“Mmm Bop! Ba Ba Mmm Bop.” Ah, they were lovely boys weren’t they? I wonder what happened to them? Well, keep wondering, because I managed to see the original Hanson Brothers live, on what looks like being their final tour ever.
The Hanson Brothers are the delinquent alter egos of technical Canadian punk rock band, NoMeansNo. Brothers Rob and John Wright play Robbie and Johnny Hanson, and Tom Hollison plays Tommy Hanson. The Hanson Brothers are, as you have probably guessed, based on The Ramones, and bang out dumb riff after dumb riff of catchy pop punk.
I had never seen The Hanson Brothers before, though I have seen NoMeansNo, perhaps 20 years ago, and tonight I had the fortune of them playing at a pub only 10 minutes walk from my house, The Lexington. I got there around 7pm. to find a lot of men of a certain age were congregating both outside and in. This of course, is what you would expect. The Wright Brothers (and indeed The Hanson Brothers) are fast approaching 60 themselves!
The opening band were The Invasives. They’re not a band that were familiar to myself, or indeed any of the crowd, but they got everyone on side quickly. Nice chunky riffs, and great melodies. If Muse had decided to perform punk rock, then this is what they would have sounded like.
Soon it was time for The Hanson Brothers. Tommy, in his hockey mask, Johnny in his hockey gear with his baseball cap perched stupidly high on his head, and finally Robbie joined us, with his hockey shirt covered with a leather jacket. And wow. The energy from these grandads was unbelievable. Just take a look at this video below!
I took a few videos myself but frankly they were pretty crappy quality.
Even for an audience as old as we were, the mosh pit was pretty intense. I have recently learned to stay out of them these days, as it can take so long to recover. On stage were two hockey referees (form The Invasives) who stepped in to pull Johnny and Tommy back to their positions if they tried to grab any of Robbie’s limelight! One guy was a bit pissed, and was apparently annoying Robbie and wouldn’t leave him alone. Robbie reached down, grabbed his shoulders and pushed him to the floor, where he promptly passed out. There were a few cries of “He’s faking!” but he really wasn’t. The HBs didn’t stop the show but they did pause just long enough for him to be helped out.
After the show I spoke to John and told him that I’m a long time fan of NoMeansNo but that this was the first time I had seen the Hanson Brothers, to which he said it would probably be the last chance as they probably wouldn’t tour any more. I’m not surprised with the amount of work they have to do. They make NoMeansNo look relatively sedate!
Rob (now out of character) came out and a few fans wanted to talk to him but he was concerned about the guy from earlier and he made his way outside to apologise to him. They guy took the genuine apology gracefully and had a chat. He was worried he didn’t have his phone and the security wouldn’t let him back in as he was both drunk and bleeding, but Rob managed to get him in to reunite him with his phone and bag (that he had forgotten about)
I told Rob I had seen NoMeansNo 20 years ago and after I had been stage diving, he had motioned for the crowd to push me on top of them back to the stage. Once I got within talking distance he had told me to give other people a chance and calm down! He didn’t remember this of course, but thought it was pretty funny anyway!
A great night, and according to John, the new NoMeansNo album should be out by the autumn, and it seems fitting to add a lovely NomeansNo track to the end of this blog.