Kaizers Orchestra to tour Europe

Fresh from the release of their hailed live album ‘Live at Vega’, oil barrel pounding collective Kaizers Orchestra head out on a 16-date European tour this week.

Kaizers Orchestra 2006

Kaizers Orchestra are in a flurry of activity this month with the release of the band’s first live recording and an extensive European tour coming up.

European tour

This week sees the oil-barrel pounding collective Kaizers Orchestra heading out on a 16-date European tour that brings the outfit to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden from 9 to 25 March.

Says Kaizers frontman Janove The Jackal Kaizer on the collective’s new tour: “The last tour we did, the release tour for the Maestro album, was the best tour we ever did abroad. We had a really great time, we played good, kept in good shape, looked better than ever, and got a terrific reception all over the place. We had taken some time off the previous year, and I think that boosted our energy level or something. Because it was an intensely brilliant tour for us”.

While Kaizers Orchestra have been extremely successful on the home market with platinum sales and sold-out domestic tours, they might come across as an unlikely export product as the band sing in Norwegian. However, the language barrier has not prevented the band from crossing borders, and the collective have now built up a loyal following on the continent in the wake of Kaizers intense live appearances. A well-timed slot at the 2003 Dutch Eurosonic festival started the hype which has since led to high-profile gigs at such festivals as Roskilde and eventually last year’s record deal with Universal Music Germany who is now set to bring the oil-barrel pounding collective out to a wider European audience.

New live album

Last autumn saw Kaizers Orchestra releasing their third album, ‘Maestro’. The album, which was released in Europe through Universal Germany, picked up a string of very strong reviews in domestic as well as European press.

The Kaizers follow up on the success of Maestro with a new live recording, ‘Live at Vega’. This new album features a taped concert played at Copenhagen’s Vega last October. ‘Live at Vega’ saw its domestic release last week and reviews have been overwhelming for the energetic Stavanger collective. Wrote Norwegian daily in its review: “Following the musical manifest that this album represents, it remains clear that this band is at its best in a live setting. As a live-album, this is as good as it gets.” (6/6)

Last autumn, one of the web’s most important music sites, allmusic.com, chose Kaizers Orchestra as the main feature on the popular site’s front-page. Says Kaizers front-man Janove on the allmusic.com profile: “It’s as if we’d written the story ourselves. And it’s great to be compared to our heroes!

Wrote allmusic journalist James Christopher Monger in his profile on the band: “The Norwegian sextet Kaizers Orchestra builds cathartic rock songs that borrow heavily from the dirges of Tin Pan Alley and Eastern European folk music. Formed in the late '90s in the city of Bergen, the band consists of Jan Ove Ottesen and Geir Zahl on vocals/guitar/oil barrel, Helge Risa on pump organ, Øyvind Storesund on accordion and bass, guitarist/percussionist Terge Vinterstøen, and Rune Solheim on the drums. Their signature sound eventually led to a record deal with Scandinavian label Broiler Farm, and the band released Ompa Til du Dør in 2001, an album that won the Norwegian Grammy and went on to become the highest-selling rock debut ever issued in the Norwegian language. Evig Pint followed in 2003, resulting in numerous awards and even more impressive record sales than its predecessor.”

A quote from the Man himself, Tom Waits, taken from a recommendation he wrote on the band on Amazon.com sums it all up: "Norwegian storm trooping tarantellas with savage rhythms and innovative textures. Thinking man’s circus music. Way out."

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