Also this year the good people that orchestrate the Punk Rock Hamburg community put a small DIY event foward, making it Hamburg Punk Rock Days 2021. Spread across the Molotow, the Dschungel, the Hafenklang and the Knust it was to ensure that the locations where not forgotten.
For many it was the local replacement for the Blackpool Pilgrimage that was due over this weekend but like many other events got canceled.
Planning was not easy, rules unclear and eg. a boat trip on the MS Hedi was not possible. Instead it started on Wednesday at the Molotow with Cavity Search and Wreckage Dance, a date i had to miss due other commitments. I also did not find the time (and frank energy) to have a beer at the Dschungel on Thursday but i had my tickets fixed for Friday and Saturday at the Knust.
Came Friday and in my part of town, just about when i was to travel to the Knust, torrential rain came down, thunderstorm and … flooding. I was just about to skip the trip when a friend already at the Knust messaged me “it’s all sunny here, we are waiting for you”. So a wee bit late i set sail.
I thus arrived only when Küken had already claimed the stage. They jumped in for another band from out of town who could not make it (and in my mu-sick-al chart would not have featured anyway). And they delivered a perfect broadside!
Some people claim “their songs all sound the same” but that is a naughty complaint. They have found their own niche and they fill it almost perfectly. They actually play very modern Rock’n’Roll if you ask, if only more bands would dare to do the same and not be copycats.
At the Knust they came tight, together and as one wall of sound … listen for yourself:
I am still hooked on them, their driving and fast paced guitar sound with the unique twin voices is really something i dig. Luckily i was not the only one and a number of the Blackpool Pilgrims in the audience took positive note too, up to and including fetching a record.
Next on the best Ramonescore band in Germany (according to Luke) and with them a swift change of sound. Less “wall of sound”, more variation in speed and a different style of dual vocals.
I am definitely looking forward to this 4-piece hitting the studio to record the follow up to their epic 2019 LP Apparatus Of The Ultimate Power, if they again get to capture their energy it will be another class record.
The Haermorrhoids (Knust, Hamburg, 06.08.2021 (c) gehkacken.de 2021)
What did strike some (and me too) was the fact that whilst the outdoor seating at the Knust works quite fine the setup itself (2×4 people facing each other on beer benches) lures too many people into talking whilst the bands play. Somehow this leads to some “distance” and is quite unfair the band playing.
Maybe that is also the reason my recording device lost attentiveness exactly after 01:00 into this beautiful ode:
In the end more than one of the Blackpool Pilgrims took a rather surprised note of them (finally!) and after the set they were able to sell some of their records in double quantities. Well deserved, though i still would want them to both do something on stage attire and with stage movements – for my liking it is all bit static.
And the folks attending? They were happy, they were chatty, they were smiling and the enjoyed time out with friends with good music. And that is what this small DIY thingy is about – from the community for the community.
Happy People at Hamburg Punk Rock Days 2021 (Knust, Hamburg, 06.08.2021) (c) gehkacken.de 2021
But somehow this was a fucked up weekend for me, as i missed 3/4th of the proceedings due to too many circumstances. But for the times we currently face this was well done, so capital Credit and Thanks to Punk Rock Hamburg (Arne, Perry), Knust, Molotow, Dschungel and Hafenklang.
Let’s get vaccinated, the sooner everything falls back into place for those who love and yearn for live mu-sick.
The circuit already started to pick up again but i was enjoying a break away to Danish shores, so this slot was my first show since … 23.09.2020. 9 months without a seeing and feeling live mu-sick. Daunting. Devastating for both Clubs and Bands.
But with vaccination picking up, numbers currently being rather down, the outdoor seated (and regulated) show has resurfaced and everybody is willing to put something up, provided the Club actually has access to an outdoor area (with my loveliest Club hasn’t, damn).
This time round it was the Molotow and the reformed (and enlarged) Haermorrhoids that lured people towards the end of the Reeperbahn.
Kick off was early, queuing was eager as it was first come first serves when it comes to front row seating. The support was taken by Notgemeinschaft Peter Pan, another local outfit. And just another band that could not really keep practicing during the pandemic situation.
Notgemeinschaft Peter Pan (Molotow, Hamburg, 25.06.2021)
Their approach to Punk Rock is neither 77, nor hardcore and also not humpta-humpta Deutschpunk. They rather work on the fringes of all of that, most of the time the later two. Paired with strong political lyrics and their neat ability of dual vocals (the drummer sings half of the songs) it came across not at all bad.
They got good feedback but you could feel that both the audience was up for Ramonescore and they needed some time to get back into it.
