I didn’t have the opportunity to go to a show in quite some time now so I was very glad when a friend of mine informed me that German hardcore frontrunners Black Friday ’29 were playing a show at the Underground. What better way to celebtrate the current economic crisis with a reference to what happened 80 years ago. A very nice coincidence, by the way.
As I mentioned I didn’t go to shows in a long time and while this maybe explained with the workload and the rather, uhm, let’s say, inconvenient shift times of my new job, another reason might be that there were simply no shows to attend in the past two months. I had seen Black Friday ’29 a few times before and Kingdom, who were also set to play, are no strangers to me either. But you just can’t resist a nice hardcore show once in a while, now can you?
When I arrived at the Underground the first band, Hardflip, was already ripping things up on stage and it was only 8.20 pm. Things really change. The Underground is a commercial club which puts up shows in the early evening and then opens its doors for a discotheque-kind-of-thing at 11 pm which is why shows start rather early and are put on a strict timetable. So while I was a little angry that I didn’t drop by earlier that anger suddenly went away after I entered the room and ordered a beer. I didn’t miss anything. As mentioned earlier, Hardflip from Mönchengladbach were on stage trying to sound as hard as fuck. Now that’s not really my favourite cup of tea. I don’t mind a tough guy performance every once in a while, but this one just didn’t get my attention. Somehow I had the feeling I had heard the sound before and that’s not a good sign to begin with. They only played two more songs while I was there so it didn’t really matter to me.
Next up were Kingdom, Cologne’s local heroes and while I was watching the guys I realized that every time I go to a show of them they have a different lineup. And not only that, their sound seems to change slightly as well. The first time I saw them they sounded a lot like early Cro-Mags. The next time they had a stronger punk feel and now they played something much more close to motorcycle rock. Yet they still have this hardcore edge to their sound. I really dig this. The crowd was a bit lazy so there wasn’t that much going on in front of the stage. Which was fine with me because it enabled me to enjoy the show without having to watch out for flying fists or bodies. They didn’t play their Hammerhead coverversion though which was sort of a letdown, but nonetheless their performance was highly enjoyable.
After the next break All For Nothing entered the stage. I heard they had a female vocalist bt that seemed to be the only distinguishing mark to this Dutch band. Let’s be honest, there’s a limit to clichés. Alright, the music is hardcore, so what? I presume those guys play the music they like and surely the know what’s right and what isn’t, but there’s simply nothing inspiring in the way they played this night. The announcements by the singer sounded memorized, the oh-so-hard attitude was simply hilarious and so it wasn’t surprising there wasn’t that much movemenmt in the crowd either. It’s nice there’s bands like them to keep up the spirit, but when the next time I see them will probably at a show some other band I want to see plays at. Tonight’s set was as average as it can get.
Black Friday ’29 on the other hand were the complete opposite. I guess the main difference here is charisma and that’s what their singer Björn has. I don’t own any records of this band, I have seen them two or three times before and they never stuck in my head for a long time. But the one thing I always remember is that all the shows where I have seen them were highly enjoyable. It was the same this evening. Right from that start they had the audience moving, the action was there and so was the feeling that everybody was enjoying themselves. And this, basically, is what it is all about to me. Even when they did an announcement about the need to oppose fascism, something you rarely hear anymore because it sounds so standard nowadays, it didn’t feel out of place here. It sounded honest. Hell, they even have a godchild in Nicaragua and they were collecting money for the little one, how cool is that? Which reminds me I forgot to donate a few coins. Damn, shame on me. I will do that the next time I see them.
So the last band was really worth the money and it was a nice change from my daily routine. Hell, I never thought I would ever say this, it sounds so grown up and old. But as the time I have to my own expense is drastically reduced evenings like this one start to become precious.
(When I get the pictures a friend of mine took at the show I will add them here)
Pics by emortality