Home > Events, J-Pop, Music, Reviews > Music Review: Shonen Knife 30th Anniversary Tour Scala London

Music Review: Shonen Knife 30th Anniversary Tour Scala London

The electrifying pop-Punk trio from Osaka rock London!

On Sunday 11th September, the all-female pop-punk three-piece from Osaka, Shonen Knife, played the final leg of their European tour at the Scala in Kings Cross, London as part of their 30th Anniversary Celebration (The band kick off their North American tour on 20th October). The former cinema hall was packed with excitable fans of various ages consisting of mainly males, but there were a number of females in the crowd too.

Supporting SK was FU, Slowgun, and smallgang; all perfectly suited to the overall flavour of the show and whetting the crowd’s appetite before the headliners came on.

Naoko (Photo ©Mark Isatog All rights reserved)

There’s no grand entrance with these unpretentious rockers from Osaka as drummer Emi appears on stage to make a few adjustments to her drum kit – then exits. At 9.45pm the trio step out in self-designed attire consisting of skirts worn over bell bottoms supporting rather large buttons. As soon as founder member Naoko strikes the first guitar chord on the opening number “Konnichiwa” the crowd are ecstatic; thumping the air and giving it a lot of ‘whoop’-ing as they thrashed their heads back and forth to the wall of sound. London had welcome Shonen Knife with open arms.

Their set comprised of favourites like “Twist Barbie” and” ESP”, as well as newer tracks from their latest original album Free Time including the catchy “Perfect Freedom” and the infectious “Capybara” (for full set list, see below).

Ritsuko (Photo ©Mark Isatog All rights reserved)

In August this year, to coincide with their anniversary, SK released a tribute album to The Ramones called Osaka Ramones as a way of thanking the band for being one of their greatest influences. A selection of tracks from the album was integrated into their repertoire. Ritsuko gave an impressive lead  vocal performance on “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”, which was followed by Emi’s dynamic rendition of “The KKK Took My Baby Away”, and Naoko closed the set with “Blitzrieg bop”.

Newest member Emi has been in the band now for over a year, and there’s no mistaking that she has proven to be a major assest and has settled in nicely whilst winning over former drummer Etsuko fans. In fact, this line-up is the best so far. Naoko, Ritsuko and Emi gel so well together it would take a welder to prise them apart; the chemistry is electrifying and their performance is seamless. Oh, and let’s not forget SK’s fourth member, Ritsuko’s hair, which thrashes the air like a lion tamer’s whip.

Once the show was over, a signing session took place in the bar area where the girls took time to meet and chat with fans who indulged in a little SK merchandise purchasing, which included t-shirts, towels and of course, CDs.

(Photo ©Mark Isatog All rights reserved)

But alas, it was all over. For SK it was off to a private party, for the punters it was time to leave and face the good ‘ole British transport system home.

There is no question SK is one of the greatest bands in the world!  What, you want to argue about it?!  Just look at their longevity, international appeal, loyal fan base, influence on other bands and extensive back catalogue of songs. What other group today that has been around for the same length of time can claim to be better now than they’ve ever been?  Shonen Knife can! Let’s hope SK doesn’t leave it another 18 years before they tour the UK again.  Hurry back, girls, we miss you!

Set List:

Twist Barbie
Perfect Freedom
A Map Master
Bear Up Bison
I Am A Cat
Devil House
Super Group
Banana Chips
Riding on the Rocket
Economic Crises
Cobra vs. Mongoose
Sheena is a Punk
The KKK Took My Baby
Blitzkrieg Pop

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(Photos ©Mark Isatog All rights reserved)

Special thanks to Damnably

For full list of North America tour dates, click here.

Related Posts:

Music Review:  Shonen Knife “Free Time”

Congratulations Shonen Knife! Latest Single “Perfect Freedon” Wins All-Week Airplay On BBC Radio

Music Review: Shonen Knife Double A-Side Single “Perfect Freedom/P.Y.O”

Categories: Events, J-Pop, Music, Reviews

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