… third verse, not different from the first two!

Punk Rock Hamburg with their own “Third verse, different from the first” rather – twice delayed due to Covid. By design another evening fully local (bands and audience alike) and off the beaten track (both location down south, over the mighty river Elbe, and spread of mu-sick-al styles).

5 Bands, early start and luckily only a fast train ride south with easiest access to the location: The Stellwerk (in English Signal Box) is an unused space in the Hamburg Harburg Central Station (warning, sarcasm incoming) – a former Signal Box given up when switches and signals where electrified.

In the spacious main room the Punk Rock Hamburg family setup stage, merch and was ready for a sold-out fun evening.

Punk Rock Hamburg Family Merch Booth

The hardship of being first came down to Nixda!, who had to embark with one member being off sick. In my head i had little bad boy saying “lucky“, as the missing member was the girl who normally operates the flute (and rather strange instrument in on single-minded mu-sick-al horizon).

Nixda! (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

Thanks to Dennis on the front they had stage presence but taking all in it was not really up my alley: They do have excellent German lyrics, some even on the clever side but their music is at bad time rather Deutsch Rock to me, at good time Deutsch Punk. But they put everything in and thus had their share of applause.

What came next though was a welcome contrast: Punk Du Arsch! are local heroes with loud (and indeed loudmouth), intolerant and exhausting Asi-Punk paired with a real showman up front.

Punk Du Arsch! (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

They pick’n’choose from a wide variety of styles – a bit of Glam here, a bit of old Sparrer there but always fast paced and forward driving. And most of the times the lyrics aim to confront the listener or tell a tale – like this one:

And in Englisch it sounds even more hilarious: It is an ode to an unnamed Returnable Bottles Collector Of Love. Lovely stuff! They had more people in front of the stage and they had more applause – well deserved.

Next Fat Flag, a band that i never ever noted before. They already won me over when they changed on stage into stage uniform: One of the principals i stick to is that bands need to dress for the occasion and that this dressing should be orchestrated. Well done lads, you had my attention from the start.

Fat Flag (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

Mu-sick-aly they took the audience down a more modern, more US like route with loads of breaks, speed changes and paired with German lyrics – sometimes on the clever side. And on the funny side, specifically for me mate Frosch, they had a song about spawn and pong. Very Froggy!

They where fun, they had humor and emitted that from stage And their sound actually did please my ear. I really wonder how i missed them, they seem to be around for a while. My biggest surprise that night and one of the reasons why it is worth to take such a local thingy in.

Next Norden, back from the ashes of Norden. Their start though was hampered with sound issues, not so much in front of the stage but more for Natascha on the stage. More than once she threw up her hands in frustration though whilst still trying to plow on.

Whilst she was frustrated with the sound i was frustrated with the light, it was washed up in blue with some little red thrown over, it neither looked nice in real nor anyway good on the few pics i took. Not sure if it was desired by the band, if so – just pitch dark would have worked too.

Norden (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

With Norden the sound was moving yet again into a different direction, to the bone song structures driven forward by Jan’s excellent guitar play and the rhythm section. And on top almost storytelling by Jan with again to the bone German lyrics.

I do like what they do, specifically as it is definitely off the beaten Punk track. That said, somehow i felt that appeal was not commonly shared – i guess only a subset of the audience actually did dig them.

Late (against the running order) came the headliner and this is how they kicked off:

Bang! Different style, different speed, different presentation. The Haermorrhoids just had a blast at the Puke Fest in Münster and following the account of those present simply blew the roof of the house.

The Haermorrhoids (Stellwerk, Hamburg, 04.02.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)

Back home they continued in that vein, though the audience never went fully ape shit like in Münster (no flying bodies anywhere) – it was the stereotypical reserved reaction. That said, the floor was full and people where moving and enjoying it.

Their set was sharp, delivered almost without break (to make up lost time vs. the running order) and at break neck speed. As always they finished their set with my very own favorite Overdose:

Following that stage time was up but they did not give too much shit about it – speeding up even more they bashed out three more perfect Ramonescore blasts!

They had plenty of cheers, loads of applause – though that all turned into a bit of a sad moment after the show when i got to know that their bass player is no longer able to play for them. I do hope that quickly they can get someone fitting in place as currently they are a very well oiled machine at an outstanding level of performance!

