Shonen Knife - Japanese pop-punk at its best

SONIC YOUTH and Nirvana hailed them as one of their favourite bands. They have been a going concern for more than 30 years, and this year they released one of their best albums.

This is Shonen Knife who play Strange Brew at the Róisín Dubh on Thursday October 11 at 9pm where they will perform songs from that album, Pop Tune, as well as favourites from across their long career.

The was band formed in Osaka, southern Honshu, in 1981 by sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano. Numerous line-up changes have occurred since but Naoko remains the constant presence (Atsuko tours with the band from time to time ). The current line up is Naoko (vocals/guitar ); Ritsuko Taneda (bass/vocals ), and Emi Morimoto (drums/vocals ).

Shonen Knife’s sound is characterised by an upbeat, melodic, and exuberant pop-punk equally influenced by The Beatles as by The Ramones and the Buzzcocks, and lyrics which range from funny to silly to happy.

The band’s reputation rests mainly on the (mostly cassette-only release ) albums they made in the 1980s and the eponymous 1990 compilation which introduced them to the wider world.

However their new album, Pop Tune is an infectious and fun collection of tight, melodic, songs such as the anthemic ‘Osaka Rock City’ and ‘Welcome To The Rock Club’; the brilliant minor key psych-pop of ‘Psychedelic Life’; and the catchy ‘Mr J’. There is hardly a bad song on the album and repeated listens will only bring smiles to your face.

As the BBC’s Steve Lamacq said: “Shonen Knife - they know how to rock - Japanese punk pop at its best.” Don’t miss them.

Tickets are available at, from the Ticket Desk at OMG, Shop Street (formerly Zhivago ), and The Róisín Dubh.



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