Review: Shonen Knife at Sage Gateshead

You know when you have an outer body experience and the whole thing is a blur? I had a similar feeling when I went to see Shonen Knife, although I can still remember it.  

Shonen who?

Formed in Osaka they are named after a pencil sharpener knife brand (yes I did just say pencil sharpener) and are a quirky little trio that put the rock into rock and roll.

Arriving onto the stage in what looks to be a gold motif (picture a golden bin bag) having never seen the band before I am unsure of what I have let myself in for. All aged 50+ they look so sweet and shy, I am ready for them to play some hushed-tone songs about love and life.

All about the head-banging 

Yet I soon find out that what is about to come out of their mouths is the total opposite. It appears that Shonen Knife is all about headbanging and rock and roll, they are rock’s answer to Destiny’s Child or even better, The Ramones.   

Perhaps not making their bodies bootylicious or wanting to be sedated, Shonen Knife’s songs are different, to say the least. Think K-Pop meets 60’s rock and roll with songs such as ‘Making Plans for Bison’, ‘BBQ Party’, and ‘Giant Kitty’ – their set list is original, I will certainly give you that, and something I have never heard of before.

Lost in translation 

Although I worry that they were lost in translation, most of the songs do sound the same and though I may not have a clue as to what is going on, weirdly I still enjoy it. The band could be singing about anything and I would not care as their music is so funky and so damn punk rock, all you want to do is rock out and have fun.

There is a clear strong following to the band, as many a North East fan turn up to hear their music being played. It does surprise me how busy the Sage Gateshead is, for someone who has not heard of them I clearly need to brush up on my Shonen Knife music knowledge.

Certainly not holding back on the old music front, the energetic trio is full of sequin-covered glittery jelly beans, they have certainly opened my eyes and given me a new experience of a live performance.

Are you a fan of Shonen Knife? Let us know in the comments below!