From Zoot fanzine 1988:
Staying in Germany, it’s time to look at the legendary HL-Syndikat. You might be wondering what HL stands for. Well, the answer is simply Hanseatic town Lübeck, and that’s where the band is from. It is also the name of the syndicate which was formed by the rude boys of Lübeck.
There are six in the band now. It was started in1985 by Patrick Blank and Martin Christiansen, who fell in love with ska after seeing another German band, The Schwarz Weiss Mafia, playing live. A lot of musicians came and went before they arrived at their present line-up. And for all you info vultures the band are (from left to right in the piccie below): Patrick (vocals), Tom Bredhauer (bass), Johannes Rasper (drums), Helmut Heuss (trumpet), Oliver Blank (backing vocals and manager no less) and Martin (on guitar).
They also went trough a few names before arriving at HL-Syndikat, including Crazy Heads and (wait for it) The Swinging Ska Ties!
By the end of last year, HL-Syndikat had got their act together and were supporting German beat combo, The Subtones.
Now, the band pull quite a large crow at gigs, including a good sprinkling of rudies, scooterists and skinheads. The band play a selection of Madness and Specials covers as well as versions of ‘Phoenix City’, ‘Louie, Louie’and an obscure cover called ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’. They also write and perform some great original material, sung in German.
As yet the band have rarely ventured outside of Lübeck, but they hope that will soon change.
Also, on the recording front, HL-Syndikat are to appear on a German ska sampler with bands like Skaos (nothing to do with this article, but I hear that a compilation of RUSSIAN ska and reggae bands will be out next year! – Ed) which should be out at the start of next year.
1988 – Various – Ska! 7″ – Der Killer
Backing Vocals – Oliver Blank
Bass – Tom Bredthauer
Drums – Johannes Raspe
Guitar – Martin Christiansen
Keyboards – Christopher Hoseit
Saxophone – Stephan Machnik
Trumpet – Helmut Huß
Vocals – Patrik Blank
??/??/1987 – Lübeck – Dr. Julius Leber StR – With The Subtones
27/02/1988 – ?? – Kuckucks Nest
25/06/1988 – Hannover – Pavillon – With Skaos + The Braces + DJ Charlie 2 Tone
12/08/1989 – Rickelrath – Pop’s