… a killer debut, a solid farewell and a triumphant return: The best show 2019, so far?

It took the Descendents and the Mighty Mighty BossTones 21 fucking years to come  back to Hamburg … and it took the mighty D.I. 25 years to be back at Hamburg shores, a place that in the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s was full of D.I. devotees.

So when the news came around that they hit Europe the Hafenklang was sold out quickly: It was a Friday evening in Summer, they paired with Poison Idea on their farewell stint and had with Yard Bomb the hardest and corest local support that you could wish for. People came from far and also near – the Hamburg lot was in full contingent and even Bremen showed up in force.

The unpleasant support the support slot was for Causes from Hanover, they had to lure 200+ people drinking and chatting outside the Hafenklang into the main room and in front of the stage.

Causes (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They did not succeed. I gave it a try, as i am always keen to see new bands. But they just did not touch my soul with their rather dark punk. They also looked a wee bit static on the stage, so i had to let go for another beer and another chat.  But by all means, make up your own mind and check them out.

With a swift changeover it was time for Yard Bomb, currently for me the hottest hard core unit on the local circuit. And they kicked of like this:

Their drummer was absent with leave, so their old drummer filled in after leaving 5 years ago to give them the opportunity to excel on the same stage as D.I. and Poison Idea.

They had a rooster of 14 songs prepared and from the kick off it felt that they wanted to shove it up the audience ears with no fills and no frills: Net they clocked in at 21:05 for the 14 songs, that is a near perfect 80 seconds per song on average (and allowed for 10 seconds between songs).

Yard Bomb - Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019)
Yard Bomb – Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019)

Their visual on stage is still a nice spread: Rolf yells, moans and groans and has every muscle full of relentless energy, Benny smiles and hammers the bass and Sven has his guitar strapped high and generates both knife sharp chords and a chaotic swirl. And all of that backed by solid drumming (though sometimes you could make out that they most likely did not have too many hours in rehearsal together).

Yard Bomb (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I loved the energy, i loved the mu-sick-al Blitzkrieg and the take no prisoners attitude. At times i even had the feeling they would overtake themselves but i saw a couple of smiles on the stage so they looked all happy with the effort.

Yard Bomb (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They have a veritable hit (one of my top 10 songs by a Hamburg band) and that one sounded in a speed up trash’n’burn version like this:

Sing-a-long to this beauty:

Milhouse will be a better man
Next 40 years from now
Don't smoke
Don't drink
Don't fuck around
Everything is turning up 
On Milhouse right now

Will be a better man
The next 40 years
Will be a better man
Don't smoke
Don't drink
Don't fuck
Don't curse

Milhouse!

If you ask me for my humble opinion (and that comes with 40 years of listening to that genre called widely Punk or Hardcore Punk or even Hardcore) that is perfect song that you would think came out of California or Washington DC say 1983 – but not out of Hamburg, in the year 2014 resp. 2019. Kudos Yard Bomb – you got me!

That Poison Idea finally say farewell in contrast was less than a surprise. Too many in’s and out’s, too many health and other problems. And sure losses like the passing of Pig Champion  But Jerry kept things together like on this final tour, where a last minute change had to be done to guitars.

Poison Idea (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

What the audience got was nevertheless a great showcase of the wide variety of the Poison Idea output (that actually stretches from 1983 to 2016 and still puts #recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes to a stunning test in getting a complete collection).

And how did it sound? It sounded quite well:

The strength of the set to me was that for more than half of the songs the audience carried the band forward with all the singing, dancing and energy – one final time both Poison Idea and Hamburg where indeed united in their loved for hard & cheap.

Poison Idea (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Jerry smiled a couple of times and thanked people for coming out. I’d like to reply that this was the minimum to do, they have been around for me almost all the time (and stock 18 record in my collection) and some of their output is definitely stuff that i will carry into the elderly home (once the rest of the collection is auctioned off to pay the fees).

Thanks Jerry for all the years of effort!

By now it was quite late (10 minutes to midnight) and there was still the headliner to come back on us after 25 years.

And this is how D.I. came back:

They came back as a 4 piece (though i heard rumors they would come with two guitars, did not get to check out more detail) and with a lineup that has been together now since 2003 (so for a while, though it is Casey who has been around ever since and that is since 1981).

