This Halloween there was a whisper on the cold north winds. Ushered down from snowy Scandinavia came a quartet of frighteningly good stage presence. Katzenjammer is a band of incredible musical talent that is made up of 4 women, playing 15+ instruments on rotation and from the first beat of the bass drum they had the whole room under their spell. They have been together since 2005 and though people told me many times over to go see them, I'd not got around to it. After 10 minutes of watching them perform I bashed my head against the nearest wall, why did I wait so long?
Rock meets folk, meets an Irish bar, meets Amsterdam, marries a banjo then has an affair with a woman called Holga... Get all that? These girls are quite unique in the best of ways, as live shows go this one had everything, the mix of songs was perfect covering all of the main bases. We had sing-alongs to the hits such as Rock-Paper-Scissors and recent single Soviet Trumpeter. Lighters were raised to the enchanting ballad of Lady Marlene and the soulful Gods Great Dust Bowl. I lost track of how many times the girls swapped instruments and each one of them was flawless in everything they did. I'm sorry if I'm coming off as a bit of a fan but I can assure you that I entered the building with a completely open mind and in the course of 2 hours they filled all the available space!
The girls chose their band name after the long-running comic book of the same name after they realised that they were very similar to the characters it contains. I however related to the direct Norwegian translation of the word the next day... 'Hung-over'. I can say with absolute certainty that this gig will be my surprise of 2012, if not my live show of the year. If you get a chance to see them, go. Don't wait till next time and for heavens sake don't pick any band over them on a festival roster, you'll regret it forever.
A mention has to be made to Ben Caplan who was the opening act for the evening performing an acoustic set. Whoever made that booking should be given many cookies as he set the tone perfectly; his voice is very similar in sound to Brad Roberts of the Crash Test Dummies if not more powerful in delivery and contrasted Katzenjammer perfectly.
Jonny Blow Torch
To The Sea
I Will Dance (When I Walk Away)
Land Of Confusion
Cocktail and Ruby Slippers
A Bar In Amsterdam
Hey Ho On the Devils Back
Gods Great Dust Storm