Despite only a small crowd making an appearance, Getintothis’ Zach Jones enjoyed the catchy rhythms of Japan’s answer to The Ramones.
Japan’s music scene is so hoplessly over-looked in the west, with our radio and media being almost entirely consumed by American and British artists – with the odd Aussie getting a look in. The defence of this is often claimed that it’s the language gap, how could we ever listen to a German band if we don’t speak German? Well we assure you that German radio is flooded with UK and USA artists.
So when we think of Japanese artists it’s the big names that pop up – Mono, Boredoms and Dir en Grey have all experienced levels of success in the UK.
Yet Shonen Knife‘s career has the potential to outshine them all. After rubbing shoulders with Sonic Youth and able to claim Kurt Cobain as a big fan, Osaka’s answer to the Ramones took the Liverpool’s Arts Club stage in typical fashion.
They have a wealth of material to work through from over twenty five years as a band, and yet it is all still Shonen Knife. There isn’t a lot in the way of diversity here, where we mentioned Mono before, Shonen Knife sit on the other end of the spectrum musically. There is little-to-none in the way of rises and falls, and instead just catchy rhythms and poppy melodies with a huge punk rock kick.
They stomp through their set as if this was a band fresh on their first tour, the picture of health, this a band whose age has not affected their immaturity, and where bands like Blink-182 and Sum 41 are little more than a joke now they’ve hit 40, Shonen Knife have grown without growing up.
It’s a delicate balancing act, but something they’ve masterfully achieved. If only there had been more people to witness it.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Martin Saleh.