It had been almost two years since I kicked back one evening and discovered Katzenjammer. At the time, I was planning on moving to Oslo and sought out further knowledge of the Norwegian music scene outside of the traditional black metal roots. Katzenjammer became an important band to me, a band that renewed my faith in music somewhat and opened my mind for a whole new batch of music I would have most likely ignored before.
The long wait was finally over as I headed to the Manchester Academy to see the all female folk quartet live. The night started of with a small unknown talent from Liverpool named Stephen Langstaff. Stephen created a awesome atmosphere with his soft folk and chilling voice. His song Domino stood out for me, it's a cool solo number where you are left face to face with Stephen whilst a haunting melody, that sticks in your head for days, echoes through the room. Stephen's set was short but efficient, he showed his talent and who knows, maybe he will make it anytime soon.
Soon after Stephen's departure, the amazing Katzenjammer took the stage, and boy did they take it with force. In front of a pretty crowded room for a band of their stature, they created a party like atmosphere stringing one song after another with brilliant banter as they switched instruments in between. One thing that struck me about the concert was how involved each member was, Solveig Heilo and Marianne Sveen may seem to be the stars on the outside but once on stage, they all have their role to play in making the show a gig to remember. The highlights for me were "Land of Confusion", the Genesis classic which got a pretty lively reception from the crowd, "To the Sea" which was set up as a mass party piece by the ultra-talented Anne Marit Bergheim, "Hey Ho On the Devil's Back" with Marianne's soulful build-up and finally the breathtaking "Gods Great Dust Storm" where Marianne's voice, coupled with the backing of her companions, was enough to cast total silence throughout the room; legends like Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin sprang to mind. The other songs , from "Lady Marlene" to "A Bar in Amsterdam", were all top notch and the set was pretty much flawless in it's whole.
It was a gig that left you wanting more and having the opportunity to meet Solveig and Marianne after was also highly enjoyable. If you have the chance to see Katzenjammer at a place near you, take that chance, as they seem to be on the verge of great things.