… what a raunchy night: Adolescents matched by The Bar Stool Preachers in speed!

This was going to be a brilliant Friday night: Not only was i still on a high from the BossTones show on Tuesday but it was the Adolescents again (and ever since last years „For Steve“ show i would make any effort to see them) and a little not so well kept secret appearance of a band from … Brighton. As in United Kingdom. From that Island yonder. A band that loves Hamburg. And is loved over here.

First on and with a slightly shortened set due to the extra addition was Punktucke, the unfortunate locals. I guess they where not too happy with this but as ever had to bite that bullet. They had not more than a 1/3 filled Hafenklang in front of them but they just did not care…

Punktucke (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

A very precise and to the point set, for me deeply tied into a sound that also other bands from Hamburg do feature but with a fresh spin. They are not particularly my favorites but they got something meaningful to say, both on the mu-sick-al and lyric front.

Next on Fights & Fires from the UK. I saw them last year as support for Dag Nasty in Bremen and noted „The mu-sick to me was exactly that type of music that can’t choose what it wants to be„. This time they sported a wee bit less hair but they still came across to me as „no fish no meat„.

Fights & Fires (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Others in the audience liked them from the start, got dancing and flying (and some of those even where on the guest list, so they do have local support). One of me friends was even so convinced that after the show he took home their record. They where friendly, they where hard and they where fast. Nothing wrong, just not my sound.

And that gave way to the Adolescents and they kicked in like this:

In front of the stage the sound was almost ok but somehow on stage the musicians did struggle. It took a couple of songs, some stops, some interactions with Witte (who did sound) and the removal of a mike in the kick-drum to get the stage sound acceptable for the band. And frank, also in front of the stage it sounded better.

Adolescents - Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019)
Adolescents – Set list (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019)

They got a lengthy set list prepared and they pushed forward almost relentlessly. They definitely where not going to take any prisoners this evening and they knew that someone else would mop the ground with the audience to finish off – so they did let go!

Adolescents (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They also traded some memories, like towards Jürgen Bitzcore (who to my surprise was in attendance) and a song long ago played for the first time in Hamburg. And they had people relentlessly dancing and singing along – to the known hits and also to the lesser known songs.

Adolescents (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

If there is one item that stood out for me then it is how tight, how fast and how energetic they where. It was thoroughly a killer set of you ask me and they never did hold back.

It was sure thing not possible to top last years show from a feelings perspective, the love & appreciation vibes last year where to heavy. But this night they topped it from a mu-sick-al perspective. Just puuuurfect!

Adolescents (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

You can see it from the many picture, loads of broad smiles and loads of fun on and off stage. And that forever makes a good gig, that simple recipe!

Whilst the Adolescents resorted from stage around midnight there was still one more fun item to enjoy: The Bar Stool Preachers had a day off in their schedule and needed a place to sleep. Hence they booked themselves into Hotel Hafenklang for a few hours and payed with some stage time.

That sunny lads from Brighton, who had all fun during the other bands, took the stage like this (in self made and highly stylish gaffa makeup):

From the first chord two items where clear: Compared to Tuesday as support for the BossTones on the big stage of the Freiheit they injected some nitro and supercharged the engine in what felt they were trying to match them Adolescents in speed.

The Bar Stool Preachers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Maybe the just did let go? I definitely like this raunchy & speedy version of the Preachers more and it sure fitted the location and the evening so much more. And raunchy and speedy it was also with bodies flying left right & center, up to and including crashing into me mates beer.

... when Beer gets hurt the fun ends!
… when Beer gets hurt the fun ends!

Someone should have pressed that big red „STOP“ buzzer – you can’t hurt a beer glas, that is very very unfair! But the mood was fun on a Friday night out so nobody was prosecuted and me mate simply strolled back to the bar: Knock it back and ‚ave another one!

The Bar Stool Preachers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 05.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

In record breaking time the Preachers did drive full speed ahead through their set, always at the risk of speeding. Outside they would have been fined, inside they just got love, showers of love.

They finished their set off at around 01:00 (against a 02:00 curfew backstage) and if i am not mistaken their alarm clock was set to 05:00 as they had a long drive on Saturday in front of them. Still, they put everything in and they got they audience still going – see yerself:

Wohahow – Bar Stool Preachers. Full. Stop. Thanks lads for the surprise addition and the extra umpf, the extra speed and the extra fun.

