The Formative Years – Iconic venues pt. 3
Let us have a look at iconic venues within the realm of punk and hardcore on Teutonic terrain, shall we?
A venue in Germany of far-reaching significance for my socialisation with punk and hardcore is the AJZ Homburg. Conspicuously located in the industrial surroundings of a freight depot and in its trademark derelict shape, it is in many aspects the diametric opposite of the aforementioned Enmore Theatre as far as aesthetics and architecture are concerned.
As far as the history of European punk and hardcore is concerned, i.e. the era of the later part of the 1980s and early 1990, AJZ Homburg benefitted immensely from Europe’s leading punk and hardcore publication, i.e. ZAP Magazine, having had its headquarters based in close proximity with monarch extraordinaire Moses Arndt and his crew facilitating that literally every relevant touring band made an appearance.
The Rote Flora is a former theatre in Hamburg’s Sternschanze quarter in Hamburg. Squatted since s the late nineteen eighties, it has established itself as an autonomous cultural centre and venue and to this day has maintained its significance, hosting exhibitions by artists from all over the world, parties and cultural events regularly and an epicentre for left leaning movements.
The AJZ Bielefeld is another legendary German venue as it was one of the first autonomous youth centres with a history that harks back to the early ninety seventies. It has remained independent to this very day and its relevance as a forum for punk and hardcore shows in the late eighties / early nineties cannot be overstated. You’d be hard pressed to find any relevant underground band from around that era that has not played there. Shows at the AJZ Bielefeld were an event and while the city of Bielefeld does not have too much to offer (to the extent that the satirical conspiracy about Bielefeld not really existing and it being a mere fabrication has manifested itself firmly in the city’s narrative) scenesters from all corners of Germany made the trek to Ostwestfalen-Lippe to see bands like Bad Religion hold court in its unique ambience.