D.I. (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Their strength sure is their early output until 1988 – for us over here the stuff was just like honey: Sweet. Sticky. And of quality. Little did we know over here about the many line up changes, there must have been like 20 different line-ups with Casey being the only constant.

But what it always had was a quality O.C. Hardcore sound. That cool blend of various bits of Rock, Punk, Surf and all of that neatly given some speed (in both senses).

D.I. (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Those with an eye for the more historic side of Punk Rock sure know that Casey was the original drummer for the Adolescents and as such he took great pleasure in the design of both the Yard Bomb debut 12″ and the matching T-Shirt. He even took it on stage and used it to deliver praise for the late Steve Soto (and that was echoed from the audience with some For Steve! returns).

And his old Adolescents classic (actually, again for those versatile in Punk Rock History, a Detours song by Messrs Royer and Agnew) was his own ode to his old mate Steve – here is Amoeba, 2019 Version by D.I.:

To no surprise the audience went ape shit. Loads of dancing, loads of singing and across the board very bright smiles not only in front of the stage but also to the back of a fully packed Hafenklang.

The most smiles actually came from the stage: Joey Tatar on drums not only does every trick in the drummer book with his sticks (and then some more not in any book), he also pulls faces left, right and center. Once you fixed your eyes on him you could not let go – it was utmost fun!

D.I. - The Drummer (utmost fun and pulling faces galor (c) gehkacken.de 2019)
D.I. – The Drummer (utmost fun and pulling faces galor (c) gehkacken.de 2019)

They came back more than once and they gave the audience everything and a wee bit more. As one of me mates noted it is not custom for US bands to come back for an encore – but coming back three times and late into the night, that is just class.

D.I. (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.07.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

With all that fun, all that joy there where also toned down moments, moments where Casey (a heroin victim himself) praised those who made a step away from drugs (and never returned to them) and he was also careful enough to explain that „Richard hung himself“ is actually not a fun song but a hard truth. As such he urged people to take care of those around him. Well done Casey, well done.

Casey’s own issues with drugs have been in the news, up to and including not so fun family moments that made the press. His advise offered in an interview was simple: „My advice… hard drugs will ruin you and your music, unless you live in Amsterdam. Then you will write good music, but die young.

They played until 01:00 and they left behind a still full, fully sweaty and extraordinary happy Hafenklang. On top they also had class manners, thanking each audience member that came forward for a chat.

I resorted back to the bar for beer, to the merch for two Yard Bomb 12″ (that i have to picture below in color … because of the cover, sure thing) and a Poison Idea T-Shirt for me love. And more beer. And more chats.

I can only urge you to get this beauty upon real release (that’ll be 27.09.2019) or attend the record release party at the Hafenklang on 02.10. (with the mighty Razors and Suck). Make sure you buy like me an extra one to make it a gift. Try to convince someone outside of Hamburg of Yard Bomb! Mine will go south and i am looking forward for the feedback…

…  and with a broad smile i finally took off home, yet again through empty streets on my short stroll uphill and home.

Whilst i was on the way to bed, the docks yonder still kept working on the cruise ship – i wonder when that finally will be done with the makeover.

Thanks for Hafenklang for setting this up and thanks to lot and the bands for making it a very worthwhile entertainment. Farewell to Poison Idea, hello to Yard Bomb and dear D.I. – be back soon!

… there ain’t nuthin better than live mu-sick!

If there was an ultimate proof than it came late in 2018 and it came loud, fast and hard. And it hit me with friends and it hit me ears plus it did send me into a neat hangover. So trust me, #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic!

First on Brack from the sunny marshes of Oldenburg in Oldenburg, an area very unkindly left aside by us from the big city. They are around for some time but have not graced Hamburg a lot. When they took the stage i feared the worst, specifically due to the bass itself: It was a copy of Paul McCartneys Höfner Violin Bass and thus not necessarily the coolest equipment for a raunchy hardcore band.

Brack (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Besides the bass Brack turned out to be a neat surprise as they not only sounded great (though the bass sounded just not rock enough – and i mean the bass not the bass play) but also sported something that made them distinct different and very fitting: The singer had a high pitched voice that at times reminded me of Ozzy and at other times of Paul Mahern (of Zero Boys fame).

