The Katona Twins: The Bluecoat, Liverpool


Hungarian brothers The Katona Twins lit up The Bluecoat with dazzling guitar virtuosity, Getintothis’ Sean Bradbury was witness to classical mash-ups, contemporary reworkings and somehow managed not to use the word ‘Kerry.’

Like most of the right-minded scientific community, Getintothis has never bought into the idea of telepathy between identical twins. Field of interconnection? No chance. Illusion of separation? Nah. Psychic synergy? You’re having a laugh.
Until now. Fellow skeptics would do well to check out the brotherly duo who dazzled in front of a capacity crowd at The Bluecoat performance space this weekend.
The Katona Twins are classical guitarists hailing from Hungary who relocated several years ago to make Merseyside their base. They both began playing their instruments at the age of 10 and have never looked back.
To witness their virtuoso tandem talent is breathtaking and scarcely believable; surely the sound of one man with four hands, or two men who can read each other’s minds.
Peter and Zoltan Katona open with Boccherini’s famous Fandango, conceived for one guitar and a string quartet but here all parts covered by just 10 fingers.
Next comes their first foray into popular music – a sensational take on Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Building from a blissful reverie crafted by harmonics and delicate picking, their eyes meet (“I see a little silhouetto of a man“) and they rise to their feet as they move through the gears, ripping into lead lines and big chords (“So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?“) as they go.

Their connection is melodic, rhythmic and total. With nothing more than a fleeting glance, half smile or almost imperceptible nod, tones shift, keys change and solos are swapped.
We get flaming hot flamenco licks, a tune based on The Brothers Karamazov with different characters, moods and guitar body beats coming to the fore, a rendition of Mad World by Gary Jules that is all pinched harmonics and expressive vibrato. Not to mention a Vivaldi mash-up that hurtles through the Four Seasons in five minutes flat.
Before signing off with a short burst of Bach baroque, the brothers cover The Beatles’ Come Together; a fitting finale for their masterful, mutual understanding.
The heat gets cranked up on Friday at The Bluecoat as the Liverpool String Quartet is joined by dancers in costume to illustrate the power, energy and breathless electricity of the Latin beat. Tango time is at 7.30pm. Bring your dancing shoes.
Further reading on Getintothis:
Getintothis reviews Chris Watson & Matthew Herbert at The Bluecoat
Getintothis reviews Phantom Band and By The Sea at The Bluecoat
Getintothis reviews Rhys Chatham and a.PA.t.T at The Bluecoat