Kakkmaddafakka at Astra Kulturhaus: In Review

Norwegian indie-rock outfit Kakkamaddafakka treated us to a high-energy set at Astra Kulturhaus on Sunday night – and it’s safe to say we weren’t disappointed.

Fresh from the release of their latest studio album Diplomacy, the Bergen-based sextet graced us with their presence in Berlin as part of their current European tour.

Support came in the form of Egge, the effortlessly charming duo whose animated and peppy set couldn’t have been more fitting, considering the headline act. There were zero signs of nervousness of unease on stage; they seemed perfectly at home delivering their unique brand of nonchalance to a completely packed-out venue (side note: I have never seen Astra that full before – it was a little tricky to dance without getting elbowed in the face).

In what may or may not have been described as a “wonderfully German” super-long set, Kakkmaddafakka reeled off a number of their hits at the beginning of the show which, of course, sent the crowd into something of a frenzy. There’s a punchiness to their music which is difficult to articulate – a sort of carefree indie-rock nostalgia, if you will. In a time where we’re constantly bombarded with one ridiculous political scenario after another, we were long overdue the opportunity to simply go to a great gig and dance and, needless to say, our Scandinavian friends provided the perfect soundtrack to that.

There’s an almost childlike spiritedness to their sound – a playfulness which is a huge part of their appeal. Like us, they’re just here for a good time, and the pizazz and vigour in their music totally reflects that – it could be argued that they delivered a masterclass in not giving a goshdarn fudge.

A word of advice for those of you going to a gig at Astra soon: try and stand near the mixing desk, as that’s where the sound is best. Because I’m normal, I tried to get as close to the stage as possible – however, this resulted in a pretty bass-heavy mix, with the guitars taking a bit of a backseat. If you’re after a slightly cleaner balance, I’d recommend lurking towards the back of the venue. You’re closer to the bar anyway, the view’s actually better, and there’s more space to get your weird groove on (after all, you can’t go to a Kakkmaddafakka concert and not dance – that’s just illogical).

After an hour, the band weren’t showing any signs of slowing down, and at no point during the evening was the energy waning. It should be pointed out that their live show is a little messier than their recorded music, naturally, as it’s got a certain charisma to it that just can’t be translated onto an album. Kakkamaddafakka are simply one of those artists whose live show is an experience in itself. There was no need for extravagant staging or complex sets here – although the audience did very much appreciate the massive flag adorned with the band’s name flown across the stage.

If you every stumble across the chance to see these guys perform live, we strongly implore you to do so! It’s so refreshing to watch a band who don’t take themselves too seriously like so many Artistes™ do these days – check out details of their European tour here.

Photo credit: Ruben Nesse

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