“It’s like a spiritual experience”, is what I tell people when they ask me about Hans Condor (not that anybody has until like two days ago). If I were to choose a pastor to follow in this Bible-Laden, Bible-Belt-Buckle-Town, I would follow the teachings of Hans Condor but after their unannounced break up three years ago I have been left to my own devices, smashing TVs without any divine direction. That is until a week ago when I was told of a miraculous show, my weekend was turned from water to wine; Hans Condor was reuniting for one show in Nashville, TN! A friend who runs sound at Foobar in Nashville told me, “Yea this band Hans Condor is playing a reunion show”. I nearly slapped him in the face, my prayers had been answered.
The first time I saw Hans Condor play was at Third Man Records with Alabama Shakes opening up and PUJOL closing the show. We were left with an open window in our heart as both bands surrounding Hans Condor on that fateful night have seen great success. The breeze blew through and Nashville lost the spark-plug to its garage-rock revival. A man who gave every last drop of blood and sweat everytime he stepped on stage was hanging up his guitar for a badge…
We arrived early as hell to the show at Fond Object Records. The earliest I have ever gotten to a show since high school because I actually wanted to be here. Some shitty two piece played who had Jem from The Ettes playing drums. They were just killing time and they killed my buzz like the opening hymn at church but only for a moment.
It took what felt like an hour for King Brothers to go on but it was well worth the wait. They were out of control. The little English they knew was spent saying “Nashville. Beautiful. Nashville. Beautiful” over and over again as the crowd chanted with him as well as saying “Hans Condor!” We could all agree, we want Hans Condor. But these Japanese punks almost stole the show, almost. They were like the deacons of Japanese punks. Rip-roaring through the first half of their set with their garage-pop diddies rang through a crowd thirsty for heavy punk riffs and they delivered. This was driven by what I assume was their “lead singer”, that gave way to the second guitar player who seemed to be the hype man. After handing his guitar to a young lady in the crowd he rolled his Marshall stack to the front of the stage and began his Nashville chant. It was surreal. He crowd surfed for half of the show. He put his hand through his guitar and flipped everybody off. Who knows what else they said to us in their psychotic frenzy.
King Brothers ended. It was almost time. Charles and company began setting up so I went to the counter and grabbed a beer. Yes, this record shop sells beer. As I take the first sip of my PBR, the static began rising and it was time. The church bells were ringing! It was here! If I knew I was going to write an article I would have tried to write down the setlist but I could care less. It took but one song for Charles to begin pushing back on the audience while continuing to shred the living hell out of his guitar. The PA was shit and you could barely distinguish note from note unless you actually were watching the show. He made you look. He made you listen. If you were at the show you had no choice but to shake your fist and bang your head. At one point he sang an entire song with the microphone in his mouth. He jumped off and table and had an audience member throw him his guitar. He was a rabid animal. I was shaking with the fury of his performance. I felt like I was speaking in tongues trying to sing along to songs. The power of Hans Condor compelled me. I was in another dimension and I have no idea what happened next.
The last time I saw Hans Condor before retirement he played “The End” to about 20 people. Already lost in obscurity even before they decided to retire, Charles gave his all by jumping off stage and spinning wildly in circles on the floor. I met Charles a few days later and told him what I thought. He received me well, happy to hear I enjoyed the show. He seemed tired. Worn out but still acting like he was excited. Two months later I read the Nashville Cream article telling of their demise. Without any warning my new favorite band had already broken up. I was devastated but for one night in 2014, I was given a glorious night of rambunctious rabel in a small room surrounded by an aging crowd who were just as wild. The rock of Hans Condor’s grave was moved to the side and he walked among us for one my night. Who knows, maybe he will play again. Maybe not but for one night Hans Condor was resurrected.
My Lyin’ Mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-g8S4yu1aM
Time Rhyme or Reason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpT38-AzJkY