Shonen Knife with bloodthirsty butchers & Keihan Girls
@ Shibuya Club Quattro (12th July '03)
Getting Knifed in Tokyo
Twenty some minutes after the Butchers packed things is a chant of "Knife" brought the headliners out on stage. Sauntering out of the darkness, the three ladies that comprise Shonen Knife picked up their instruments and began playing "Konnichiwa" from 1998's Happy Hour. Clothed in matching dresses, guitarist Naoko Yamano and bassist Atsuko Yamano began head banging in unison as they played the poppy number. With the audience dancing along Naoko waved her guitar over the heads of those gathered up front while Atsuko flashed metal horns to the near capacity crowd.
After pausing to say hello the girls from Osaka played "Ride the Rocket". Bopping around on stage with huge smiles on their faces you could tell that trio was happy to be back in Tokyo. As the song was finishing, someone from the crowd screamed "Rock Star", not missing a beat the drummer hit her sticks together twice and the band broke into it. The mix of an extremely appreciative audience, three girls who wear clearly have a fantastic time, and a good selection from two decades worth of pop and punk gems made for a really fun show.
The new material showcased from the recently released Candy Rock fits in nicely with the rest of the group's extensive catalogue. The album was recorded without synthesizers or computers giving it a much harder edge. This was evident on tracks such as "Mass Communication Breakdown" and "Wonderland". Both songs were much faster than most Shonen Knife material and have much less of a bubblegum pop feel to them. These more rock oriented tracks got the audience jumping and even caused a few crowd surfers to go erupt from the crowd.
Being in a rather chatty mood, the gals interacted with the audience at every given situation. Amidst their humorous banter it was revealed that they will be embarking on a North American tour sometime in October. The last time they toured the continent was five years ago so you can expect the anticipation level to be quite high this time around. If their recent live dates and album are any indication, the girls will have little problem ensuring that everyone leaves happy.
|Tonight's great performance showed why Shonen Knife remain one of the best rock bands in Japan and why they have gained so much respect from both their foreign and domestic peers over the years. Without a doubt, their contagious and extremely fun mix of pop, punk, and rock will continue to remain relevant and vital to the Japanese rock scene for years to come.
report by shawn and photo by ryota
bloodthirsty butchers / Shonen Knife
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