… L.A.’s finest in a never ending Rock’n’Roll show: Hamburg loves The Generators!

That was supposed to be a worthy entry into a long weekend (thanks to all the German public holidays in May) and it turned out to be so, though it took some stamina to get there. At least the outlook of The Generators taking residence is what is most likely the most fitting club for them in Hamburg was worth the effort to finish up work on time and get into a relaxed weekend mode.

The Monkeys surprised with the support slots: First off it was two bands and second they were of quite, lets say, complementary style. Kick of was with Death By Horse from sunny Sweden.

Death by Horse (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
Death by Horse (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

I did not know what to expect so took my time to listen in. The setting seemed ok, an agile female singer with 3 boys. But from the first song i had an itch, that seemed not to go away. It took some time until i could make out what i did not like and that was the clicking sound of the bass. It did not fit and it sounded too much rock.

They had though one song and one moment that made the whole club listen: It was a really emotional one, presented by Jahna in a very emotional way. And it was about being abused as a little girl. I do not know if it was a personal account but that one did stick (and the audience was taken off foot and afterwards did not dare to applaud – so personal and moving that account was).

Next on RoadRage from fucking nowhere in Limburg. And their sound was initially refreshing – 5 lads with too much hair: Both facial and on their head. They label themselves as „Motor Punk“ (you got to accept that you can learn a new thing every single day) and they pushed forward like a truck.

RoadRage (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
RoadRage (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

But soon, too soon actually, it got very boring both for my ears and my eyes. Whilst Death By Horse had something unique (that somehow did not sound good to me) RoadRage sounded so similar to so many bands (and had way too much rock posing). Sorry, not my thingy and like many others (who prefer their hair short) i resorted to the Pub for some more good old Guinness and watching Frankfurt taking Bayern Munich hostage for the German cup (and to see yet another reason to get rid of the video referee).

I was not the only one leaving them early: The drummer of the Generators stood in front of the stage during all of the Death By Horse set and took the same position when RoadRage came one – he also did not stay through the whole set (maybe just because he needed to prep). Nice gesture anyway to see the support bands from near (which i also always try to do, i think any band that endeavors to play a „support slot“ should get some sympathy).

By then it felt a wee bit late but luckily The Generators are a professional touring band so with not too much fuzz they did set themselves up (though Mike had some initial problems with his effect board and the backline … only to realize late that it might be helpful to insert that damn cable into the input jack of the amp). And once they had all things sorted Doug joined them on stage and they kicked off with all the force, all the strength and all the sound that i was missing so far.

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

It has been only two years ago that they played Hamburg but this time they actually had a full new LP with them, so some part of the set was devoted to actually playing new songs. And them new ones fitted into their rooster just perfect, loads of sing-a-long and loads of grins’n’moves from Mike.

Now i felt in business and also the rest of the Monkeys was in front of the stage and enjoying them. And you could also see that they had fun on the stage, it was the last day of their touring in Germany and they only had one more gig in Copenhagen before they would resort home to L.A..

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And whilst it all felt late earlier it was The Generators who made up for time: They did play long and they did add not one, not two but many encores. And then, against all american custom, they came back on stage to do even more. I think they where both in a good mood plus thrilled by the feedback from the Hamburg lot. Here is one of the many attempts of a final encore:

And all of these encore got the crowd going even further, that extra mile that cements the fun emitted down from the stage on the floor in front of the stage. And within that audience one member had utmost fun: Johnny Slash, once bass player for the band, was with them and either was out of his head or just plain boozed: His permanent stage invasions and falling across the monitors did anoy some people though Doug made it clear that there was not yet the need to throw him out. So, to double the fun, we also got him singing. And in the end he just turned out a nice chap with just too much fun and energy that moment …

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

Stunning, just stunning. And worth a reflection: Since Schleprock scammed Warner out of a million dollars for their 1996 Warner LP that combination of Doug and Mike just works like a treat. I did love them prior to that point and have all the Schleprock output on vinyl but that record to many people was just a surprise 10+ points. And now with The Generators they already have 11 Albums out (and over 20 releases in total) and they remain just and amazing outfit.

And with that knowledge i resorted back to a final pint, some more chats and plundering the merch stall. A very worthy show and i bet ya they will be back at the Monkeys soonest: That little gem fits them like a glove.

… let go, let go: The Generators, Teenage Bottlerocket and who?

Them Bones from sunny Karlskrona decided to take The Generators and Teenage Bottlerocket onto the road through Germany celebrating 20 years of their own punk’n’roll history. Whilst that is a great outlook to see two great bands it also came with some odd settings: A hefty door price of about 10€ per band (and pay per view i would have selected) and the oddest headliner stage setup possible – the support bands needed to set themselves up in front of the Bones stage setup. I do hate this and it always make me think rock-start-shit.

First on The Generators, as early as 20:30 they had to climb the stage and they were greeted with some smiles, cheers and thumbs-up from the rather small audience – Hamburg loves them!

The Generators (Knust, Hamburg, 07.12.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

The smiles where returned from the stage – Doug, Mike and the rest where happy to be in Hamburg again and recognised that a mid-week evening might not be the most attractive day for a high energy punk show in Californian Style. Still, plenty of people in audience actually did sing-a-long to their songs!

Somehow the sound was better than at the Hafenklang last time round but still, due to little space that them Bones granted, it was not perfect (and the Knust now has an almost perfect sound system and capable staff). For me they are still one of the most underrated bands and their perfect studio sound is the one that i’d love to hear one day on stage … just like this:

Next on Teenage Bottlerocket and that with some hidden tears: The sudden death of drummer Brandon Carlisle is still a very very sad burden – i guess both for the band and the audience. They kicked off like this:

Jiha! Teenage Bottlerocket are back and they have not lost a thing – they where even able to cope with the small stage! By now more people where in front of the stage and more dancing was going on, though it as much more empty than eg. on Gerd’s 25th anniversary show.

