When Emma and I discovered Booze Cruise in Hamburg last year we were amazed. The festival, which takes place in and around the Hamburg docks, features some of the best in sing-along punk rock from Germany, America, Canada, the UK and the rest of Europe. It looked like a smaller version of The Fest just in a much cheaper location to get – and some of it takes place on boats! We knew we had to go this year and bought our tickets as soon as they went on sale. As bands got announced our excitement grew more and more. In true CPRW festival going tradition, Emma and I have both picked our top ten bands to see. Choosing just twenty bands between us was very difficult as this is such a stacked line up.
Manchester's Aerial Salad are one of the brightest young bands in the UK at the moment. Still riding the wave of the phenomenal debut album Roach, Aerial Salad play an energetic and passionate form of pop punk in a similar vein to early Green Day. With fantastic songs about growing up, hating your job and dealing with mental health problems, Salad are always a band that aren't to be missed. They are also performing a special Green Day cover set over the Booze Cruise weekend.
As Friends Rust
Really and truly you only need one reason to go and see As Friends Rust at Booze Cruise. This is their only European show for the entire year. This legendary hardcore punk band from Gainesville rarely play shows anywhere anymore so this really is a rare treat for the Booze Cruise attendees. I've obviously never seen As Friends Rust before but I can only imagine what a sweat soaked powerful set it's going to be.
I'm not sure I've ever been more excited to see a new band than I am Munich's Captain Asshole. Earlier this year they released their incredible debut album, What An Awful Life, which is going to take some beating when I pick my albums of the year in December. This three piece play perfect sing-along pop punk, jam packed with gang vocals and harmonies – basically everything I love in a song. Finally seeing these songs live is going to be something very special.
I've been aware of the Austrian Ramonescore pop punk act DeeCRACKS for so long but I've never had the chance to see them live. That is until Booze Cruise comes around. Fast and punchy pop punk with catchy lyrics and sweet harmonies is the name of the game for DeeCracks. I expect a very excitable reception awaits the three piece.
Newcastle via Northern Ireland three piece Good Friend are one of the best kept secrets in the UK punk scene. Since first seeing them support Nothington at the Underworld in Camden in 2017 I've been eager to see them again and amazingly Booze Cruise is the first opportunity I've had. Playing a spirited rock 'n' roll with a healthy dose of punk, Good Friend are a band that I feel are going to earn a lot of new fans over the Booze Cruise weekend.
The Jukebox Romantics
The Jukebox Romantics are a band I wasn't sure I'd ever get the opportunity to see. Until last year, when I discovered they were playing The Fest, I actually thought they had broken up. Playing that heart-on-your-sleeve passionate punk rock which I'm expecting to see a lot of at Booze Cruise, the three piece are likely to receive some big and passionate sing-alongs from their crowd.
New Junk City
New Junk City were one of my favourite discoveries of 2018 and when they were announced on the last wave of bands for Booze Cruise I did a big smile. Last year’s Same Places LP was an absolute triumph and I can't wait to hear some tracks from it played live. If you're a fan of bands like The Loved Ones or The Menzingers then you're going to love New Junk City.
Germany's Primetime Failure bring some skate punk to Booze Cruise. Fresh from the release of their new album, Memory Lane, these four thirty-somethings like to throw things back to the 90s. Mixing high intensity guitars with some big and insanely catchy choruses, if you need something different from all the gruff punk at the festival then I really recommend catching Primetime Failure.
The Sewer Rats
Cologne's The Sewer Rats are one of my favourite Booze Cruise discoveries, edging more towards the poppier side of punk rock making me think of bands such as The Copyrights and The Dopamines. Fast paced guitars, pounding drums and infectious songs are what The Sewer Rats are all about and it should be a lot of fun live. They are also playing a special Rancid cover set which I am quite looking forward to.
San Diego's Western Settings are one of the few bands at Booze Cruise that I've had the opportunity to see before so I know just what a good show we're in store for. Western Setting play mid-tempo punk rock that is crying out to be sung along to. Lead singer Ricky Schmidt has one of the most recognisable voices in the scene and is a big part of what makes Western Settings stand out amongst their peers. The band are playing twice over the weekend so there's no excuse not to catch them!
This top ten was written by Colin Clark.