I was thoroughly done after a long day and took the gentle uphill stroll home through a peaceful and quiet city with almost no traffic. Just over at the docks, some folks still did the good old hammer work.

... strolling home through the empty streets and the docks never sleep!
… strolling home through the empty streets and the docks never sleep!

The Adolescents had it a wee bit easier, their last date on this EU Tour was Berlin on Saturday and then back home. In this form they can come back every year (and every year i will put a little memory in … For Steve!).

… mutual appreciation: Back together after 21 years and still in love.

Oh Boy, that was just like the Descendents last year: They took 21 years to come back, for them BossTones it took also 21 years to grace Hamburg again. Unfortunately not at the Markthalle, though the Freiheit would provide more space to people (but with a much more annoying setup).

That’s a hell of a time away from us over here, though one specific Punk Rock Hamburg connoisseur and BossTones maniac took every effort to see them (travelling near and far). Next to him plenty of mates where around and the show i guess was near full (or maybe even sold out).

On tour with The Mighty Mighty BossTones where The Bar Stool Preachers, Brightons brightest. Last time i saw them i noted „i wish them making it big“ and that is how they returned to Hamburg (yet again): On a big stage, supporting a big band.

The setting was professional rock show again, they had to set up their gear in front of the BossTones stuff, luckily the stage at the Freiheit is indeed spacious.

The Bar Stool Preachers (Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, 02.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They had to kick off early and thus to a small circle of friends in front of the stage. But song by song not only that circle did grow but also the rest of the audience got into them. By the end they and their stage charm commandeered the audience and they got good feedback. For my ears though they sound more and more polished and professional but i still wish them to keep growing and find commercial success too.

And with a swift and professional changeover that made way for the lot from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dark stage, surprise reveal of the rather orange back drop and … 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 … 9 BossTones entering the stage and storming into The Rascal King.

The Mighty Mighty BossTones (Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, 02.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

From the first chords and from the first vocals of Dicky the BossTones magic was there. The space to front was for Dicky, the space on the wings was for Ben and they where supported by the massive backline: John on Keyboard (behind a neat cover), Lawrence on guitar, Tim on Sax, Joe on drums, Chris and Leon on further brass and Joe on Bass.

The Mighty Mighty BossTones (Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, 02.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

For a fun moment i imagined that troupe on the smaller stages of my preferred clubs, eg. Hafenklang or Monkeys, and i had to admit to myself that it would not work. They need space, they need also volume of sound and that is what the Freiheit provided perfectly. And it also provided plenty of space for the audience to dance thus indeed a dance party the whole show would turn into.

The Mighty Mighty BossTones (Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, 02.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They played like 25 songs and for almost for two hours, including songs from all records and including crowd pleasing covers like Simmer Down (from the Wailers) and a brilliant I can see clearly now adaption (originally by Johnny Nash), that made the audience sing in the loudest possible way.

And whilst at it, they took that excitement to further heights by storming into The Impression That I Get to finish off the set. But sure it was not the end of it, they came back and Dicky specifically came back with a hats off to Hamburg shirt: He was sporting one of the neat Rude Boys Hamburg shirts that indeed makes any bearer a beauty (and yes, i have one too).

The Mighty Mighty BossTones (Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, 02.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I did not dance all the two hours but was sure emotionally uplifted (to phrase it mild), others where all sweaty and soaking wet and where just our of their mind happy. It was one of these shows where a large contingent, mostly in front of the stage, looked at each other after the last chord with a fucking big smile.

Did the music really end? Where am I? What happened?

Bad thing was it was the Freiheit. Upon the last chord still running around from the wall to wall the bouncers forcibly push out customers from the front of the stage to the exit, denying them to exchange enjoyment and replenishment of liquids. Stupid practice, also commercially as then more beer is consumed elsewhere.

Some of me mates now will follow them BossTones further, one of them saw them in England too and will report back on the show at the Forum in London on the previous weekend in due cause. That one also had a lucky wife, as she was gifted with Dickys sunglasses during the set, he has an eye for die-hard fans!

