They come from Osaka, Japan, and I can happily confirm this all lady punk trio, who call themselves Shonen Knife, thrilled everyone with an energetic reminder of what rock music is all about in a hot Patterns in Brighton on 07/04. Shonen Knife are influenced by 1960s girl groups, pop bands, The Beach Boys, and early punk rock bands, such as the Ramones, the trio provide stripped back songs with lyrics sung in Japanese and English. They have also performed as a Ramones tribute band under the name The Osaka Ramones – and have a couple of cover albums.
The trio (guitarist and vocalist Naoko, bassist and backing vocalist Atsuko and drummer Risa ) were all smiles for the hour and fifteen minutes or so they spent performing on stage, They seemed so happy to be here and constantly saying thank you between their songs.
A Slide Show
Naoko and Atsuko delivered great sounds of pop-punk fueled energy. The bass thumping at us and Naoko doing a lot of the vocals work still managed to give the crowd some guitar shredding goodness, with some solo breaks. Both giving us some well rehearsed rock poses at appropriate times. Risa, an absolutely delightful lady and lovely to talk to, on drums and vocals. This lady has to be the happiest drummer in the world and one of the hardest working. Her constant smiles and superb percussion work just glues everything together for Shonen Knife as they powered through their set.
Atsusko: Bass, Vocals
Risa: Drums, Vocals
Ok, this is tricky as some of the songs were in Japanese, and the set list was partially written in English and partly in Japanese. Here is a shot of the 18 song setlist. Shonen Knife played for around 1hr 15 and they just didnt stop! We got some of the eralier material and also the wonderful Jump into the New World from their latest release. We also got Wasabi , Sushi Bar Song, Bad Luck Song, Jet Shot, and included in their finale was a cover of Cruel To Be Kind.
Always looking for any help with translation of the setlist! That Shonen Knife appeal may be limited to a select audience, and those in the know. But what they do is play and deliver their music with everything they can muster. Naoko gave a mention of when they played with Nirvana, which got a huge cheer. It was just a joy to listen and watch a band having the time of their lives, a party almost, playing with such enthusiasm. Singing about cats and vegetables and so much more!
It’s impossible not to smile while watching a Shonen Knife show, and I dont know why! A fusion of English and Japanese shouldn’t really work, but it just does! Going to see these guys again, it has been two years since I last saw them, was great, so much fun – a bit like going to your favourite theme park and getting unlimited access to your favourite ride!
Kurt Cobain once said about the band, “When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.”
Its amazing how powerful simple rock and roll can be when its done right.
Their set covered off just about every part of the bands 30 year history and that included material from their new album.
Have I ever been to a happier feeling gig than this one from Shonen Knife? I don’t think so!!
So lovely to chat with Risa and she finished up by thanking me for coming with a huge smile, said she looked forward to seeing the photos. She had remembered when I had photo’d them before in Brighton.
And Finally – A slideshow
The band is always generous with their time after the show, which is great considering how long they had been playing. They will stay around almost until the last fan leaves! They are so kind and gracious to everyone. They really appreciate and look after their fans. And in Patterns they were talking, taking photos, selfies and signing autographs for a good while after the show. This extended the happy vibe beyond the gig itself.
Shonen Knife are on the WWW
Shonen Knife are on Facebook
Please note all original images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.
All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2018.
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