Katzenjammer are made up of Four Norwegian women who can play over 20 instruments between them, one of which is a giant triangle shaped cat faced guitar thing. I know I haven’t explained that awfully well but it’s probably no surprise that they met at music school.
Lady Grey had a delicate sweetness that begs for it to belong in a tear jerking moment of a romantic comedy
They also have an impressively loyal following and I realised this whilst chatting to a fan before the gig, she claimed to have seen them 67 times, though this might have been 6 or 7 as it was pretty noisy in the Lexington. However I did definitely hear the food is pretty good, so I’ll be going back to review the food.
Before I go full on into the review I’m going to let my friend Dan show some love for the support act Taylor and Marie, who are not surprisingly are a male and female duo.
“They played to a largely hushed and appreciative crowd, many of whom were wearing Katzenjammer Nation fan club t-shirts. In truth Taylor looked like he’d be happiest playing surrounded by hay bales whilst Marie had a more hippy-like airiness.
Combining their voices with two acoustic guitars and Taylor’s occasional forays with his shoulder mounted harmonica, they played through their own tracks which varied from the slow and melodic such as stand out song The Ocean Will Tale Me to the more upbeat folk rock, indeed punk, Take me home.
The Ocean Will Take Me, a newly penned song, stood out as the best track and as the best example of what makes Taylor and Marie great. Whilst neither is an exceptional vocalist (or at least not pushed beyond their comfort zone by their style) their harmonies are spot on, and best demonstrated in the slower tracks.”
So back to the main event because of their musical flexibility it’s hard/unfair to pigeon-hole them into a category as I’m sure they could do pretty much anything if they wanted to. Saying that I did like how the Guardian summarised them in their review “They mix good-time pop and Americana, but throw in influences that include Celtic and Balkan styles. Most importantly, they have an enormous sense of fun.”
With two albums under their belts and their new album ‘Rockland’ due to hit the shops on 2nd March their set list was very much an homage to the work they must have put into their latest album. For me it was hard to pick out a stand out track, as the quality of each song grabbed my attention for different reasons. For example Lady Grey had a delicate sweetness that begs for it to belong in a tear jerking moment of a romantic comedy.
But if I had to choose my favourite song on the night it would have to be their rendition of Genesis Land of Confusion which they played during their encore.
The band themselves were full of personality during and in between songs, this added an extra dimension to the gig which you don’t always see else where. A couple of the breaks between songs were nearly as long as a Beyoncé wardrobe change, though this was to change instruments, not clothes and annoyingly these breaks only served as another way for me to be transported into their world and fall in love with the band a little bit more.
After the show I bumped into the same fan I met earlier and I told her I now understood why she liked them so much. At which point her friend appeared and shouted “That was the best 2 hours of my life”. Now I won’t go that far but if I could have bought a digital copy of the night and watched all again on the way home I would have in a heartbeat. Though I’ll happily settle for their gig in May at Scala, IF I can get a ticket when they go on sale on 6th February.
As we left The Lexington after maybe 1 too many beers, I asked my friend Dan what he thought of the evening, his response “I’m going to have to get back to you on that” and an hour or so later he did:
“My first time watching Katzenjammer left me with many questions
Just how many instruments can these talented ladies all play? The final straw of making me feel completely inadequate was the kazòo at the end.
How many tired stereotypes and clichéd comparisons could I make to other groups? (The Coors and Dixie Chicks were my best/worst) I’ll explain the Coors one later…
What did they actually say in Norwegian during that song?
Which band member do I like the best?
And most importantly what do I like more? Cats or Jam? Or indeed, Yams?
The first song of the encore ‘Gods great duststorm’ can best be described as “Not the kind of thing you see in a venue like this.” Though in truth, it’s not the kind of thing you see in any venue.
Oh and the Coors reference explanation I promised? It’s because in both bands my favourite one was ‘hiding’ behind the drums most of the time….”
Earlier in the evening me and Dan joked that we should just do the review using animated GIF’s, however it turned out that we only needed one GIF to sum it all up. Katzenjammer were out of this world. You can see our now ‘Famous’ Really Short review here
— Haakon N. (@kind_of_blue_hn) January 30, 2015