Arigatōgozaimashita to Shonen Knife for playing in Brighton

Posted On 08 Apr 2018 at 4:38 pm


こんにちは (Kon’nichiwa) / Hello

Last night, Patterns in Brighton was hosting an evening of sheer happiness from the exciting Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife.

The all-girl trio was formed in Osaka way back in December 1981 by sisters Naoko Yamano (vocals and guitar) and Atsuko Yamano (drums) along with their friend Michie Nakatani (bass).

The current line-ups personnel is:
Naoko Yamano – her birthday is on 18th December and she likes 70s hard rock and plays tennis and enjoys drawing and shopping and eating sweets.
Atsuko Yamano – her birthday is on 22nd February and she likes The Beatles, Kiss and The Ramones and also plays tennis and enjoys drawing and shopping and eating spicy food.
Risa Kawano – her birthday is on 22nd March and she likes The Ramones and System Of A Down and enjoys reading and playing games and eating sweets.

Shonen Knife live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18When Shonen Knife initially started, the band was something of an anomaly as they were coming in at a time where all-female bands were scarce. They totally ignored the then-rising, early J-Pop movement and instead began crafting their own blend of energetic rock songs rooted in rough instrumentation and do-it-yourself ethos.

The trio emphasize positivity using catchy, upbeat melodies and frivolous, carefree lyrics that often are about the things that they like such as food and tennis. The group describe their music as “oo-oo-ultra-eccentric-super-cult-punk-pop-band-shonen-knife!”

It was in 1991 that Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain famously said stated after seeing Shonen Knife live that “When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.”

The Brighton crowd were treated to a career spanning nineteen song set made up of mainly fast toe-tapping numbers that lasted around three minutes each. The band had a vast amount of options when choosing songs to play as they have released more than twenty albums. It seemed that these ladies just really love to play to their adoring fans as they were continually smiling virtually all the way through their set, especially the younger drummer Risa. If I had smiled that much, my cheek bones would have been aching by the end of the night.

Shonen Knife live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18

The set started at quite a fast page for several catchy songs ‘Pop Tune’, ‘Banana Chips’, ‘Twist Barbie’ and after a while slightly slowed to the middle of their set, only to pick up pace again near the end with ‘Antonio Baka Guy’. They surprising didn’t cover a Ramones song, which would have been the obvious selection for the Japanese Ramones, but instead of opting for Nick Lowe’s ‘Cruel To Be Kind’.

The crowd all really had a great time watching the band and several of them queued up afterwards to purchase the new live album and to meet the girls.

We have endeavoured to inform you lovely readers of the tracks that the Shonen ladies performed on the night. It is not as straightforward as you may think, as with most bands when they write their setlists they rarely write the whole song titles, then they sometimes change the running order or put in other tracks and take out others whilst they are up on stage. Plus in this instance, you add the complication of half of the song titles being written in Japanese, it’s get rather difficult.

Our solution was to kindly ask Yuko who is the wife of UK Subs legend Charlie Harper to help us out and this is what we have come up with. If anyone else can fill in the blanks then please inform us so that we can update it – ありがとう(Arigatō) = Thanks

Shonen Knife live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18

So here goes – Shonen Knife Brighton setlist:
‘Pop Tune’ (from 2012 ‘Pop Tune’ album)
‘Banana Chips’ (from 1998 ‘Happy Hour’ album)
‘Twist Barbie’ (from 1983 ‘Burning Farm’ album + 1992 ‘Let’s Knife’ album)
‘Jet’ (from 2008 ‘Super Group’ album) OR ‘Jet Shot’ (from 2014 ‘Overdrive’ album)
‘Danje’ / ‘Danger’ (?)
‘Move On’ (from 2012 ‘Pop Tune’ album)
‘Jump Into The New World’ (from 2016 ‘Adventure’ album)
‘Rock’n’Roll T-Shirt’ (from 2016 ‘Adventure’ album)
‘I Am A Cat’ (from 1992 ‘Let’s Knife’ album)
‘All You Can Eat’ (from 2012 ‘Pop Tune’ album)
‘Sushi Bar Song’ (from 1998 ‘Happy Hour’ album)
‘Wasabi’ (from 2016 ‘Adventure’ album)
‘Ramen Rock’ (from 2014 ‘Overdrive’ album)
‘Riding On The Rocket’ (from 1986 ‘Pretty Little Baka Guy’ album + 1992 ‘Let’s Knife’ album)
‘Bataka’ (?)
‘Pyramid Power’ (from 2008 ‘Super Group’ album)
‘Antonio Baka Guy’ (from 1986 ‘Pretty Little Baka Guy’ album)
‘Cruel To Be Kind’ (Nick Lowe cover)
‘BBQ Party’ (from 2008 ‘Super Group’ album)

Shonen Knife setlist

The official Shonen Knife website is here, but you might need to put your translate on:

There were two support bands on the night – Ghost Car and Red Deer People.

Red Deer People live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18

Brighton based Red Deer People were first up. They are four guys who I saw on 3rd January this year at the Green Door Store and this time at Patterns they were even better than first time around.

Red Deer People live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18

They opening with their forthcoming single ‘It Comes In Waves’ which the band are launching at the Latest Music Bar on Friday 27th April. Tickets here:

Red Deer People next gig details

The Red Deer People brand of melodic snarly punk (in the vein of Joy Division, very early U2 and even late 60s druggy tracks) went down rather well with the audience. We were treated to a mere five tracks which consisted on their 2016 ‘Fun Fun Fun’ single followed by their last single ‘C’est Bon’ which clocks in at a mere 2 minutes. Their final track ‘God’s Great Workhorse’ sounds like Macclesfield’s Spring King. The RDP singer does remind me of Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire back in their heady days.

Red Deer People setlist

Red Deer People setlist: ‘It Comes In Waves’, ‘New Song’, ‘Fun Fun Fun’, ‘C’est Bon’, ‘God’s Great Workhorse’.

More Red Deer People info here:

Ghost Car live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18

The other band on the bill was Ghost Car, who are a post punk garage band made up of Maeve, Clara, Laura and Maria. The 4 girls formed the band in the UK and are based in London and are originally from Ireland and Spain.

Ghost Car live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18

We were treated to a distinctive eight song set of sugar sweet vocal tracks in the mould of Lene Lovich and Clare Grogan (Altered Images), topped with powerful 60s style keyboards and some fantastic drumming. These ladies should be following on the heels of Hinds if they are lucky. Alas, due to time constraints they had to drop one track called ‘Polarize’. Hopefully they will come back down the A23 to Brighton very soon.

Ghost Car live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18

Ghost Car setlist: ‘Missing The Old Times’, ‘Mechanical, ‘W’, ‘Woman In The Shadows’, ‘Stuck In The Mud’, ‘Sushi’, ‘Awkward’, ‘Truly’

Ghost Car live at Patterns, Brighton 7.4.18

Ghost Car setlist

More Ghost Car info here:

さようなら (Sayōnara) / Goodbye

Brighton gig flyer

Shonen Knife Tour Flyer

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