Shonen Knife

Shonen Knife

I’d never heard of this band until a few months back whilst looking at Glee listings. In the write-up it said “Kurt Cobain was a fan”. That was good enough for me…

Date: October 3, 2012

Venue: Glee Club

You may be surprised to learn that this frivolous all-female Japanese pop-punk three-piece have been making music for more than 30 years.

So why have you never heard of them, then? Well perhaps you paid no attention to Kurt Cobain and John Peel’s proud patronage of the band, or you thought the Kill Bill-featured The 5, 6, 7, 8’s were the only Japanese all-girl punk trio, or maybe you just don’t like buzz-saw punk which dips into and swirls around The Ramones like flies around you know what.

In fact, such is their love of New York’s finest punk titans, they recorded a whole album of covers just last year, from which they cherry pick tonight.

With a playful new album to shift – the aptly-named Pop Tune – cue luxurious harmonies underpinned with white hot shards of wiry, seething riffs.

Their songs are simple affairs of frisky impish purity fizzing with a whimsical lustre, whilst their East Asian accents lend each one an adorable persona.

But it’s old songs about BBQs, sweets, animals and everyday objects (Rubber Bands and Banana Chips to name a few…) that really add to the fun.

Their smiles never fade, and they arrive and depart waving their Shonen Knife scarves with unrivalled pride. A true joy to observe.


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