Katzenjammer @ Scala 22nd March 2012

Katzenjammer are one of my favourite bands at this present moment. After seeing them perform live at the HMV Next Big Thing I was left captivated and had the urge to see them play again. This Norwegian 4 piece girl group have a massive loyal European fan base. The thing I like about gigs like this is the fact people from all over the world join together to see that one band. I actually met fans from Norway, Germany and Russia which was quite something. The fact it was warm outside made the 4 hours queuing outside the Scala very bearable. Doors opened at 7.30pm and once inside it was then a 2 hour wait until Katzenjammer took to the stage. In between waiting the audience were treated to a support solot by Karima Francis who was OK. Once 9.30pm arrived Anne Marit Bergheim, Marianne Sveen, Solveig Heilo and Turid Jørgensen all took to the massive stage. “Hello London” Marianne said to the crowd before launching into something brand new and this being Ouch!. This was a fantastic song with lyrics which were delivered at a rampaging pace. During this song I picked up on the country vibe. Fantastic number and I look forward to hearing the studio version. It was then onto Le Pop track Demon Kitty Rag. This appeared on the revised edition of that album. Still Demon Kitty Rag was an upbeat song and the harmonies were fantastic. A rapture of applause followed and then it was onto some interaction with the crowd. “Anne Marit, that girl she has her birthday today” Solveig said to the crowd which then resulted in everyone singing Happy Birthday. “I don’t think she expected that, I think she’s crying now” Heilo then went onto say. The bewitching new single I Will Dance (When I Walk Away) followed on. This was a slice of Folk Pop and very entrancing as well. I found this song to be very soothing and the lyrics were simply luscious. “This is a very very special day, it’s not a normal birthday either. It’s the big 30 today” Anne Marit then said before thanking the hardcore Katzenjammer Nation who were at the barrier. The next Katzenjammer classic to be played on the night was To The Sea. The lyrics were delivered at a fast pace. To The Sea had people chanting away in unison and it also felt like a sea shanty as everyone was swaying from side to side.

It was then onto the charming Rock, Paper, Scissors. This was another slice of Folk Pop has to have a physical release as it was so soothing. Actually Rock, Paper, Scissors had an Eurovision feel to it. Plus Heilo’s vocals were ever so beautiful and the harmonies were superb. Lady Marlene was enchanting and the fact Solveig and Anne Marit were playing the keyboard made it even more hypnotic. Lady Marlene felt like a gentle waltz. “I just commented on a lady’s butt today, I said to her she had a nice butt. Is that weird for a woman to say that to another woman? She liked it. It was just the kind of butt you want to squeeze” Marianne then mentioned to crowd. This bit of banter cleverly was a link into the next song Cherry Pie. The vocal performance was sublime and I especially liked the use of the Ukulele. You could imagine it being sung in a speak easy bar in the 1920s. “The next song we’re going to take a little intro. For a long time we said that little a capella intro was a Norwegian folk tune. But it’s actually Swedish” Turid then mentioned to the crowd before dedicating the song to Hans the back line technician. Anne Marit had to say that the reason for this was the fact he was Swedish. This song was incredible at first it started as chant and all the vocals gelled together which was perfect and spine tingling. Then Jørgensen delivered Mother Superior rather strongly. It then was into Land Of Confusion which Marianne sang. This reworking of this Genesis version sounded brilliant. They put their own stamp of individuality onto this wonderful song. “I just have to tell you something, right now there’s an award going on Germany. The Echo Award and we’re nominated for best International Band. Together with Roxette, Sunrise Avenue, Snow Patrol and Coldplay” Turid said to the crowd after the pleasing Land Of Confusion was over. Once Jørgensen mention Coldplay resulted in plenty of boos. Loathsome M was a frenzied slice of Rock and Roll which oozed plenty of energy. Cocktails And Ruby Slippers was a laid back song with some really infectious lyrics which were delivered with plenty of passion. This song was more Pop than Country and it sounded wonderful. It was then straight into A Bar In Amsterdam and everyone clapped along in unison. This song had a rampant pace and showcased Solveig’s trumpet. The harmonies in the chorus were brilliant. Heilo played a snippet of The Grand Old Duke Of York on the trumpet.

“Are you having fun? Great. That’s what we’re here to do” Anne Marit said before delving into Le Pop and Der Kapitän (which were both infused together). Both of these songs were fantastic and were very energetic. The night ended with Hey Ho On The Devil’s Back which they breezed through at ease. The vocal performance was extremely strong. Once over the band left the stage only to return minutes later as the crowd chanted for an encore. They opened up this 2 song encore with God’s Great Dust Storm. The a capella opening sent chills up my spine. This tune showcased their wondrous four-part harmonies. Sveen then took to lead vocals for the set closer and this being the rapturous Ain’t No Thang. Once over Marianne then made up something on the spot about the fact everyone had to go home. Only it wasn’t over the band came out for a 2nd encore and this being Gypsy Flee. This number was more of a song to get the crowd worked up. Once over I then made my exit leaving with a smile on my face after having witnessed something that oozed fun.

SET LIST

Ouch!
Demon Kitty Rag
I Will Dance (When I Walk Away)
To The Sea
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Lady Marlene
Cherry Pie
Mother Superior
Land Of Confusion
Loathsome M
Cocktails And Ruby Slippers
A Bar In Amsterdam
Le Pop
Der Kapitän
Hey Ho On The Devil’s Back

ENCORE

God’s Great Dust Storm
Ain’t No Thing

ENCORE 2

Gypsy Flee

OVERALL: One word for this gig PHENOMENAL. I thoroughly enjoyed this night at Scala and the band definitely have what it takes to make waves in the UK. The new album A Kiss Before You Go is released 7th May and it is followed by a 6 date tour of the UK.

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