Review: Shonen Knife at The Joiners, Southampton

Shonen Knife
Shonen Knife
Kyle Jonathan, Headteacher at Swanmore College on New Road, Swanmore has planned Swanfest to raise funds for traffic calming methods in New Road ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (180613-7842)

Mum of Swanmore car crash boy backs festival funding for traffic calming

Have your say

Given the culture they emerged from there’s something simultaneously incongruous and rather brilliant about an all-women punk band from Osaka, Japan, celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

Led by frontwoman Naoko, the trio have pumped out 19 albums of bubblegum punk-pop, and on the evidence of this gig, show no signs of letting up any time soon.

Decked out in identical metallic, tasselled outfits – made by bassist Atsuko – the trio put on a high-energy display that would shame bands half their age.

Drummer Risa, the new kid on the block, is a perma-smiling dervish behind the kit, but she never misses a beat.

In fact, the whole band are tight – the songs may be deceptively simple, but dropping the occasional shredding guitar solo is not beyond Naoko.

The songs – sung mostly in English – are often odes to food and cute animals and are as catchy as hell. BBQ Party is a stand-out, building to a frenetic climax.

New songs from recently released album Adventure, like the Risa-sung Green Tangerine, nestle nicely alongside older songs like Concrete Animals

Their Ramones-fuelled ramalama, filtered through Naoko’s love of classic rock (hence the solos) and the Japanese love of all things ‘kawaii’ (cute) results in an hour-long set that put a huge grin on the faces of most in the packed Joiners.

With a one-song encore of 1998 single, the joyously silly Banana Chips, they’re done. But let’s hope they’re back before long.