And straight from his point of view, here is his account of the proceedings:

For me, being the "crazy guy that travels and tours with the BossTones" it was absolutely wonderful to see the excitement, joy and sheer happiness expressed on people's faces and friends reaction after the fabulous BossTones show in Hamburg. 

Absolutely overwhelmed by their intense show and still raving after a couple of days I am sure friends will think quite a bit different about touring with MMBT now, and understand that this is the band that you can't see often enough, you have to grab any chance!

They will never ever disappoint, not on record and surely not playing live. Dos Alert hit the nail on the head when he compared the Interrupters show a week before to this one: 

Both bands put on a show, but where The Interrupters one seemed like a routine the BossTones one was played with passion. Heart & Soul and highly intensive, that's what differentiates the BossTones from the majority of bands, and the only show that equaled this one at Große Freiheit in recent years was the Specials comeback in 2011, where they also got each and everyone dancing. 

Being in contact with Dicky next day he confirmed that they could feel the love and that they are very happy about it. So let's all hope that they won't take that long to come back this time and play more shows in Europe in the next couple of years!   


I was just happy as a fuck that they where back, that they where just incredibly (or maybe stunningly) great and i was wondering whatever made me attending that other professional rock show recently. How stupid.  Let’s collectively hope that Dicky overcomes his laziness and is willing to put another Hamburg date on the map in say … a few years.

… if there is a god in the mu-sick bizz he will make them big: The Bar Stool Preachers, back home!

Zoom back to April 14th, 2015 – them Bar Stool Preachers made their first ever European appearance over at the Monkeys, pretty much in a perfect amateur way. And since then they have kept course and played a lot: small places, even smaller places and big places (and even biggest places opening for the likes of DTH). They have two long players, a couple of singles and another US support tour ahead of them. Stunning.

This time round they graced the Hafenklang (just to collect another local club on their jolly around Hamburg) and they even had a support act – making them the main act!

Support was Chester Park from Hannover by virtue of volunteering i take. As ever, i was keen to see the support too and this is what is saw:

Chester Park (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Chester Park (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And for the first time for some time i gotta admit that in the moment the singer opened his mouth it became unbearable for me. Check them out yourself, in hindsight it sounds a wee bit nicer but it ain’t my (and many others that night) thingy.  Not a centimeter. Not an inch. Not a chord. And so i left for chats outside.

Next on the friendly and well behaved boys from sunny Bristelmestune (as their home town was called in the Doomsday Book). And they are drawing a slightly changed audience now: Was their first show almost exclusive to the (ageing) Hamburg Blackpool Pilgrims and Cock Sparrer connoisseurs that contingent now is a mere 1/3rd – they managed to get themselves a much wider and younger audience, even over here.

And by now they are indeed a well oiled and hard working machine that knows both to handle being on stage but also how to handle, encourage and command the audience. And it sounded like this:

The commandeering for large parts is done by TJ, a seasoned frontman with all the smiles, gestures and moves that are real and not just a show, and Bungle, the towering and ever smiling bass player. As regular on the live mu-sick circuit i have to admit though that some of the schemes were on the cheap side (seen too often) but when they come with this amount of credibility they become a bit more acceptable.

The Bar Stool Preachers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

What they did not have to command though was „get moving„, that part the eager and willing audience did themselves just following the beat. What was also a slight and encouraging difference was the number of the (younger) female contingent that was dancing in the front (whilst the old lads smiled on the side or in the back).

And they finished off with their own little story about touring and getting stuck on the motorway – here is their little ode to that motorway that heads north-west out of London:

Great band, great show and a lot of smiling faces. And sweaty dancers. And almost everyone was of the same opinion: They are so kind, so nice, so good – they deserve something bigger: They deserve commercial success.

Even at the expense that we may not see them anymore – but that would be ok. Give them a gifted producer and goddamnit someone should expense a recording budget with a good studio (as their 2nd LP in my ears could do with some better recording/production).

They deserve radio play, they deserve prime TV time and they deserve the bigger places. And once they are there they will still hold the credibility of a humble band following the right leavers. I’ll trust them.

Fun fact for all #recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes: They handed these funny flexi discs to the audience for free – you will pay a lot for them soon!