What if punk had never happened? Would we perceive music differently? Frankly: who knows. But I personally imagine independent music would evolve around the sound of groups like Shandy Mandies and Tweak Bird.
Tweak Bird got their Berlin "break" last year when they played as part of fashion week. Apparently, not that many people attended the solid performance. Oh how things have changed in the space of a few months! This time round, West Germany was packed and lively. Several people were referring to their label, a famous skate wear brand, leading to the conclusion that the label pulls a crowd alone. But it cannot be denied that there is also a buzz surrounding the band.
Shandy Mandies presented an appropriate support. The local band's songs are varied but generally span the decade before punk - from 60s surf influenced numbers to heavy 70s rock. The reception was good and I must say that I really enjoyed their performance. They are from Leipzig but play fairly regularly in Berlin. You may want to check them out if you like your 70s rock music.
The main act, on the other hand, does not try for variation or toning down in any way. They play heavy, and heavy. It borders on stoner rock at times but then resorts to just 70s deep rock'n'roll most of the time. Given their two-piece bass and drums set up, all songs start with a good rhythm and some melody. After two minutes at the most, it all loses itself in some seemingly ad hoc rock out jam session. I am sure it's rehearsed but it is hard to tell.
As you might expect, this was loud. There was a lot of smoke from the head-nodding crowd. It was hot. Though I did appreciate Tweak Bird's rhythm and roll and the heaviness of their jams, I did feel that I had heard it all after about half the set. But truth be told, I would not have wanted to miss this gig. It's one of those things - it may not be your gig of the year but you have had to go regardless. And I am all glad for it. A good night at Kotti.
Tweak Bird illustrations © Robin Eisenberg. She is one fine talented woman and we love her! Contact her via her website if you want her to do amazing work for you, too.