THU: 25º/14º FRI: 23º/16º
Oil barrels, steel rims, trash cans – yep, the Kaizers are in town
"Who would have thought that a rattling, rampaging Norwegian singing orchestra would have the crowds go crazy at Vega in Copenhagen one October evening in 2005? Probably the same people who would bet their whole record collection that thousands of Germans, Swiss and Spanish would one day holler along to songs in a language they did not understand, dance the ompa, and shout ‘Hallelujah’ to six saviours in Swedish suits playing gypsy music from Norway.”
So reads the liner notes of Kaizers Orchestra’s 2006 release, Live at Vega.
Kaizers Orchestra doesn’t fit in a box, in fact they’re not even close to having a box. But this Norwegian polka/gypsy/rock band have created something of an institution for themselves over the last decade. Formed in 2000 from fairly obscure beginnings, the Kaizers have capitalised on their unplaceable genre and indecipherable dialects to evolve as one of the top live acts throughout Scandinavia and Europe.
For those who’ve attended one of their concerts, you’ll know it’s the energy from the band’s six members and the intensity at which they sing their fantasy lyrics that fans just can’t seem to get enough of. No surprise then that Kaizers Orchestra was declared the best live act at the 2002 Roskilde Festival. I’d go so far as to say last summer’s Roskilde performance was a knockout too.
As part of their seven-month tour, performing 43 concerts, Vega will host the Kaizers on January 26. Vega holds a soft spot in the hearts of the band members after they recorded their popular double CD there in 2005. The performance acted as a pivotal milestone in the band’s career and as proof of their success in Scandinavia.
“Live at Vega is proof that anything is possible; that a spastic, foreign-sounding orchestra from tiny Norway can become one of the world’s greatest live bands. The band that lives up to its own slogan: ‘Kontroll på Kontinentet’ (rule the continent), that band is Kaizers Orchestra,” the band wrote on the inside cover of Live at Vega.
This tour coincides with the release of Violeta, Violeta Vol II – the second CD in their Violeta, Violeta trilogy. Lead Kaizer, Janove Ottesen, aka ‘The Jackall’, hit a major creative boom in 2007 and composed two to three songs every day for ten days. Using this extensive backlog, Ottesen conceptualised the album trilogy.
The lyrics, Ottesen says, are “magic realism” based around three characters. “Seven buckets of tears is enough Beatrice with confetti in the hair and reeking of Jack Daniels/band-aid on the wound/and a thank you for the past” goes the song ‘Seven Buckets of Tears is enough Beatrice’.
When you put together six Norwegians, add three guitars, three oil barrels, a pipe organ, a double bass, steel rims, trash cans and sirens it’s hard not to resist becoming involved in the fantasy world that is Kaizers Orchestra. Tack on a strange Norwegian dialect that not even the natives can understand, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a great live act.
Thu Jan 26, 20:00; 250 kr;