… neither poor in taste nor weird in sound: 6x pure surprises!

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:

Sing-a-long again:

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!

… sold out places all over: Preferring sunny Santa Cruz over the East End!

Now that was a tough choice: The Monkeys had the Rejects for a 40 year anniversary show that would be a killer and the Hafenklang had Good Riddance, which i believe  have not graced Hamburg for … say 15 years? So what to do? Both went on Ticket sale early and both reported good traction on sales.

Whilst a large part of me mates jumped to the obvious choice of the Monkeys (and reported a killer show afterwards) me and a small part of friends decided for Good Riddance, as this would mark their comeback: Both in Hamburg but also after their 2007 breakup.

And also the Hafenklang very early reported „sold out“:

Two support slots went to local bands, kick off would be with Hamburgs finest ramonescore outfit The Haermorrhoids, who are busy touring and playing support slots whilst preparing for their next release.

And this is what awaited the die-hard fans in the front row:

The Haermorrhoids - Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.10.2019)
The Haermorrhoids – Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.10.2019)

15 songs, 30 Minutes. Perfect „less than 2 minutes“ scenario of pure energy. They kicked off slow and then blasted away. As the have now played a lot they are very tight and have perfected their set, which on this evening also included some new songs.

The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

The sound though was just not perfect, somehow it did not have the right balance to me: some of the vocals too low volume, some of the drumming not coming across right and it had a bit of an overcast of low frequency noise.

That was „1984“ and one of my favorite songs, specifically for the lyrics, an ode to mom:

When I peed into my bed 
My mom always cleaned up my mess 
Until I was 35 years old 
Never cared about nuthin' 
She solved all my filthy problems 
I lived in a fairy tale 
Oh yeah! 

As they only had a 30 minutes slot there was no fuzzing around, even technical issues with the hi-hat did not stop them of pushing forward and getting the front row dancing. Whilst the Hafenklang was sold out unfortunately some people did let them go and definitely missed something.

The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I would be more than happy if they just get into the speed and rhythm of them brothers Ramone and put a long player our every year. As such the news of them doing new songs and having another record on the horizon makes me fly high like a junkie – hopefully i don’t overdose:

As always „Overdose“ finished off their set and for me that was – despite the sound issue – a more than enjoyable set. With perfect sound and light it would have been killer actually.

Where The Haermorrhoids nailed it the next band would not. At least for me. And also for a few more who wandered outside rather for some beer and chats.

Kapot (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

It is not very often but sometimes a band either through look or sound, through vocals or something else fends me off, here it was the mu-sick – it just did not make klick for me. Check Kapot out for yourself and if you like them go out and see them!

After some changeover and some waiting the by now definitely packed Hafenklang got what they waited for – here is how GR kicked off:

Bang – that’s a perfect return onto a Hamburg stage. I have no clue into what cupboard people put them, i guess it the melodic element on top of that hardcore sound that makes them outstanding, almost never at the risk of being too slow, too poppy or just too much of a waste.

Good Riddance (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

With GR you have all elements that a band should bring onto stage: A near perfect drummer that hits hard and smiles away. A joyful bass that not only plays hard’n’fast but also has an eye for fun with the audience (and accepts the risk of being hit in the balls). A fast shredding and taken away guitar that drives the sound. And a singer that does not perform too many fancy items, schemes and maneuvers and just creates a center of attention through himself.

I knew immediately that for me it was the right decision to run AWOL from Cockney and with me many many folks smiled away or where throwing themselves into the pit, through the pit and onto the floor.

Good Riddance (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

The only bad item was that it was a very male pit with sometimes little attention to smaller and sometimes female members of the audience that also would love to be near the stage. I guess that is the price to pay for having GR at an unusual small location against what they used to draw (also in Hamburg).

There was another bad item and that turned out to be a technical one that i understand was on purpose: Russ voice sounded very odd and after the show i checked with the Hafenklang and they confirmed it was due to him using his own mike, which somehow gave that sound. If he likes it that way, than that is ok but it gives a distinct different vocal sound compared to the records. And not a better one if you ask me!