Next on The Haermorrhoids, the best band in the world (as one assured member in the audience kept on bragging). They exchanged they sturdy bass player for two new members: A new bass (almost as tall as the old one) and an additional guitar. So a fresh start into the post-pandemic circuit, hopefully also with fresh output – the long awaited 2nd long player.
And the start was … like this:
Hui, the addition of the 2nd guitar has strengthened their own wall of sound. I guess as they had to bring two new members on board they did rehearse a lot and thus sounded quite together, tight and almost perfect.
The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 25.06.2021)
The only complaint i got to make is about stage attire and stage movements, it was all pretty much static and thus some of the energy of the songs got a bit lost. Specific the bass in the middle was almost shy, i guess it was the nervousness of the first show.
The longer it went, the better it sound – specifically also for new songs. If they keep direction, if they keep pace and if they capitalize on the additional guitar then we are in for something mighty!
The audience had much fun, plenty of booze and enjoyed it thoroughly. And as ever, the finish got me me loveliest song by them, now it is OVERDOSE as a four piece, cool.
Great start into getting back onto and in front of a stage, little did i know that the beer quality in the Molotow Back Yard would lead to some headaches next morning. But their ain’t no headache that can’t be cured with … more beer next day. And that was waiting at the Knust, where we would be stopping next for … DeALL!
Already the 7th edition of this poor mans travelling circus, this time with The Briefs as headliner (and – wild guess – name giver). Location was to be the Molotow, which is for me always something … dunno … painful. Like some others i never got warm with their new location (and layout) at the bottom end of the Reeperbahn.
Kick off was very early and with the Anger Boys from sunny Recklinghausen. The classify themselves as “weird n’ nervous hardcore punk!” and they come across as short bursts of sometimes structured and sometime less structured noise topped with some very capable female vocals.
Anger Boys (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
They had like a 20 minute blast into a largely empty room (once they had sorted some bass amp signal issues) and they indeed did surprise me. I will definitely check out their demo and for sure i will give them another chance (on a different stage hopefully).
With a very quick changeover Bad Affair from Hamburg took the stage and they too surprised me. I saw them in April and boy have they improved since then. I would not even know where to start …
Bad Affair (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
… i guess key item is that they have balanced singing and guitar and that they have been able to pen down some really good songwriting: Complex where needed, powerful and with a real drive. I will definitively watch out for more, time being you will need to resort to their demo (as the last 6 tapes did sell out on that night, or?). Good stuff and again female fronted … something that unfortunately did not last through the proceedings.
Local heroes The Haermorrhoids claimed the stage next and they have by now perfected both their setup and how they deliver:
Tick for stage attire. Tick for in-sync movements of Guitar and Bass. Tick Tick Tick for being solid, together, tight – just class. Can’t phrase it different. The sound though at the Molotow was less than perfect – i’d love to see on the perfect stage, with the perfect sound system and the perfect sound man. That’ll be fun!
The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
The Molotow by now was well filled and sure their fan base was front row and cheering. If i noted correctly they have just come back from a short tour in Italy, so it was really a well oiled machine – delivering new songs and classics like this one from their debut record:
Boy do i look forward to the next album. And please do surprise me by having it recorded at Sonic Iguana and produced by Mass Giorgini or – if easier – record and produce it at the Blasting Room. Bang! That would put you and Hamburg on the map. Big time.
Class set as ever, quick, fast – no fills.
Next on from those alpine meadows of Switzerland the Bad Mojos. They took off where them Haermorrhoids left it: Fast paced and sunny one minute blasts of fun and joy. And they also knew that it take formal stage attire to be successful – so they dressed up for the occasion.
Nice cheap mans space outfit? Or sweat-suits as they have to make weight? What ever, it nicely fitted and gave their set the visual perfection that matched the music.
And another big surprise, as they got me left-field: I thought i have seen them before at a Get!Lost!Fest! but they did not impress me – now their less than 2 minutes blasts just sounded perfect.
Bad Mojos (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
And these blasts are lightweight high speed punk hymns with a strong fuck you anyway empathy, as expressed in their current record:
I HOPE YOU O.D. (Bad Mojos, released February 20, 2019)
1. DIGGIN' MY OWN GRAVE 01:32
2. BABY I'M DOOMED 01:17
3. I WANNA BE DEAD 01:02
4. I HATE 01:09
5. COMMIT A CRIME 01:57
6. POLICE CAR 01:23
7. I HOPE YOU OD 01:48
8. TOO DRUNK 01:23
9. OUT OF CONTROL 01:46
10. EVERYBODY HATES ME 01:28
Any doubts? Nope!
