… San Vernando Valley 0, Long Beach 1: A sweaty Californian twin headlining!

Bang Bang Bang – Hamburg not only suffers from a heatwave of a tropical nature but also from show overkill. Following Battalion of Saints i did let go Ruiner (and more) on Monday only to return to a packed Hafenklang on Tuesday. I am not sure if it was The Dickies, i think it was the combination of T.S.O.L. and The Dickes that was to be a wide spread mu-sick-ally and thus lured a wide range of people.

A surprise support slot was handed to Scooter Kids Must Die, local heroes. A friend of mine had them down as worthy though their self set style as „punk doom hardcore punk thrash“ did not speak to me. Others had them down as „THE new hardcore punk hope of Hamburg“ and that at least had me check them out whilst i guess 150 people decided to enjoy beer outside the Hafenklang.

Scooter Kids Must Die (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Scooter Kids Must Die (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me they sounded at times hectic, at times fast and to the point and all the time with a singer that roamed the dance floor and yelled, mumbled and screamed. And moshed it out, more or less alone, in the pit. Mhhhh, tough one for me – i stayed on but left prior to the final song – i was not (yet) convinced. And the pairing was way too off against what was to come (says the man who preaches contrast is good).

Next on T.S.O.L. and ever since Jack Grisham in 1999 took back ownership of the name from the hair metal faction that did run it following the infamous Sun Set Strip Riot in 1983 T.S.O.L. are not only back for good but also enlighten the audience with a wide variety of mu-sick-al styles. Here is how they kicked off:

Ok, Jack has some additional weight on him but he still has a voice and has a band that fits him. They took the stage and gave the as good as sold out Hafenklang  a wide run through what T.S.O.L. recorded over the years.

T.S.O.L. (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And the audience was more than receptive. Actually rather enthusiastic (though not as much as for The Adolescents a week earlier). Loads of nodding, lots of applause and some dancing.

Fun moment was at the end of every song: If the drummer gave a fraction of a second of pause then Jack eyed him angrily and yelled at him to speed up and storm into the next song: Obviously he had a game plan and did not care if his team died at 45° degrees heat on stage. A plan is a plan and a delivery to the audience is a delivery.

Double fun that Jack allowed himself to take a breath whilst Ron was singing a song that was just from another style…

Just perfect. And that is what i sometimes loved T.S.O.L. (and actually Joykiller too) and at times over all the years hated them for: Their spread of music is very wide and not that narrowed down as for other bands. And, on top, it is utmost fun when Jack starts talking between songs – he is a handsome entertainer!

Still they can trash out their old 1981 signature song „Abolish Government„:

For me they were just perfect. All i needed from a live show, although the sound was somehow not as perfect.

Next The Dickies, who seem to be on a two years rota: 2014 Hafenklang, 2016 Knust (a near perfect show with a „Hits only!“ set) and now back to the good old Hafenklang.

And surprisingly they took the stage with an old Beatles classic:

Unusual and it should continue in that vain – it was not to be a sing-a-long series of old hits, nope, it was Leonard playing some word tricks with hints towards the final album to come and new songs from that final final album where to be included in the set. And Leonard was not shy to announce that it would finally be end of … whatever.

The Dickies (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

The sound was still not perfect and on the stage it also felt a wee bit not in sync. There where quite some looks coming from the bass player towards Leonard and Leonard himself a couple of times was unhappy with the poor roadie who had to hand him the gimmicks to accompany the songs.

For me and some others it was a less fine show of The Dickies, something was just not right. Was it the band, was it the rooster of songs or was it the heat? Not sure – at least there is an outlook for a new Dickies LP and some final vinyl to accompany the many vinyl my collection holds (against a total 10 Albums (half of them live albums) and 20 odd singles (many in variations)).

The only wish i have – continued – is that i want to see them play „See my way„. That stunning Blodwyn Pig cover i desperately want to see live. Please. Pretty please me!

Just after midnight the show ended and it was more chats and drinks. And it was me at fault: The gang was there and i was not dressed for the occasion. What gang you might wonder? That gang with the „Free Melania“ shirt from the Adolescents show it was. The other sported it proud, i just completely missed out. Hence i accept that i was the culprit that night. Accepted mates!

… giant mutant babies and an almost perfect sing-a-long show: The Dickies, yet again!

It is August and thus the Rebellion-itch is with many people – those who do the pilgrimage and those in Hamburg who need to decide what shows to see, as many bands use the short hop to Hamburg to add a couple of shows. It is oversupply times dear Bookers!

The Knust spared no expenses and rented a ritual dancing secret society to perform a ritual dance in front of the venue in order to lure people into the club. About 180 followed, which created some open space in the club that easily hold double the capacity. I’ll take it is down to another odd 100 folks from Hamburg ditching this show as they will see them next weekend in Blackpool.

Shirley D. Pressed (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Shirley D. Pressed (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Kick off was for Shirley D. Pressed who claim their mu-sick as „Poorly played Skatepunk since 2007“ and who made no impression on the audience as far as i can make out. They sounded too much No FX, too much Epitaph or Fat Wreck for my liking and lacked the genuine „this is us“ moment. But judge yerself:

I only watched a couple of songs and resorted back outside to engage with friends and listen to their Rebellion plans.

After some re-arrangements on stage The Dickies greeted the audience with their ode to Rosemary (and a little hick-up on the stage entry backdrop music):

It ain’t only the band – there is a new PA in the Knust and the sound is stunningly clear. And from there The Dickies took us through their catchy tunes and covers, all with a shitload of humour and comic style.

The Dickies (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Dickies (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Stan Lee the ever smiling hat wearing guitar hero, Leonard the quirky singer plus their younger backdrop: Adam the well dressed drummer, Ed Tater the sturdy bass player and a new guy on guitar (as far as i could make out).