Speaking of records i was hoping to be able to score the new record in colored vinyl but they had none of that record at all with them. Damn, now i guess i need to team up with others and order from the US, greedy record collecting scum that i am. And me mates are. And we all are!

Good Riddance (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

GR ruled the Hafenklang definitely and the did wear out some of the audience, who sang most of the songs louder than Russ and who danced away relentlessly. They turned out to still be absolute perfect musicians, with a great sound and with some great songs. I would love to see them back in a slightly bigger environment and still sold out.

They did not play my loveliest song though but you can’t have it all…

… toss it, here it is – listen up youth:

Perfect guitar work and chords, driving and absolute stunning lyrics.

Thanks GR, on all fronts, for coming back!

At the end of a long evening i was like the 3rd but last person outside the Hafenklang after long rounds of chatting away. That normally tells me that i did like the proceedings. Back home and sneaking into bed i was wondering if it would have been the same at the Monkeys – i fear it would have been too!

Damn choices! But great to see that both clubs sold out and scoreing their share on drinks – we need them Clubs! So please all help to repeat this more often: Sold Out instead of Selling Out!

… some good simple Ramonescore does away with Easter easily!

A long and sunny Easter weekend was followed with the most simple but yet successful receipt for fun: Some good simple Ramonescore. And how attractive that was i could see be the diverse number of friends that came out to see the package in the well filled Molotow.

Them Haermorrhoids, with their hot album just out, had the pleasure of getting on dead early, at 20:00 sharp. I guess they have been practicing like hell as they are now totally in it and can deliver a 17 song set in like 27 minutes.

The Haermorrhoids (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

There are next to no breaks or delays between songs and the „all vocals, all chorus“ type of singing just works like a treat. I do hope that their support slot for Teenage Bootlerocket opens them additional avenues for success, they deserve it!

They finished their set with my favorite song, the sad ode to overdose.

You were your own worst enemy 
Now you're dead

Take it DeeD… er Nils:

If you like what you see and what you hear then make sure you buy the record. It is a perfect piece of DIY Ramonescore and it comes in a beautiful yellow cover. And it comes with 20 songs, so has a perfect balance in terms of money vs. what you get.

Rumors have it that the next recording is just around the corner, i do hope that they are able to keep pace and quality, as i would love them to be successful beyond Hamburg and on bigger stages.

As such: Give them a chance. Please.

And whilst we had some drinks and chats in the backyard of the Molotow after the set someone asked if the next band was on. He got multiple replies „naa, listen, they are still spinning records“ whilst Fat By The Gallon actually where already on the stage.

Fat By The Gallon (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me this was the my personal big problem with them: They sounded so perfect, so polished, so much like on a perfect studio production that i just could not relate to their light weight, fast paced pop punk. But as ever, #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic – even when the band does not work for you.

Make you own choice, i for myself won’t buy a record of them:

And that did lead to Teenage Bootlerocket, who have come a long way since 2000 and by now are playing „any size“ with an emphasis on bigger places in the US and the occasional rather small place over here in Europe. And all that playing has made them an almost perfect entertainment machine with loads of professional (and semi-professional) gimmicks thrown into the live performance.

Teenage Bootlerocket (Molotow, Hamburg, 23.04.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And a live performance that is, the sad loss of Brandon has not stopped them from just being a great band that knows how to carry the audience along and to emit energy from the stage. And, bonus, the twin guitars and the distinct different singing between Ray and Kody is a definite unique selling proposition.

Great set, delivered with precision and professionalism (and with a slight risk of being too perfect in showmanship) and thus the perfect finish for this early show with plenty of friends. And looking at the bright smiles across the  packed audience of the Molotow also all the other people enjoyed it too.

The Haermorrhoids will enjoy a couple of more shows with Teenage Bootlerocket and be right back here with us in Hamburg soon.

Looking forward!