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Stahlwerk, Düsseldorf, Germany
16th November 2008
Kaizers Orchestra, Mintzkov, Micke from Sweden

We heard a lot about this Norwegian band, called KAIZERS ORCHESTA, especially about their extraordinary capabilities as a live band and on this cold Sunday evening we wanted to convince ourselves if all this premature praise was justified…

Micke from Sweden

The hailing voice and stomping piano beast from the north is probably known as the organ player of Swedish band ATOMIC SWING who broke up in 1997 and re-united in 2006 to record a new album. In 2007, he released his first solo album ‘This ain’t the End’ followed by a tour and juts a couple of months age he unsettled his newest release ‘Waiting for the End’. /

Music & Performance
Actually, we didn’t know that a second support was coming up and were quite surprised. Soon Micke, elegantly dressed, would be entering the stage and take his seat behind the piano; or should I say what looked like a piano. Actually, it was a keyboard, disguised in a cardboard construction, however when he started to play it was irrelevant if it’s real or a fake. That lad’s fingers flew over the keys, while he was either playing a harmonica or singing. Very melancholic-tingled songs were the result and in-between he let us know which things prolong the life which would be things like clapping, alcohol and sexual activity. It was after only 20 minutes and just four songs that he left the stage for the next band. Hopefully we’ll have the chance to see him again some time. He’s a sympathetic guy and good musician.

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 6.8 / 10


The first album of the young Belgian band, called MINTZKOV LUNA at that time, carried the title ‘M for Means and L for Love’ saw its release in 2004. Having their name shortened to MINTZKOV by now, they return with ‘360°’, a more powerful album than their debut release was. It’s out in Germany since the end of March. MINTZKOV is Philip Bosschaerts (guitar & vocals), Lies Lorquet (bass & vocals), Minchul Van Steenkiste (drums), Daan Scheltjens (guitar) and Pascal Oorts (synths). /

Music & Performance
Despite their Russian-tingled name, MINTZKOV come from Belgium and play sort of a poppy variation of the indie rock with great guitar and drum parts with a strong emphasis on bass parts in many songs. Initially I was thinking it would become a really static performance, where all protagonists would only be standing and playing. Bu that young troop up there just needed some warm-up time I guess, because after the first few songs, being ‘All at Once’ and ‘One equals a Lot’ had been played, it was a pleasure to watch how they’re moving and rocking to songs like ‘Turn and Smile’, another track from the album ‘360°’, where the alternating vocals of guitarist and singer Philip and Bass player Lies really were captivating.

Lies played some great bass solo during the show as well, like on the closing track ‘Hitman’ for instance and at one point of the show Philip would climb the bass drum and wildly play his guitar from there for a while. Surely not very impressing at the beginning, their performance gained momentum later and absolutely convinced me in the end.

01. All at Once
02. One equals a Lot
03. Title You
04. Return & Smile
05. The State we’re in
06. Mimosa
07. Violetta
08. Hitman

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10

Kaizers Orchestra

The orchestra was founded in 200 by Janove Ottesen and Geir Zahl. In the same year, they recorded the EP ‘Kaisers Orchestra’. Their special sound and creative use of instruments was noticed by the small, Scandinavian label Broilerfarm. Their first album, ‘Ompa til du dør’, was released on this label in September 2001. It was critically acclaimed and became a success, first in Norway, later in Denmark and the Netherlands. The second album, ‘Evig pint’, came out in February 2003, followed by the third instalment ‘Maestro’, being released in August 2005 in Norway and Europe. For the most time in 2007, the band members focussed on heir respective side-projects, however information was spread about an upcoming album was spread already in 2006, it was not until the end of 2007, when the title was to be released. ‘Maskineri’ was released in February 2008. KAIZERS ORCHESTEA is Janove Ottesen (vocals, guitar, organ, piano, oil-drum), Geir Zahl (vocals, guitar, oil-drum), Terje Winterstø Røthing (guitar, backing vocals, percussion), Helge Risa (organ, piano, accordion), Øyvind Storesund (double bass) and Rune Solheim (drums). /

Music & Performance
So now we were eager to see the band everyone was so enthusiastic about. The venue was not as full as I had expected with about 300 people gathering there. Well, some of the instruments already were on stage the whole time, but when the other band’s devices were demounted it revealed quite s strange version of a drum kit with what looked like a trash can. Then we had two pianos on the left, a double-bass monster and two of these well-known metal oil-drums with rims placed on them. Now, it was about time for the Orchestra to appear. I still don’t have the slightest clue why that guy on the pianos wore a gasmask. Well, the other lads on stage looked quite normal in their dark elegant suits and short after half past 9, the set started with ‘Medisin & Psykiatri’, guided by a softer shuffling rhythm to be followed by ‘Pa Dit Skift’ accentuated by powerful drum beats.

KAIZERS ORCHESTRA plays an uncommon style of music. It’s not pure rock; it has a pinch of punk, some jazz stuff and a little folklore as well. The lyrics, except for ‘Tokyo Ice Til Clementine’ were, as the rest of their work using the Norwegian Byrne dialect. A quote from singer Janove about this issue on one of the songs: “These are really great lyrics; it’s just a shame you don’t get it.” It’s like showing us the symbolical finger. We’ll learn Norwegian ‘til next time to verify if that’s true. During the show, Janove displayed lots of energy and was controlling the audience, which was clapping and dancing and having a good time. His fellows Geir and Terje suddenly climbed the oil-drums. They looked like giants, how they’re standing and playing on top of these things, but these drums had another purpose as well.

Janove left for a few seconds to return with a crowbar and what’s he doing with it? Bashing against the oil-drum and the rims as part of the next song, which had quite an industrial touch because if this. Later on, he had to rotate the drum which revealed the heavy bumps in it and when one man of the stage crew came to put the devices back into their right positions, they would make jokes behind his back. That looked so hilarious, everyone was laughing. Hope this band comes back soon, so we can see them again. A great live band!

01. Medisin & Psykiatri
02. Pa Ditt Skift
03. Fra Sjafor Til Passasjer
04. Djevelens Orkester
05. Tokyo Ice Til Clementine
06. Mann Mot Mann
07. Di Grind
08. Kontroll pa Kontinentet
09. Sorti
10. KGB
11. Delikatessen
12. Dr. Mowinckel
13. Maestro
14. Naade
15. 170

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8.3 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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