And that finished off Punk Rock Hamburg Fest #3, way after midnight. The train ride home was pleasant when it came to companions but really strange when it came to locals from down south doing a Saturday night trip towards the Reeperbahn. Strange people, strange behaviors.

I guess the 3rd sold out Punk Rock Hamburg Fest was a solid success, though i have to admit that i hated the amount of smoking going on. When i finally woke up Sunday to get ready to enjoy a home win (and a home win was delivered) i had severe throat issues and felt hungover (though i only had a single beer) – all down to the smoke. If i could have a plea – non-smoking please.

I know that won’t deter the good people at #entstationpunk and #punkrockhamburg (who are to be thanked for this local festival, year on year) so here is the link for the early bid tickets for 2024. Be there or be square!

Klick! Me! for Early Bird Tickets!

… sold out and pleasing the elderly: Harburg Fun, Pt. 2!

Last years 1st Punk Rock Hamburg Festival was a bit of a loudmouth surprise but still a real DIY exercise. Sold out and loads of happy elderly people. As such the good people behind the Punkrock Hamburg community decided to throw a 2nd – yet again the first 2nd in the world.

As much as the Ramones had it with “2nd verse, same as the 1st” they did not change the setting nor the idea: local bands, from the scene, for the scene. And yet again that concept sold out the Stellwerk in Harburg, south of the mighty river Elbe (and thus a world distance for most people from Hamburg).

The hardship of the early start went to Pommespanzer, who traveled by Bus from their home in Bargfeld (north of Hamburg), together with a sizable Pommespanzer Crew all dressed up in team gear.

Pommespanzer (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

Their asset is their trumpet, their weak point is their singularity: Simple songs about beer, more beer and Holsten Pilsner Halbe Dose does not really suit my mu-sick-al greed. On the bonus side their only recorded output is on a single that was complementary with an Altona 93 Fanzine and is a song about the proud AFC. So they can’t be completely bonkers.

Their crew though, all looking loaded, had fun and thus their hardship was smoothed with cheers and support.

Next on Punktucke and with them it is only ever the same: I don’t really love them but they have their own sound, well played and they are tight together.

Punktucke (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

On top their songs have actually a meaning and some of the words are well crafted. Still, somehow it does not make click for me and i just don’t know what is wrong. They had their cheers but lacked the organized travel group supporting them…

When The Crimes took the stage the Stellwerk felt full, people were all chatty, cheerful and boozing and got a grand Las Vegas type showcase to many folks surprise.

The Crimes (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

They were dressed, as always, for the occasion (something that forever is a bonus for me) and delivered from the first chord pure showmanship, paired with class Punk Rock and Roll.

And to much surprise of the audience mid show they got three lovely background ladies up and thus enhanced it to a real Las Vegas style show. Word has it that some in the audience indeed where stunned to see their better half up there.

I love them and once they finished their set i had the feeling it can’t get any better tonight or at least that i have seen the winner of the proceedings midway. I wonder why i don’t see them more often – they would fit a lot of support stints, also in larger places.

For Gerd it was now a hard competition, though they remain uncontested Party Heroes for the Hamburg lot. In the running up to their 30 Years of Stadium Rock show later this year they knew they had to beat them Crimes and thus stiffened and delivered a crisp set.

And crisp means that they distilled their set down to those songs of their vast output that would kick the shit out of the fans. And indeed it did, the party mood was in full swing (and a large contingent of the audience by this point in time had performed some serious drinking in an coordinated attempt to deplete the stock of the club)

Gerd (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

For those not accustomed with Gerd there is the little hint that Gerd made a living prior to their stadium career on dumping the fixed element of their pay in return to a high percentage of the booze turnover that night. That old trick still serves them well and their fan base can’t let go the habit.

And they also delivered some of their lesser known songs, this one they sold in 1977 during an FC St. Pauli vs. Hibernian FC friendly to some visitors from Edinburgh, who recovered half of the money only when they got the song to #17 in the UK Single Charts in 1978 (and sure thing Gerd would have taken it to Number One!). Sing-a-long with Christiane:

And here you go:

Hold tight, now we're on our own
Cue light, now it's ready to roll
Tonight, how I've waited for aggravated for years
It's fun, oh I just can't wait
Hold on, do I look up to date
Your on, I'll do anything if that's the right thing to see

Does it matter what is shown
Just as long as everyone knows
What is selling what to buy
The stock market for your hifi
Take the money, leave the box
Everybody's on top of the pops

There's one, born every day
Sing song, then fade away
Ding dong, what's the future in the pop music industry
Alright, so you make the grade
Hold tight, to the buck you made
Just wait, you been rated for constipated peak viewing time

Does it matter what is shown
Just as long as everyone knows
What's in fashion what is seen
On the front of a television screen
Take the money, leave the box
Everybody's on top of the pops

Hold tight, now we're on our own
Cue light, now it's ready to roll
Tonight, how I've waited for aggravated for years
It's fun, oh I just can't wait
Hold on, do I look up to date
Your on, I'll do anything if that's the right thing to see

Does it matter what is shown
Just as long as everyone knows
What is selling what to buy
The stock market for your hifi
Take the money, leave the box
Everybody's on top of the pops

Pay the money, watch the box
Everybody's on top of the pops

Everybody's on top of the pops

Oh boy do i look forward to their 30th anniversary show, i guess the landlord of the Knust is already double checking the contract clauses and the storage capacity for booze.

And from the all time classics penned by Gerd it was a harsh contrast to the headliner, as the Emils would stretch some of the lot away from classic punk into more hardcore. For myself i appreciate that stretch, as my own mu-sick-al upbringing happened exactly along these lines.

Here is a classic from their 1988 debut album (that got a decent re-issue in 2018):

They forever drag that crossover patch with them, despite them all coming from the same dirty streets like me and many in the audience. I noticed a couple of folks leaving but i also notice a number of people getting to the front and supporting them (and singing along).

Emils (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

Singer Ille kept the lot engaged and provided some good grounding statements between the songs. What indeed is surprising is that whilst they disbanded a couple of times and some have also other musical engagements it is still the same 4 friends they remain unchanged in their setup. And here is another sing-a-long classic from their debut album:

What did strike me most is how accurate, hard hitting and precise Carsten on the drums is. He handles the task like one of these Duracell powered toys without giving the impression to even a scent of sweat on his body. Class.

Emils (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

And whilst they marched through their set they kept the icing on the cake for overtime. It started of with this Buttocks cover:

And from there they went into a something beautiful, someething real stunning: A 15 minutes medley of what felt like the first two Slime LP’s condensed. Sing-a-long galore by the lot and loads of fun. And in hindsight a perfect chosen headliner!

This was fun and it was Christian who went on stage to remind people that the fun was basically down to a small team of four running this as a total DIY exercise (though with a great loudmouth marketing attitude). So big FANX to you, you know who you are!

I will now eagerly look out for 2021 and i indeed wonder how this can be topped. I was home late, i was home gently loaded and i was happy as fuck.

… DIY with a loudmouth title: Hamburg Punkrock throws a first!

Punkrock Hamburg has been a theme for many years for the Blackpool-Pilgrims to show off force and localism at Rebellion. In the last years it also has turned into a little FB community that allows people to share, participate and promote.

And in January 2019 it has also turned into a venture that hosts a first – the first ever Punkrock Hamburg Festival (aptly named “1st Punkrock Hamburg Festival in the world” in a bit of a loudmouth attitude (that actually pissed off some who saw the Adverts in 1978 and where present at the first Punk shows in Hamburg)).

First ever Punk Rock Hamburg Festival - A sold out not a sell out!
First ever Punk Rock Hamburg Festival – A sold out not a sell out!

And ahead of time it was actually sold out, though if you followed it on FB you could make out the gamble many venues and promoters are facing today:

The risks of trusting the internet generation!
The risks of trusting the internet generation!

At the ease of a finger move people are interested but in reality only few make an effort to get a ticket. Here it worked, also because it was a special location: The Stellwerk in the Harburg train station, south of the river Elbe – a rather grand room in the old station building.

Kick off was early and with Youth Of Altona and they do something special: They play only ever the Wipers songs they like, not the ones the audience would like to hear. From where i stand that is a very valid setting and if that is paired with mu-sick-al capability and some form of charm than it is valuable addition to entertainment.

Youth Of Altona (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

The most daring thing though was the guitar player, who played with some form of exoskeleton as he had a broken elbow. And that on the arm that moves the fingers up and down the length of the neck. Stunning that he was able to produce a clean guitar sound (as clean as it’s shiny acrylic glass body).

Great stuff but little movement on the rather small stage. But they got it right and they got the key item right: Wipers where not about speed and thus for some they played slow. I’ll say they played right.

