In German doing something in vain is to do it ‘Für die Katz’ . A visit to Kunst!Rasen on Friday evening was also ‘for the cats’ but certainly not in vain, as local felines MiaoMio and Norwegian ‘Super Felines’ Katzenjammer made the stage in Bonn their territory for an evening of Pop/Rock/Indie/Gypsy Punk/Folk/Cabaret Music.
I’ve written many times now over the last few years about excellent local Indie Band MiaoMio and it was great to see Anika Auweiler and co get a deserved place on the big stage here in Bonn. A former four piece girl band named after comic characters with a feline disposition – they were the ideal band to support Katzenjammer (a four piece girl band named after comic characters!)
The MiaoMio band is now of course half male and it was great after the sound problems they had playing at the Rheingarten recently to finally hear the new band do themselves justice, and in front of 3500 people too. They certainly had feet tapping with finely tuned pop songs like ‘Beat Ohne Bass’ and ‘Tanzflur’ and won the Katzenjammer audience over with ease via Anika’s and keyboarder Sarah Brassack’s, quirky onstage banter. If you caught the show and liked them as much as I did, you can take home a whole bunch of new songs by the band in a few months time and even help finance it’s making: Click Here for details of their ‘Crowdfunding’ project.
Katzenjammer are a band that need no introduction here in Europe and it only takes a couple of songs from the four Norwegian ladies to see/hear why. ‘pop, folk, rock, blues, country, gypsy punk, cabaret…’ There have been a fair few attempts to describe the bands music but it’s really a task in vain. Like naming the bands bass player or drummer – these girls swap instruments like Joe Bonamassa swaps guitars onstage.
You know the music will be different even before the band arrives onstage though. Who else would have a steel dustbin gaffer-taped onto the side of their drumkit? Alleycats for sure – these girls dress sexily much to the pleasure of men in the audience but it’s noticeable that men are actually in the minority (just) this evening. They connect with women in a sort of ‘Spice Girls learn to play instruments and meet Madonna’ way. Was there a new song introduced as ‘Johnny Blow Torch’? or was I imagining it? I certainly didn’t imagine Marianne Sveen announcing candidly “So I had sex…” although it was hard to ignore the possibility given her obviously ‘expanded’ waistline. It didn’t stop her ability to jump around onstage or deliver raunchy vocals when called for though, as on ‘Land of Confusion’.
There’s certainly a lot of The Pogues in the girls’ wild approach too, particularly with ‘Hey Ho on the Devils Back’ with it’s Banshee wail and lyrics about a land where “The rain pissed down!” Or on the accordion charged ‘To The Sea’ that had 3,500 voices joining in on it’s chorus. There’s radio friendly Pop with ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ and there is vocal perfection too as in the virtually ‘a capella’ ‘Gods Great Dust Storm’ (just a lone bass drumbeat behind the vocals). Throw in a tasty trumpet hookline on ‘Le Pop’ from Solveig Heile. There’s unashamed Rock n Roll as on ‘Ain’t No Thang’.
In short, there’s a bit of everything and more from four girls who are most definitely ‘Doing it for Themselves’ as Madonna would most definitely note with approval. “When the shows over don’t be sad” points out Marianne comfortingly. “There’s always your favourite sofa and a bar of chocolate!” She could have said instead “Take home a CD from the souvenir boothe” except that the CD’s were sold out long before the last glorious note of a glorious evenings music bounced out of the speakers at shortly before 10pm. Rather fittingly for bands inspired by cats, autographs were being given from MiaoMio and Katzenjammer in the darkness of the souvenir tent afterwards – and no one seemed to have problems seeing in the dark. ‘For the Cats’ indeed!
I love “Katzenjammer”. The musical instruments are old but the music never will be. Fresh, naughty and perhaps a little bit frivolous. Just as Rockn Roll should be. Gorgeous. ( PS: And the ladies are beautiful even further 😀 )