy punk place).

Their in no way or form conforming outfits (see the young lad in the white sweater at the start of the song on stage) and their non standard behavior on the dance floor where actually a welcome break from the uniform styles normally attending these shows.

The longer (the still short) show went the happier people in front of the stage got. Live music, only constrained by an own decision on keeping a mask inside, with friends and dancing … it felt a wee bit like the return of normal.

Great show, great return by Snuff, scored a nice shirt from Riebe and had a couple of beers with friends. Whilst Covid numbers still go up in Germany i do hope that finally we get back on track with some form of normal.

A regular pattern of shows. Please. #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic

my loveliest vinyl, part 19

Snuff - FLIBBIDDYDIBBIDDYDOB (Workers Playtime Play 11T, 1990)
Snuff – FLIBBIDDYDIBBIDDYDOB (Workers Playtime Play 11T, 1990)

Ahhh, Snuff. The best that ever came from the UK in the 90s – great guitar, great horn section, great chorus and the typical english sense of humor. I recall a show in Hamburg sometime in the 90s in a half-empty rather large place (“Fabrik”), on a weekday, where the band had an internal battle for the “last chord” on every song. So songs lasted on and on and on … great fun!

This is special, as it is not a normal record but an EP with almost covers (be it from other bands or commercials) and as i do dig cover versions it was an instant love. Sure there are more Snuff records deserving to be noted here – but that is for later…

The verdict:
1977 – great cover or a great song from the Specials, technicaly that makes it 1980 but i do not care at all!
published by a cool lable – Workers Playtime, a reference to an old BBC Radio Show (1943-1964) and a left-wing 80’s London group. Working Class rules! Later reissued by Fat Wreck in the US of A.
found in a cool shop – Martin Stehr’s Drugstore was THE place in the 90′s
catching sound – preserving such a gem and transforming it into 90’s uptempo pop-punk: priceless.

Although a cover, the lyrics deserve to be noted:

Each day I walk along this lonely street
Trying to find, find a future
New pair of shoes are on my feet
Cos' fashion is my only culture

Nothing ever change, oh no...
Nothing ever change

People say to me just be yourself
It makes no sense to follow fashion
How could I be anybody else
I don't try, I've got no reason

Nothing ever change, oh no...
Nothing ever change

I'm just living in a life without meaning
I walk and walk, do nothing
I'm just living in a life without feeling
I talk and talk, say nothing

Nothing ever change, oh no...
Nothing ever change

I walk along this same old lonely street
Still trying to find, find a reason
Policeman comes and smacks me in the teeth
I don't complain, it's not my function

Nothing ever change, oh no...
Nothing ever change

They're just living in a life without meaning
I walk and walk, do nothing
They're just playing in a life without thinking
They talk and talk, say nothing
I'm just living in a life without feeling
I walk and walk, I'm dreaming
I'm just living in a life without feeling
I talk and talk, say nothing
I'm just living in a life without meaning
I walk and walk, do nothing

(c) 1980 The Specials (2 Tone / Chrysalis)

And, worth to note through all the years, Duncan kept the band going, going and going – so here the last incarnation blasts through “Do Nothing” in 2009: