… THEY LOVE US, WE LOVE THEM, WE CAN WIN – NO WAY FLAG IIII WAS NOT A KILLER!

The tale of the two Black Flag incarnations has been an ugly one, with law suits and what have you but in the end of the day it boils down to mu-sick for me. And there it is a rather clear cut:

Greg Ginn’s outfit called Black Flag continued down the path of the late Black Flag and their – at least to my ears – slow and complicated metal style  and seems to be on hiatus since their ill fated „What The …“ 2013 LP (with a non-Pettibon cover that just illustrates how off Ginn seems to be).

On the other side founding members Keith Morris (vocals) and Chuck Dukowski (bass) play with former members Dez Cadena (rhythm and vocals) and Bill Stevenson (drums) plus the addition of Stephen Egerton (Descendents/ALL guitar hero) and keep their stuff clearly on the early Black Flag output (with some small excursions into heavier stuff, then sung by Dez).

And they name themselves Flag IIII and they are the clear winner on all counts. If you ask me. Curiosity test: For those who dare mix old Black Flag stuff with Keith singing with the first Off! EPs – and then guess what is Black Flag and what is Off!

Proceedings where kicked off with Teenage Hate from Hamburg and it was their last stand.

Teenage Hate (Knust Hamburg, 29.07.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Teenage Hate (Knust Hamburg, 29.07.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

They were hampered with line up issues but provided a hard and to-the-point set nevertheless. Unfortunately, as ever, to a rather empty space in front of the stage and many folks rather having a chat and a beer at the bar. The missed songs like this one though:

Next on Krank from Hamburg (not the band with the same name and the allmost same genre from Zürich) and their „krankpunk„. They are in mind much more gifted than Teenage Hate but they did not get their recorded sound onto the stage  that night if you ask me.

Krank (Knust Hamburg, 29.07.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

Strange one, normally it works out the other way round for – Bands prove on stage their worthiness. It might have been me that evening, it might have been the band or the soundman (though those working the Knust are trusted members of the circut) … never mind, make it up for yerself:

And that paved way for Flag IIII, who where quick and professional to set up their stage and then taking the same (and the audience in one go) with some simple tunes and yelling for „Revenge„.

Yep, that’s it. That is the sound of Black Flag. Delivered today. You can moan and bitch that Stephen Egerton „stole“ Greg Ginn’s guitar sound – i’d rather say he adapted to it. And without a stop they kicked into „Fix Me„.

No doubt, that is how i expect that part of the Black Flag history (or legacy?) to be delivered. To the point, perfect sound, stage presence and also visual (Chuck and Stephen storming forward).

Flag IIII with Keith singing (Knust Hamburg, 29.07.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

And it also had wit and humour as you can see from the intro to „No More„.

That Chuck is bad-ass sure thing but that Bill now sports a massive chest and likes his nipples? Ok, that was too much! And as it was too much they changed over and Dez took the mike.

American Waste„, an often overlooked B-Side of the Six Pack EP. Me mate Frosch actually made a nice tip-off to said EP by greeting my prior to the show with a six pack (of warm beer to much disappointment).  „Spray Paint“ from Damaged was next and Dez slightly rusty voice fitted the bill to the max.

By now the audience was more than thrilled and singing, dancing and enjoying it like hell.

Flag IIII with Dez singing (Knust Hamburg, 29.07.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

The only shortcoming for me was the massive amount of Turbojugend geezers that went to the Knust as all other Turbojugend-Days shows that night where sold out. In fact they got the real thing, for once.

If only some of the other lackluster re-unions had that power, energy and street credibility – the mu-sickal world would be so much better! But these two subsets did draw on the old folks so they needed a break.

Coming back for the encore Bill, in all his simple truth and with all his honesty, gave a short, simple and oh so true statement.

Indeed we have all been eager to get our hands onto that new Descendents album. Some in the US where lucky where it was shipped a week early, some in Hamburg where lucky as the postman delivered it at 10:00 in the morning and me pitiful me waited all day long for the postman … he never came (but dropped it on Saturday instead): I literally had a „Nervous Breakdown„!

That and a couple of more encores left a sweaty and soaked audience in the not fully packed Knust (and real disappointment if you ask me) and no way that this was not a killer show. It’ll be in my Top 10 for 2016 and it is a clear contestant for the crown so far.

Was that all that was delivered? No, they almost branched into spoken words, not sure if all got the jokes within it…

Yep, like all old fellas they talk about health and compare medical resumes. Just like me and me over 50 mates start to do. But where else do you get the old to chat about their medical up’s and down’s and praising the young for their recordings? Never ever out in your home town, i bet ya!

And that’s all? Nope, there is one more down in hi-story:

(c) Oldpunks.de / Holy War Archive
(c) Oldpunks.de / Holy War Archive

Next to the Dead Kennedys 1980 and 1982 Black Flag where one of the first CA H/C Bands to play Hamburg. Henry Rollins remembers this in his Black Flag Tour Memories („Get in the van“) as follows:

Henry Rollins - Get in the van ( (c) 2.3.61 Publications Inc. 1994)
Henry Rollins – Get in the van ( (c) 2.3.61 Publications Inc. 1994)

And we old folks remember it because Stickel (of Channel Rats fame) untied the show laces of the singer of the support band (Nig Heist if i recall correct) whilst standing directly in front of the stage. To much embarrassment for him and laughter for us he was ordered to re-tie them and did so.

I do not recall it to be that nasty with Skinhead violence but maybe as a local i was too much accustomed to it. I do recall though that me and me mates stood right there in front of the stage and loved it to the max – as much as me and me mates (and a couple of more in the audience) loved Flag IIII.

We love you – so thank you Flag IIII!

 

… 2 days, 13 bands, a neat hangover – Get Lost! Fest III was just another blast!

I do think people are just not thankful enough. I heard some folks moaning that they did not get a ticket for Get Lost! Fest III and i do not think that i sensed any appreciation of the effort that the good folks at Wild Wax Shows and Hafenklang put into such an event. I know running shows can be a sucker but herding 13 bands and getting them on time onto two stages must be next to a damn nightmare. And then just think ahead that they’ll do it at a venue where all people wanting tickets would get one. How big would that effort need to be?

Get Lost! Fest 3 - Kick Off! (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Get Lost! Fest 3 – Kick Off! (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

The proceedings where kicked off on Friday at 21:07 downstairs and thus with a 7 minute delay. And delayed the audience was, as it was yet again a melting pot of musicians outside the Hafenklang. And, as one of me mates noted, the audience tends to get „more stylish“ every year – i bet you it is because it is a happy family event of some kinds of underground mu-sick industry.

Teenage Hate - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Teenage Hate – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

First slot was for Teenage Hate from Altona, a young hardcore band that had to fight both an empty dance floor and the fact that their sound was just a wee bit off for the audience. They don’t have a record (as they where not tired to explain they started recording one but it petered out) but here a rather fine effort.

Martin Savage Gang - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Martin Savage Gang – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next up upstairs was Martin Savage Gang, that is Martin Savage (Stockholm’s #1 garage rock entrepreneur) backed by Swizz Rockers Shady & The Vamp. Frank – boring 60s garage with nothing special. You really need to dig that niche, i don’t.

The Achtungs - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Achtungs – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Back down it was The Achtungs from Finland and we where back in Get Lost! Fest territory – a strange band, from a strange country in search of weed and … strange rock. Go listen:

Not something i would sell my record collection for but they had something, incl. strange stage behavior. And people started to get agitated and enjoying it.

Next on upstairs again where Teledrome from Canda, a mate of mine noted „80 synthie retro“ and i thought „…oh fuck. What a waste will that be?

Teledrome - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Teledrome – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Boy, little did i know. Great stage appearance: A centred vocalist (on synthie) who does not move. An agile tattooed girl on the right hand side with another synthie. A girl on the left hand side strumming it out. And a sturdy drummer. And a fucking driving wall of sound noise with pointed vocals.

I did double check their recordings on Bandcamp and they are tame, hence i would not be bothered with them normally. But on stage they killed. Surprise of Day One indeed! Well done!

Next on the bigger stake hard hitting Punk Rock with a capital R – from sunny Florida The Golden Pelicans.

The Golden Pelicans - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Golden Pelicans – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

In my native language it is down as „Schweinerock„, you will most likely call it Sleazepunkrock or something else. Loud, hard and with an enigmatic singer. Hard hitting and taking no fuckin‘ prisoners.

And that made way for the Headliner of Day One – The Red Dons. Eagerly awaited by a lot of people and the main stage looked down onto a packed house.

Red Dons - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Red Dons – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 28.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Great band, great instrumental intro and quite some nice songs. Sometimes they come across to me to lacking some edges but hey, that is my spoiled mu-sick-al mind i fear. The kids loved them and there was a lot of sing-a-long!


And that concluded Day one – good stuff but other than Teledrome nothing really exiting. But thanks to the settings (Up/Down and short breaks only) that was no spare time and thus no bore.

Get Lost Fest 3 - Kick Off Day Two (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Get Lost Fest 3 – Kick Off Day! Two (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Kick Off for Day Two was at 20:02, almost on time. But for the Dirt Shakes (reformed for this occasion) it was tough: 6 people only upstairs upon kick-off.