They were forced to play an encore (despite the running order not allowing for it) and gave an ode to Ian Stuart and safe car driving – indeed a perfect poor and weird extra! Well done lads!
With so much fun and high speed blasts it was time for something different. And something different we got: UK ’79 – ’81 (surprisingly the name of their recent effort) was the theme and the age of the musicians was slightly older than what we had seen before.
DefektDefekt (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
They hail from Bremen, have an English contingent and mix their string duties: Mid way bass and guitar swooped duties and with that also slightly changed the sound.
At the start it sound “hard mod“, later it sounded definitely like something i heard back then via John Peel on BFBS (and relentlessly taped it). They sing in German, in English and i believe i heard another language on top.
Great stuff, excellent musicians but … stage attired could be improved if you ask me. But to me they turned out as the biggest surprise: I tend to ignore Bremen where i can (for all sorts of bad reasons), so i did not catch them prior. Great set and towards a packed house by now.
It all felt rushed, or, in a positive way, without delays. Reason must be that the Molotow wanted to max turnover/turnaround on that Friday, ie. the live music should be over by 23:00 so that they can fill the club with entertainment seeking youth (“suburban hipsters” as someone pointed out).
Headlining thus came fast and furious … and from The Briefs – still one of the most entertaining party machines around. They conquered the Monkeys last December and they conquered indeed the packed Molotow this December.
All singing, all dancing and a huge number of smiles in the faces of the good people attending. Whilst on stage it was sans the female element in front of the stage a notable number of female enjoyed it and danced away. To get you into the mood spin the video and sing-a-long:
Outside the walls a curtain calls
i cant believe were here at all
what you see i do believe
i got no place, no place to bleed
i've got nothing left, i've got nothing right
i've got not place to sleep tonite,
cuz what you see is what you get
i don't want your sympathy yet
Ain't it the truth
ain't it the truth that hurts
there's no excuse
and it could only get worse
Faze in this world are hard to face
i must agree i hate this place
the cover ups have all been shown
we pay no mind, don't want to know
we don't hear a word, we don't need to think
we don't want no trouble don't change a thing
cuz life's much better when you close your eyes
But i cant live in your disguise
Ain't it the truth
Ain't it the truth that hurts
There's no excuse
and it will only get worse, and worse, and worse...
So all the morons stand it lines
we turn cheeks and eat the lies
the TV news is nice and dull
the networks keep us comfortable
leave it alone, there's nothing wrong
shows over folks so just move along
and in the end we'll wonder why
then we'll count to ten and say good bye
Ain't it the truth
ain't it the truth that hurts
there's no excuse
ain't it the truth that always hurts
ain't it the truth... etc...
Steve and Daniel on Guitar, Chris on Drums and Pascal on Bass – did anyone actually realize that this makes the Briefs a 50% German band? Chris lives here and Pascal is German. Great to claim such a great band!
There was no stopping in the barrage of hits and there was no stopping in the audience enjoying it. They are though not too much a chatty band, they rely on the songs to get their message across.
The Briefs (Molotow, Hamburg, 14.12.2019)
Once done the audience demand more and screwing the set timeline they embarked on a couple of songs encore, including their own little self-assessment of them as Americans:
We American's is dirty
We American's is positive
We don't know if we should be
We American's is cowboys
We American's love guns
Ain't no one can stop us
Not even them injuns
So shoot the president
Forget the national debt
It makes no difference to me
It don't effect my rent you see
And it has always been this way and it won't change
God bless the good old USA
We American's can't write
We American's don't read
And we don't want nobody
Telling us what we need
'cause were better then that
And were better then this
And were better then everybody else
We got the dollars and we got the cents
And it has always been this way and it won't change
God bless the fucked up USA
You know you can't complain
We'll just wipe out the stains
We like to suck before we spit
We spray pain on the walls
'cause we love those shopping malls
All those purple track suits make me sick
That's it, we quit
We American's is stupid
We American's don't write
Ain't no one can stop us
'cause we do what we like
Classic and actually no surprise. But how nicely it all fitted together over 6 bands and how great the tight schedule worked to give the audience a non-stop enjoyment from 18:30 to 23:15 – wow! And for the The Briefs the surprise i would like to see is … get them to cover the first two The Boys records!
Surprisingly good entertainment on a Saturday evening in December, at a location that just does not resonate with as much as the bands resonated with me.
Great travelling circus and by no means poor entertainment and weird music – i hope this now gets a firm annual repeat!