Teenage Bottlerocket (Knust, Hamburg, 07.12.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

Where The Generators generate the Californian sound Teenage Bottlerocket clearly generate the fun. And then some. And whilst watching them me and me mates game up with the ultimate show: The Lillingtons, The Methadones and Teenage Bottlerocket at the Hafenklang. One night. That’ll be … class.

And fun includes taking the piss out of Markus (age 17), who annoyed me earlier by taking a selfie in front of the stage whilst the band was playing. Never mind, we now know that he sells Crystal and other odd items. Or was this just a vehicle to showcase Ray’s German? He did a great job in entertaining the audience in local language!

And with „Radio“ they called it a day and yet again did proof that they can do the tiny stage of the Meanie Bar (50 people max) and the large stage in the O2 Arena (fronting 10.000 people) – just give them the stage and they will create a lot of fun. I’d hope they come back as a real headliner soonest and give us a long and extensive set. And then some. Extra.

Next on The Bones and i do have their first two records but today do not follow them. Their sound is too perfect, too slick and too much rock style in my world. Me and me friends all assembled one by one at the bar over the course of the set and did not bother us with The Bones (we rather got chatting, talking, ranting and drinking. And one more. And one for the road).

The Bones (Knust, Hamburg, 07.12.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Bones (Knust, Hamburg, 07.12.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

At the Knust they do show the stage on a large TV at the bar so you could see the band (and you hear it anyway) and also that did not lure me over. I only did a sneak peak once and was still not convinced by them, sorry Bones. Good but slightly expensive fun with good friends – even on weekday that is a priceless setting.

Too much space in the audience on the dance floor ( (c) gehkacken.de)
The Bones: Too much space in the audience on the dance floor ( (c) gehkacken.de)

… Punk Rock live rule #6345: shitty sound is for the support stint not for the main act!

It wasn’t the best start into a Friday night show: I was sick most of the week, my team managed to loose despite scoring 3 goals, me mates who would accompany me to footie and to the show where off sick and i had plenty of time walking from the Millerntor down to the Hafenklang to replay the grotesque game i just had seen. Aaarrgghhhhhhhh….

At least the Hafenklang was warm, friendly (i had my ear protection forgotten at home but thanks to the lovely girl behind the bar got a replacement) and to-be full of fellow old punks. And actually it was to be sold out (no surprise, given The Generators street-credibility and musical capabilities) and one of me mates came late from the game and without a ticket and was … unlucky. Not very clever mate!

Toxic Vapors (Hafenklang, Hamburg 11.03.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Toxic Vapors (Hafenklang, Hamburg 11.03.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

First on Toxic Vapors from ~100km south of Hamburg, so they do not pass as locals. They kicked of with a tight and fast version of „Filler“ (Minor Threat) followed by „Boredom“ (Buzzcocks) before relating to own material. The unsatisfactory first slot, as ever, was paired with ignorance by the crowd. But they managed through that and at the end they got some smiles. The Toten Hosen cover though was something i would always let go.

The Lamplighters (Hafenklang, Hamburg 11.03.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Lamplighters (Hafenklang, Hamburg 11.03.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next The Lamplighters from Sachsen-Anhalt who impressed me on many fronts: High on the list for rather pointless band name, a guitar player with a huge effect board (almost like in a surf band) and a bass player who centers (but does not sing). Very unusual and surprisingly good! The only item that did put me down was the fact the songs where almost all one tempo – variation please!

Unfortunately i only captured a short snippet and that from the side of the stage, but listen for yerself…

They got quite some applause from the by now full house and they seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the set.

But the crowd was waiting for Doug, Mike and the rest of The Generators – and they got it in a „wham-bam-thank-you-mam“ fashion:

Shitty sound, technical issues and a bass player AWOL. That’s punk rock and it does not stop The Generators. For my liking the drums where to loud, the guitars to silent and the stage light too dark. Never mind, some of it got corrected during the set but the sound never was quite right (maybe on stage, but that is not really helpful for the audience).

But on stage they seem not to care too much, handled technical issues like pros (more or less) though Doug sometimes asked probing questions to his fellow band members („Are we ready…?„). Still, the fun prevailed and they took course through the rather large Œuvre of 10 long players and some more and were met by an enthusiastic crowd (with an eye for detail and typical Hamburg hospitality ie. serving them some Jägermeister on stage).

The Generators (Hafenklang, 11.03.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

And what more? Endless encores, i lost count after like six or so. So here is some more mu-sick to make you jealous (if you stood outside without a ticket mate):

That should have been the theme for the sound actually, „There gotta be a better way …„.

And on the final return to the stage they finally had an ear for the endless requests from the audience for „… play some Schleprock“ (somehow this must be a bit of an annoying legacy i guess) – they gave a no frills version of my loveliest Schleprock song:

I guess that one went out to all the cheerleaders who talk to much, eh?

Luv it, just luv it! And it makes me so jealous that some of me mates saw Schleprock at PRB15 last year, damn them forever!

They blasted for 1 1/2 hours, took no prisoners and boy Doug is the perfect front man no matter what (by the looks, by the smile, by the commandeering of the crowd and sure by the voice). If only, if only – the sound would have been perfect. Then it would have been a perfect set, from a perfect band and would have wiped away my footie tears with endless joy. But hey, i am complaining from a very comfortable point of view and for fucks sake this is punk fucking rock!

With a nice Generators shirt for me wife i headed home and felt all fine again: good show, saw a lot of faces and finished of a bad week (out of work being sick) in best possible way. Thanks Hafenklang, Toxic Vapors, The Lamplighers and The Generators!