And he not only got the voice, he also got the guitar play to make it a worthwhile effort and indeed a pleasant surprise (something you only ever will get if you go out and try bands you do not know). Check them out for yerself.

Next Yard Bomb from Wedel (outside of Hamburg city limits just beyond the posh west end of town) and they have been on a quite long hiatus, as they seem to be a fun side project of the musicians, who all now concentrate on different bands (not for a living but for more fun).

Yard Bomb (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

At times it had the feeling of an open rehearsal (including a spliff going around and a crate of beer on stage) but mainly it was kick shit US West Coast Hardcore from a Hamburg West Coast band. Some in the audience noted Black Flag or Circle Jerks in awe and they where not too much off.

Oh boy, they got it. They got it big time. A sturdy drummer, a large and solid bass and a frenzy guitar held up high and tight to the body. And an outgoing singer that wants his smoke, his beer and the ability to wander around in the audience. And songs short, hard and fast. No fancy making around, no fancy chorus-bridge-repeat. And it does not take a lot of words to tell the world to just fuck off.

Yard Bomb (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me a killer set and one of the reasons that i already had more beer than normally during the show. The other one was me mate Rudi who now resides in sunny Perth but for the first time in like 100 years was back to Hamburg during Christmas and Year End – that was a good reason to have another one. And with him his fresh love from sunny Munich, another reason for a beer. And there where more friends and as such you can guess where it all ended.

Back to Yard Bomb – they lack recorded output but just listen to this killer ode to our trusted friend Milhouse that is tongue in check with some of DC’s greatest:

Not convinced? Really? Sorry mate – either you better go up in smoke or have another  beer and try again!

Truly this was the best ever into what some (ok, one) dubbed Hamburgs best live band 2018 and so here is how that outfit kicked off their headlining:

Say hello to The Haermorrhoids, Hamburgs finest Ramonescore band! Whilst the like to stay secretive when portraying themselves …

THE HAERMORRHOIDS are band. They're from Hamburg and they play punk rock. They've formed some years ago and played at cool places with other bands. Their songs are fast and melodic and they kick ass. Don't believe us? Only one way to find out. Go watch THE HAERMORRHOIDS when they're in your area. You might like 'em. One guy's name is Greg.

… they got the message right: You got to check out bands live, as live mu-sick is the best you will ever experience (next to meeting the love of your life). And them Haermorrhoids have been playing a lot recently (up to and including gracing the best punk festival in Europe – Punk Rock Raduno) and they will play even more in 2019.

The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

By now they have a large rooster of songs and they bash them out with all the fun, wit and energy it needs. Want more? Here is some:

And as much as Yard Bomb they know that songs that exceed the 02:00 mark may not be seen as hit material (or are way to long for the attention span of the average audience member).

As such they keep their odes of self reflection short. Like this one:

Now try for yerself – sing-a-long:

Left with a bad DNA 
I’ve got a bad DNA 

So fat and ugly you think i stink 
I don't give a damn what people think 
You treat me like an animal 
You think i am asexual 

Left with a bad DNA 
I’ve got a bad DNA 

I'm not blessed with grace 
Have a look into my face 
My nasty genes fuck you up 
I don't care just shut the fuck up 

Shut up, Shut up! 
Get the fuck out of my way!

Any questions left? Any reason not to like them? And they finished off with some additional vocals and dancing on stage and i really need to stand by me mate how sees them 2018 Kings. Yes – quite some time that such a great Ramonescore band came from home town. Well done mates!

The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

The only item missing for now is proper vinyl output that i can add to my collection. Their first recording is out as a tape on La Pochette Surprise Records (go an score it!) but i want damn vinyl! Please! Pretty please me!

The bands had fun and beers …

ALL CAST (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018)
ALL CAST (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018)

… and the audience had fun and beers too!

Oldschool Barmbek & SteilshoopdowntoPerth plus a scent of love (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Oldschool Barmbek & SteilshoopdowntoPerth plus a scent of love (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

For me it ended nicely loaded thanks to Jana buying high octane spirits for me, Rudi and the Hafenklang bar crew. Good thing that the next entertainment for me was one day away – on Sunday the Razors rightfully expected year end worship, so i had one day of recovery. Still, live mu-sick is the reasoning!