Legendary Japanese pop-punk outfit Shonen Knife makes a welcome return to Tyneside as part of their extensive UK tour.

The band formed in Osaka back in 1981 and since that time Shonen Knife’s underground garage rock sound has won fans across the globe including seminal alternative rock bands such as Sonic Youth and Nirvana. Of course, Kurt Cobain was a huge fan of the group and even asked the band to open for Nirvana during their 1991 Nevermind tour.

Tonight the trio arrives at the Sage Gateshead for their first show in the North East of England in over two years. Taking to the stage in their colourfully co-ordinated outfits, the group open their emphatic set with frantic airings of “Pop Tune”, “Banana Chips” and “Twist Barbie”.

The band’s distinctive brand of no messing punk rock conjures up images of legendary groups such as The Clash and The Ramones. Shonen Knife’s uplifting songs, coordinated moves and beaming smiles captivate the Tyneside audience all night long.

Shonen Knife released their latest studio album Adventure back in 2016, and subsequently, the group takes the opportunity to showcase several tracks from their latest offering including the incredibly catchy “Jump Into The New World”, “Green Tangerine (Kabosu)” and a fiery rendition of “Wasabi”. The latter of which being one of several food-themed tracks to feature in the show.

Mid-set the band’s cheery pop punk performance is all about gastronomy with back to back culinary orientated songs such as “All You Can Eat”, “Sushi Bar” and “Ramen Rock” all featuring. Both the band and their fans certainly rock out enough to work up an appetite.

Whilst visiting the area Shonen Knife inform the crowd that they had taken the opportunity to explore the local sights including a visit to both the nearby Castle Keep and the Angel of North. Images of the latter appeared on the band’s social media same day.

As the band hurtle towards the end of their main set they launch into the fast and the furious “Riding On A Rocket”, the Blitzkrieg Bop tinged “Buttercup (I’m A Super Girl)”, the hard-hitting “Pyramid Girl” before closing with the uplifting “Antonio Baka Guy”, which in turn leaves the crowd wanting more.

Following a brief interlude and a quick costume stage the three-piece returns to the stage in their vibrant clothing (official Shonen Knife tour merchandise), for a rather fitting performance of “Rock N Roll T-shirt”. The concert is brought full circle, and this musical feast brought to its conclusion with “BBQ Party” before the band leaves the stage to rapturous applause from the Gateshead audience.

With a career spanning in excess of thirty years, Shonen Knife are still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down.

Shonen Knife
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Event Date: 01-May-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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