Call them what you will: vaudevillian charmers, musical circus cabaret, torch singing, gypsy folk, punk pop, Balkan/Norwegian, but when Katzenjammer performs, whether it be at a sold out 1500-capacity venue in Oslo, a mega outdoor festival such as Bonnaroo, or tonight, at the intimate Mercury Lounge, they bring an instant party.  Their hit “Bar in Amsterdam”, with its oom-pa-pa, polka flourishes and furious eruptions, nearly brought the house down, and all on an early Tuesday evening.

This instantly captivating all-female act, consisting of Soleig Heila, Anne Marit Bergheim, Turid Jorgensen and Marianne Sveen, are a force to be reckoned with, but not in the dictionary definition of their band name, which conjures “a discordant clamor”.  Their combined vocal talents, and their ability to share instruments with ease, playing anything from the tuba, the balaika bass, drums, harmonica, piano, banjo, accordion, mandolin, guitar, melodica and, not to forget, the kazoo, is almost overwhelming.  



They’re playful, cute, smart and have a style that mixes Nashville country glam (flowers behind the ear) and mod vintage (short dresses and white go-go boots) which would make their full-tilt set vibrant even if they weren’t such sassy performers.  No wonder tonight’s was packed with not only curious New Yorkers, but a refreshing mix of fans ranging from European parents and their kids, to Norwegians.  Get Katzenjammer on your radar and catch them when they hit the city next.–MVW/photos by Eileen Murphy

  1. [...] Katzenjammer is hard to pin down. With an enviable sound that can only be described as a ”musical circus cabaret, torch singing, gypsy folk, punk pop, [and] Balkan/Norwegian,” the ladies of Katzenjammer are [...]