Katzenjammer Live 23rd May 2012

At XOYO

Katzenjammer is four girls from Norway making mad and energetic folk pop. They are incredibly upbeat and are hard to dislike. It was the kind of gig that left you with a smile on your face for the rest of the night.

[youtube http://youtu.be/-kbdCDeKSoI]

The opening act, Ben Caplan, was a solo singer-songwriter from Canada. Just him, his guitar and is impressive beard. This time without his band, The Casual Smokers, he took to the stage and caught the appeal of the crowd. His humour and good songwriting won us over and had us singing along before the end of his set.

I didn’t catch the name of the second act. He was a soul singer with a good voice and a talented, if very understated, guitarist. Unfortunately I didn’t find them very engaging and it served as a chance to go to the bar.

Katzenjammers entrance was unpretentious. The entire night ran very smootly, not a soundcheck in sight. Simultaneously showy and understated, the band lacked a front person. Or rather they rotated. Between them they played guitar, bass, drums, ukulele, glockensiel, trumpet, harmonical, piano, acordian, banjo and more that my amazed mind can’t remember.  As if this wasn’t enough they were constantly swapping instruments and all singing simultaneously.

Even if renditions of songs like Demon Kitty Rag were less frenetic than in the studio the band themselves were not. There was a constant energy and air of fun about the entire show. We were encouraged to chant ‘in Norwegian’ to which a bemused Norwegian in the crowd commented that it was nonsense.

Charming and charismatic, you can’t help but react to their infectious rythmns. It was a damn good set and I hope they visit again.

[youtube http://youtu.be/3f8IPjm_-nc]

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