Dirt Shakes - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Dirt Shakes – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They made the best out of it, blasted through their short set and where cheesy enough to point out „… you being here so early and in daylight shows that you are no rockers. Real rockers would come out later when it’s dark„. Well done lads!

Shady & The Vamp - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Shady & The Vamp – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

First band downstairs and stripped of Martin Savage the lads from Luzern blasted through a so much better and tighter set – some of the songs i actually did like: Drive, hooks … though sometimes a wee bit too much guitar wanking. But definitely a force.

Kaviar Special - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Kaviar Special – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

France next, on the smaller stage. Kaviar Special had a bit of Surf and Orient thrown into their songs that could make them special – but they did not cash in on it. So mixed for me in the end as also the vocals did not work out for me – a rather dull effort in my ears. Sorry friends.

Bäddat För Trubbel - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Bäddat För Trubbel – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next on one of my favorites – Bäddat För Trubble from sunny Malmö. Best in class Sweden Punk Rock with a huge grounding in Ebba Grön or KSMB (at least for my ears). Lovely folks and most likely with the best ever bass player that graced the place: A Wu-Tang-Clan baseball cap, a Sodom T-Shirt and bad tattoos. Sturdy, never smiling and after every song a pointed „tak“. Lovely. They also had a stage show consisting of discussions amongst them and inviting folks from their large fan contingent to sing a song with them. Absolute brilliant and great songs too!

That was fun, though not necessarily typical „Get Lost!“ style of musick. But that is the beauty of these 2 days: You kinda know what you have to expect and what you get and then you taken slightly left-field. Just like at the record store where the cover sucks but you still give it a go – and it is a complete surprise.

And just like on Day One Teledrome upstairs did come out as a great surprise, it was Maniac on Day Two that go the crowed glued in front of the small stage.

Maniac - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Maniac – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They have served in various LA punk bands and i guess for the fun of it they are living out their Gentlemen Punk style in this outfit. A band with manners and a band that takes the stage in style: a drink, a joint toast and off it goes. I was too thrilled to take a video (damn me) but here is a sneak preview into their habits:

Now go and see them live and buy their records. Me mate Boffer did waste no time after the last chord! As much as everybody else by now was thrilled and in the mood for what could be dubbed as double headliners downstairs.

Dean Dirg where first and i am not sure but i think they did not play a show in something like 12 month. So people where super-duper eager to see them.

Dean Dirg - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Dean Dirg – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

And boy, they just kicked it. Big time, no frills and with all their hits – which are cool short rants if you ask me. But sure figure out yourself …

or just sing-a-long to this one:

At the end they where done, spend, gone – choose your words – and sweaty. As much as the audience. Great show, to the point. And setting a mile high standard for The Hex Dispensers, who returned after Get Lost! Fest I to grace Get Lost! Fest III. And they sure expressed that they where humbled to return.

(and sorry for the initial hick-up and the end just into the 2nd song, i malfunctioned as i was so thrilled)

From the first song on this wall all hands on deck and the full crowd moving and singing a long. I don’t know how the band did feel but if i would have been up there i would have been speechless. And, by now it was already after 01:00 in the night, so for many people already more than 5 hours of mu-sick and booze.

The Hex Dispensers - Get Lost Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Hex Dispensers – Get Lost! Fest 3 (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 29.08.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They took the stage, they played, they ruled. With style and smile. And all of that ended at about 02:00 with just another encore and a fully exhausted band as much as a fully exhausted and by now already a wee bit smaller sized audience. The Hex Dispensers had nothing more to give – just their T-Shirts and records. So with this one the Get Lost! Fest II did end:

2 Days, 13 bands, 10 hours up/down at the Hafenklang and sure countless hours of effort by those who made it possible. And i did not even take in the night show with Hamburgs own Kücken nor the Saturdays afternoon at the Molotov. But i am more than happy to let go any open air festival and efforts like the Reeperbahn Festival.

I am in it for Get Lost! Fest IV! And for those who complained? Get your ass up and make an effort to be there. It might take that you need to get tickets early – why not try that one?

For me that weekend did end quite some stress – a week out and over the big pond working in Houston, then a full workweek at home with some jet lag and finishing it off with Get Lost! Fest III and being home late (and with some beers). So this rant is written out in nowhere on Sjaelands Odde, 10 days of nothing but seaside view with me love.

That will get me back into the mood for mu-sick, live and loud. Bring it on Wild Wax Show and Hafenklang – you are running something special there!

GLF3_FLYER