Shonen Knife

  • Shonen Knife
  • Shonen Knife
  • Photo credit – Akira Shibata
  • Photo credit – Akira Shibata

“When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.”Kurt Cobain

Shonen Knife are a ground-breaking all-female Japanese, pop-punk trio formed in Osaka in 1981, when Naoko first heard late ‘70’s punk-pop particularly The Ramones. Inspired, the band crafted their own idiosyncratic songs, fashioned brightly coloured outfits and DIY albums. In 1985, K Records released ‘Burning Farm’ in the US. Deals with Sub Pop and various Majors followed. 1989 saw the crème of the alt. rock scene (including Sonic Youth, L7 and Redd Kross) covering their favourite Shonen Knife songs on the tribute album ‘Every Band Has A Shonen Knife Who Loves Them’. They toured with Nirvana (on the ‘Nevermind’ tour), The Breeders and as part of Lollapalooza. They recorded sessions for John Peel and appeared on MTV’s ‘Beavis and Butthead’ . In 2010 the band released the album ‘Super Group’, played Matt Groening’s curated ATP, extensively toured the UK, Europe, North America, China and Taiwan! In 2011 the band celebrated their 30th year anniversary by releasing the albums ‘Free Time’ and ‘Osaka Ramones’, toured Europe and the US, played to thousands at the Summer Sundae festival, a live session for Marc Riley on BBC 6 music, an interview with Radcliffe and Maconie, and rounded out the year with a limited edition Christmas Single ‘Sweet Christmas’. In June 2012 Shonen Knife released their 18th Studio Album ‘Pop Tune’ and toured North America & The UK, Ireland Belgium, netherlands and Scandanavia-even playing at Tromso in Norway-literally ‘On Top of The World’.In 2013 the band  played Festivals in the UK and Europe including Incubate, AyaCon, Camera Japan, Tokyo Crazy Kawaii and toured many European Countries they had never played in before.

Showing no signs of slowing down, these girls are only looking forward to the 2014 when they release their 20th album and should hit their 1000th gig. As Naoko says, ‘Let’s Rock!’

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Uncut: “rocks like Motorhead designed by Hanna-Barbara”
BBC Music: (Louis Patterson – ‘Freetime’ )    “The Osaka Ramones, you must concede, still have it.”
BBC Music: (Jude Clarke ‘Pop Tune’ ) 7/10 “While by no means succumbing to the blank-eyed nihilism of their heroes the Ramones, then, this album nevertheless hints at a jaded corner in the psyche of this sunniest of bands. It might even, ultimately, make them all the more appealing.”
The Independent:(Simon Price) 8/10 “There are two types of people: those who enjoy thrashy Japanese girl-punk, and those who have something wrong with them.”
Music OMH: 8/10 “For an incredible 31 years Shonen Knife have been pumping out prototype riot grrrl, thrashing together early punk sounds with pop melodies.”
The Sunday Times: “…irrepressible slice of bounce-along indie-pop. Beguiling.” Stewart Lee
Voted the winner of BBC 6Music’s ‘Rebel Playlist’ by a landslide vote of 88%, which granted the single a play on every daytime 6Music show for a week plus album of the day on BBC 6Music
LondonPaper: (Super Group review)“Part Shangri-La’s, part Ramones, you can’t resist the charm of lyrics … so give in, and don’t.”
Time Out London:“Punchy Pop-Rock”
Artrocker:“Objectively, it could be pointed out that they can only play in a rudimentary fashion, that their songs are ludicrously simple and that they are not doing anything new. Objectivity can fuck right off, because Shonen Knife are brilliant”
The Line Of Best Fit: 7/10 “Robust in its eccentricities and musicianship, Pop Tune makes good on Yamano’s assertion that the current Shonen Knife line-up is its strongest.”
The Skinny: 8/10 “Pop Tune is their most irresistible offering in years”
Louder Than War:“As the world continues to go into economic meltdown we need the distraction of Shonen Knife more than ever – just allow yourself the simple pleasure of singing along.”
Clash: “Ultimately, without using superlatives, Shonen Knife should be set up for life as ambassadors for live music.”
Japan Times:“Shonen Knife are one of the most important bands in history, even if the world at large doesn’t know it”
Time Out Sydney:“It’s a whole lot of fun”
BBC 6Music (Steve Lamacq):“Shonen Knife – they know how to rock – Japanese punk pop at its best.”
BBC 6Music (Gideon Coe):“the most arresting record I’ve heard this week”
Marc Riley BBC 6Music: ‘Perfect Freedom’ Songs of the year for 2011
Gideon Coe   BBC 6 Music ‘Pop Tune’ for Recommended ALBUMS 2012
Time Out Barcelona:“Super Group continues to polish Shonen Knife’s reputation”
Subba-cultcha:“brilliantly bonkers”


Check back soon for upcoming shows.


UK/Europe: george (at)

Belgium: herman (at)