Arriving in the scene as late as a few months into 2022, releasing her debut EP Sharks in November, Brockhoff ‘s hard work has finally paid off. During 2023, Brockhoff toured relentlessly and supported bands like Giant Rooks and Paolo Nutini, released her second EP I’ve Stopped Getting Chills For A While Now before ending the year with a headliner tour, the Grown-Up Conversations Tour – and crossed the canal to play a few gigs in the UK in December. Not even two years into her career, the Hamburg indie rocker has become one of Germany’s most interesting newcomers in the indie rock scene. So why not start 2024 by honoring an amazing 2023 with a vinyl release party of I’ve Stopped Getting Chills For A While Now a few months after its release date (the usual problem today; vinyl pressing plants have a long list of jobs before it’s your turn).
Our first Brockhoff experience was while we stayed at Molotow a full day at Reeperbahn Festival 2022 and in between bands on our ‘don’t miss this band’ list, she did a set. A friend who frequently tells me ‘I don’t like German music’ thought it was something coming out of the UK because it ‘sounded like the UK indie rock scene’. I can’t oppose that because Brockhoff’s music is very “un-German”, a mix of UK indie rock and American pop music, and if someone had told me she’s Manchester-born I would’ve believed it. But Brockhoff is a Hamburg trademark, nothing else.
On this Molotow night, she had invited heaps of friends, both to play the support slots and also on stage during her performance. However, our optimistic schedule on an icy Hamburg night like this didn’t allow us to pop in a Molotow until a few minutes before the last support band started (yes, shame on us but that’s what happens when people not used to ice and snow are exposed to the first days of the next ice age).
There’s certainly strength in numbers and it’s really crowded at Molotow, both on stage and in the audience, and for anyone familiar with the venue you know how the Molotow sauna feels like, but it just adds to the experience. Brockhoff injects a dose of energy and passion already from the start when she thrusts herself into “Why” from her latest EP. The audience is ecstatic, and she continues the momentum with “2nd Floor” off her debut EP Sharks. And from here it’s a music feast and an unforgettable journey of indie rock bliss that captivates the audience throughout the set.
Our personal favorites “Sharks”, “Ever Since We Met”, “Japanese Garden”, and “Whenever You Want” are all on the setlist tonight – well, she played everything off her two EP’s + a few more songs – combined with heaps of friends joining her on stage in songs like “It Never Happened” and “Three Weeks Ahead” (we couldn’t keep track because so much was happening on stage).
What’s different from the last time we watched her live is the aura of confidence she radiates. While the set changes on stage between songs, Brockhoff proves to have developed excellent banter skills (something many artists and bands lack) and at times the breaks even feel a bit too long, but it’s a special night and much to celebrate and we let it pass. Just like everything else, she has stepped up the banter ladder as well.
By the time Brockhoff reached the encore, energy was high and the whole crowd sang along to their final two hits, the Hannah Montana cover “The Best Of Both Worlds” (I was informed by the young person next to me) and “Carpet Song”. That was enough, our senses needed a break.
It’s been great to see Brockhoff grow bigger in the last year and reach out of Germany, and on the back of the latest EP, I’m anticipating even bigger things for her in 2024. Hamburg, here’s your hidden gem in the indie rock scene and a unique Hamburg artist. We’re sure we’ll watch Brockhoff grow and play bigger venues at the end of this year already. To all bookers out there: give her a call!
Photos by Sophie Dobschall.