Next local heroes Blanker Hohn. An outfit i believe i have seen only ever once in the early 80s, together with the then still small Toten Hosen at the FZ Nöldekestraße. I never tracked them, so missed their disbanding, re-union etc – but it seems they want to play again. How do they sound today? Check it out:

By and large they are to my ears rather painful and that is mainly because my ears never got to adjust themselves to what people refer to as Deutschpunk, specifically the class of 1984.

Blanker Hohn (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

It just does not speak to me. What i did like though was the guitar, the guy could shred out some good chords. Still, local heroes with some songs on local themes though the words today just don’t work anymore (as all of them seem grown up men, fathers and lovers). I think they would benefit from creating something new. But who am i, their marketing director? Nope, just a listener!

The contrast to the next band on stage could not be bigger: Projekt Kotelett amassed 2 guitars, 2 singers, one bass and one drummer on the now really crammed stage. And they had one item that i always dig: They dressed for the occasion.

Projekt Kotelett (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

All clad in some form of Deutsch and seeming to represent the unnamed Wutbürger. And with them came action, fun and loads of beer. On the musical side they blend in everything but ground themselves in fast rock (with scents of Glam, Punk and whatever).

Their advantage sure is the solid back line and the two singers, who allow for some versatile back-and-forth within a song and for at least some form of aggression. And putting the danger back into Punk it at least something many (including my humble self) appreciate.

They got applause and they got some dancing. And they drowned some beer. And more. An even more.

And that gave way to another stark contrast – where Projekt Kotelett where like Cabaret it was now for Nasser Hund to take the matters much more serious. As i missed their previous shows i was really keen to finally get to see – so i took at good look at the details to come.

Nasser Hund - Setlist (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)
Nasser Hund – Setlist (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And did they meet my rather high expectation? Oh yes, they did. No frills, no fills and no nonsense down to the bone music and great, heartwarming and to-the-point German lyrics. To find a comparison is actually tricky and any comparison would actually fall back onto those who are on stage and their history in so many bands.

That’s Kai on drums, Arne on bass and Jan on guitar. Whist i could brag about in how many different settings i saw them individually  i have to admit that in this setting it works stunningly great. And it also works that they let speak the music and the words rather then meeting my other fetish – stage uniforms.

Nassser Hund (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I loved them, many of the attendees loved them and they got a good level of appreciation (and even some drunken nutty dancing). If you ask me they are a force to come and you should definitely check them out. They even did throw in an encore – so listen up youth:

With that i am now super eager to get the news that they finally found someone who releases their fully recorded record on vinyl. It would be a pity if that takes the fate of the yet to be released Platzangst record (which turns into a myth every year it stays unreleased).

What beauties you can expect? For example this hard knocking A1 material:

Sie haben ihren Eltern niemals verziehen, sie lächeln nur auf Fotographien” – absolute great line and rhyme. If they go for crowdfunding i am in. Worth the effort!

Speaking of effort: Just check out the great backdrop the friendly people running this show created. It was actually funded by you and me (when buying Hamburg Punk Rock City T-Shirts from them) and we gotta be thankful to them!

Coolest community backdrop ever!
Coolest community backdrop ever!

If you need such a shirt then seek them out on FB!

And after a long evening, plenty of beer and plenty of chats with friends it was time for the mighty Razors. And they kicked off like this:

There is not a lot to add to that: They pretty much enjoyed the evening (and the other bands) and they where eager to close out the evening with the same level of joy.

Razors (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

The new set list by now is in shape, mixing new songs with classics and obvious highlights like Heroes.

Razors - Setlist (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)
Razors – Setlist (Stellwerk, Harburg, 09.02.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They almost rushed through their set, had everybody smiling and dancing and delivered the solid performance you would expect. And that, after all these years, as one of us in front of the stage.

Those who read here on a permanent basis most likely know that i am somewhat biased with them, still they simply deliver towards that agenda that get’s me out to shows and see bands live. And for that i love them.

Kick off at 19:30, final whistle after midnight, home in bed with a nice hangover and the best was to get the poor away game of FCSP on Friday out of me head. Mission accomplished.

Mission also accomplished for the good people that put this up: Sold out, all bands got their share and nobody was hurt and nothing was destroyed. I am not sure if they are in for a replay but i will sure lobby for it. Just the name for that little festival will need to be a bit less loudmouth.

Love you – you know who you are!