The Dickies (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

It was hit-on-hit but it was also a wee bit short (and lacking some songs i would have selected). When querying Stan Lee after the show why they did not play their cover extraordinäre „See my way“ he agreed that it a class item but adding songs to the setlist with Leonard „… is like pulling teeth„. So after 40 minutes they called it a day.

The Dickies - Set List (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Dickies – Set List (Knust Hamburg, 01.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Warning! They dropped „Killer Klowns“ and pulled „Rosemary“ to the start of the set – so do not just copy this into setlist.fm you donkey who has not been there!

And that giant mutant baby? He and his friend annoyed the majority of the audience, got two times what he deserved and he and his family generally made a laugh out of themselves. Pointless but well justified pit violence: Hey, THAT is punk rock you dickhead. Keep telling us you invented punk rock and that your behaviours are the only correct ones … makes our day.

This song thus is for you:

… it ain’t memory lane – they still have a lot to give!

Arrested Denial, Adolescents, The Dickies - Hafenklang 12.08.2014 ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)
Arrested Denial, Adolescents, The Dickies – Hafenklang 12.08.2014 ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)

It should have been a walk down memory lane but it turned out to be much more fun indeed. My business schedule took me to Manchester the week before Rebellion@Blackpool and everybody taunted me for not staying over. One of the reasons (next to spending the weekend with my love) was that i needed to be in London the week after and wanted to see my dear old friend Rudi, who on the way back from the Blackpool pilgrimage did a stopover in Hamburg before returning home to his new hometown of Perth. So i was up for Rudi, Adolescents and The Dickies – knowing that i had to fly out to London next morning. Grim outlook but nothing that could not be cured with good music, fun, friends and beer.

I did let go Arrested Denial but rather spend time talking – then it was time for the Adolescents.

Adolescents (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
Adolescents (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

I do not know how many times i have seen them but it is always unpretentious and class. Sure it ain’t the Adolescents from 1980 but Steve Soto and Tony Cadena keep their thing flying with style. And energy the have, ob boy, they do have. It is sure helped by the other 3 guys in the lineup, giving them the perfect backdrop. The stage entry was yet again cool, just went on, adjusted the lights and blasted off with „No Way“:

And they carried on without a scent of slowdown. And did they stop at one point in time? not realy, they gave the impression that they wanted to play on and on and on! Finaly „Sonic Reducer“ was a well timed „farewell“ to the audience. Wow – even better than last time at Hafenklang!

Next on The Dickies and that is down memory lane: 27.11.1979 was my fist punk show ever, seeing The Dickies (whom i thought to be from England) and The Stranglers as a 15 year old kid at the Markthalle in Hamburg. The Dickes blasted the place, there is a cool tape of that show but no video – they looked like this (apparently the only video footage of that area):

The Stranglers where just hated for all the stupid reasons of „… not punk“, „… sellout“ – see below cut from a German music magazin:

The Stranglers ( (c) Sounds 1979)
The Stranglers ( (c) Sounds 1979)

But hey, 35 years later The Dickies (ok, Stan Lee and Leonard Graves Phillips plus a variety of backline) still give it a go!

The Dickies (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Dickies (Hafenklang, 12.08.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

The music has been speeded up a wee bit to fit todays listening preferences but from there they are still one of the best sing-a-long bands of all times. And yes, it is memory lane! Forgive me and my age!

The took the stage with „Paranoid“ and took Hamburg by storm:

And took no prisoners from there. Be it short („Poodle Party“) or long (my all time live favourite „If Stuart could talk (what would he say?“):


 

Also The Dickies made no stop, played for ever and encore was added to encore:


 
I lost time, enjoyed the music, talked forever and had way too many beers. But within the set was a cool gem worth to explore. The Dickies sure are known for their cover versions and there are so many stories about these. But they also played my favorite cover: „See my way“ (a song by a long forgotten UK rock band from the early 70s):

The words for this one are priceless:

i know i can't see may hand
and i can't help it if i stumble
all of those things that are sad before me
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

see the point of watching my life
i can see it's been so wrong
climbing mountains without even looking
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

i know i can't see may hand
and i can't help it if i stumble
all of those things that are sad before me
wanna see see my way

need a friend to help me through
when i'm gone pick
my body up and carry me
home take me home

(c) 1970 Mick Abrahams

And in it’s 1970 boring rock glory it sounds like this – live at German Beat Club TV Program … and now you do know why it has been covered:

Actualy, on record and leaving the jazzy bridge and the sax aside, it is a decend pre-hard rock song:

And, not for a reason, also the Ramones family did a cover:

And you know, fuck it – i got all the space of the world here, this is a psych-proto-metal cover version from New Zealand, dated 1971. And you exactly know why punk had to happen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE1lr5HoEJI

So actualy next to be able to write this song, to give credit to this exhibit of reason why punk came about, they got their record covered designed with so much more class than bands nowadays who design for CD covers at maximum. Gatefold cover with a cool bord game on the inside. Now beat this!

BLODWYN PIG - GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG – GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG - GETTING TO THIS LP
BLODWYN PIG – GETTING TO THIS LP
Blodwyn Pig 1970
Blodwyn Pig 1970

 

I am sure my friends Alf and Wolfgang have this record in their collection, as they sport a few years more and made it through the pre-punk prog-rock area.

Humming „See my way“ did lead me home and with a late and short sleep and the „comfort flight“ next morning to London i sported a neat hangover in the office on Wednesday. Regrets? None! Even 35 years later these evenings make my day and pic’s like below will forever serve my memory!

Oldpunks having fun ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)
Oldpunks having fun ( (c) gehkacken.de 2014)