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Donnas, The

Stadt / City Hamburg 
Land / Country Germany 
Web www.thedonnas.com
Datum / Date20 Feb 2005 

Fortunately, the Donnas didn’t make their fan base wait too long. Their concert on the 20th Febuary was their second visit to Hamburg in 17 months, once again in Grünspan. This band likes to prove itself live. Also, the Donnas, who met each other at the age of 14, released their first album at the age of 17 and who have always remained in the same composition, have a lot of experience on the road. At 21h the Dutch band Lulabelles from Amsterdam, consisting of three women and a male drummer, performed as support. This evening they played with a stand in bass player by the name of Mark, who is with Maya Ford of the Donnas. This quartet works its way through 40 minutes of punk rock, relatively lacking concept- and melody, in front of a luke-warm audience. The Lulabelles give it their best shot, but they lack any special quality or grain of originality. A chubby, blonde guitarist announces the songs and the actual singer of the band sounds like Bonnie Tyler with a throat condition in every song. One of their pieces is called „Just Another Guy“. How ironic, considering that in my opinion, this band will remain „just another Dutch punk band“ if they continue like this. The also played a cover version of the mega hit „Manic Monday“ by girly-pop icons The Bangles.

At ten past ten the lights go out and the Donnas enter the stage. The four Calefornian Hammer babes promise 100% Rock and Roll and kick off with „It’s On the Rocks“ off the Spend the Night album. With her current figure, bass player Maya Ford almost counts for two band members. – I apologize, Maya. We love you all the same. You play the bass brilliantly. – Unfortunately, Maya is the only one who looks a bit lost during the show. Front woman Brett Anderson rages joyfully in the middle of the stage. She has come straight out of the shower and beams and flirts so much, it could make one dizzy.
With their current album and tour, the Donnas want to prove that they have become a proper, grown up rock band. But Brett still speaks that squeenager, innocent high school American we see on American teenage series on tv. Their favourite adjective is „awesome“. With their simple style, the band scatters every stereotype of the rough, tough female rock movement. The second piece of the evening is „Friends Like Mine“, one of my favourites. In this song, Brett pants the sexiest part of the current album „you’re turning silver and gold into rubber and glue …“. After that the rest of the material from the Gold Medal album follows. You can almost say: if you know the album, you know the show. Of the older Donnas compositions, only „Hook It Up“ remains. „We dedicate this song to the former owner of the Scandia Bar“, Anderson cheers. The band has fond memories of this place. During a few songs, the enthusiastic singer positions herself behind the keyboard and hammers away at it in between her vocal parts. Unfortunately, the rehearsal room problem of the keyboard amp next to a guitar amp rears its head, and the keyboard is barely audible. Besides that, Brett has to bend down so far to play the keyboards, that she disappears from the sight of the people at the back of the audience. The Donnas reach remarkable speed and sound levels. There isn’t a single slow piece, no breather. Our darling Brett claps and tosses her hair so that it is completely obvious how much she loves her job. She is simply a huge fan – a fan of her own band.

Like one of their song texts says, these girls would like to party until „Five O’ Clock in the Morning“, but the concert is over after an actual playing time of about 50 minutes. For an encore they play „You Make Me Hot“ from one of their earlier albums American Teenage Rock ’n’ Roll Machine, as well as the single „Fall Behind Me“. The last song is „Take It Off“ and the entire venue parties along one more time. But only a few small groups at the front really dance. In the song, one of the Donnas’ very typical and well-known positions is expressed, their aggressive rock minimalism in eleven syllables: „You got what I want and I like what I see“. This part of the lyrics can be applied to the band. I am sure tonight this was the sacred motto of their fans. We’d like some more of that, keep it up.

Norbert Franz

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