Autumn hit Rockcity Hamburg hard on the Saturday of Reeperbahn Festival, storms raging, rain washing away the remnants of last night, while the music lovers were putting on a beanie hat and braving the weather, always on the hunt for some new music.
This year I only managed to go to the last day of the festival, however I somehow managed to squeeze in meeting some dear music lovers. I had a few beers with Rene from the music blog Renes Redekiste in one of the legendary bars on Reeperbahn and later that day I met up with the lovely Lisa, another fellow music blogger. We had a good old chinwag on Spielbudenplatz, right in the heart of Reeperbahn Festival.
One of my highlights was seeing Southend-On-Sea quartet Ayslums. Having seen these four maniacs a couple of times back in the UK, I knew I had to see how they’ll behave on the mainland.
To be fair, Asylums shows are always a diverse assortment of craziness paired with general mayhem. These lads are just not made to stand on stage and play their instruments, they live it.
I headed down to Hamburg’s Kaiserkeller, over at Große Freiheit and was pleasantly surprised to find a packed-out room. Saturday night saw a couple of strong acts playing at the same time, so seeing loads of people decided to check out Asylums was a cool thing.
Heading up the stage with bags of power right from the start, the band started things of with one of my all-time favourites ‘I’ve Seen Your Face In A Music Magazine‘. Such a good tune, that instantly gets the crowd going.
Following up their signature indie art rock sound with the fittingly titled ‘Joy In A Small Wage‘ from their amazing debut album ‘Killer Brain Waves‘. The room is heaving, the crowd is dancing, jumping, beers a flying. It’s a good old rock show.
The four Brits on stage slowly but steadily find their feet on Hamburg’s stage and turn up the volume with ‘Alien Human Emotions‘ from the same titled sophomore album. Followed by the punchy ‘Bottle Bag‘ which goes down like a treat with the punters.
It’s a little bit rowdy in front of the stage and the band on stage give it their all without trying to hard. Truth be told Asylums pretty much rocked the crowd from start to end of their set oh so effortlessly.
That night Ayslums didn’t go all out on their usual crazy stage presence, they were probably just testing the waters with the Reeperbahn Festival crowd. However, their unique sound with their charismatic personas made this one of my favourite Asylums shows to date!
Later that night I popped over to the famous Indra Club to meet up with the super cool Steph from Three Words Magazine.
Little fun fact, the Indra Club is where the Beatles once played their first set in Hamburg back in the 1960s. Today it was time for Copenhagen’s finest export of rocking girl power – Nelson Can!
Can you play some honest handmade rock music with just drums, bass and vox? Well, Nelson Can!
The three incredible ladies took to stage at the rammed Indra Club and delivered an outstanding set to the Reeperbahn Festival music fans.
It was really hard to turn your eyes away from the stage, as Nelson Can just drew you in with their peculiar mix of DIY rock and infectious raw vocals. The Indra Club was close to boiling over due to the incredible Scandi talent on stage and the extreme heat that radiated from the excited crowd.
Slowly but steadily building up the tension in the room, lead singer Selina climbs to the edge of the stage seeking out the proximity of the crowd. ‘Go Low‘ then saw her slipping into the middle of the crowd, revelling in the warm embrace the fans greeted her with.
Tacking it down a notch, Nelson Can showed off their delicate yet strong side with the slower ‘Break Down Your Walls‘ a beautiful piece about freaking free.
Over the course of their set, the three power ladies seemingly own the stage and prove everyone in the room that rock music doesn’t need an electric guitar neither a man to front the show.
Last set of the night was over at Knust where Jamie Lenman showed Reeperbahn Festival who’s boss. Equipped with his guitar and some epic song writing skills, Jamie conquered Hamburg’s stage with a bang. Unstoppable energy poured from the stage onto the crowd who quickly began dancing, headbanging or displaying their best air guitar skills.
Impressing the fans with his impeccable German skills, Jamie easily led through the night, throwing in a couple of stories here and there which the crowd thanked him for. Without doubt, this was the loudest gig I went to on that day, and I would probably go that far and call it the best gig of the day for me.
Jamie’s incredible one-man show, supported by kick-ass drummer Dan Kavanagh, is just something that you need to see for yourself. Launching an avalanche of his greatest songs onto the festival crowd, the set was destined to be a good one.
Treating his audience with the punk influenced ‘All Of England Is A City‘ from his album ‘Devolver‘ as well as the metalesque ‘All These Things You Hate About Me, I Hate Them Too‘ which can be found on Jamie’s debut album ‘Muscle Memory‘.
And if that didn’t win Hamburg’s music scene over the cover of Toto’s Rosanna surely did!
The longer Jamie Lenman played the more people came flooding in, intrigued by the wall of noise they had hit when passing by. As he closed the set with ‘Mississippi’ I knew that I won’t leave it too long until I see Jamie Lenman live again, but next time I’ll be down there in the mosh pit, that’s for sure!
Until next year Reeperbahn Festival!