The all-girl band paints their music with a brush so vivid, in colors so delightfully saturated, and with an innocent purity that is so infectious, they shine in a way that few bands can manage.

Daniel Robson (Chief Editor of IGN Japan), for JAPAN Forward

“Next we’re going to perform three songs in a row about snacks!” announced Shonen Knife guitar-vocalist Naoko Yamano. As the band launched into the one-two-three sugar rush of their classic tunes “Popcorn, Cookie Day and Hot Chocolate,” the audience at Fever in Shindaita, Tokyo, were reminded once again that Shonen Knife are a band like no other.

In December 2021, Shonen Knife will celebrate 40 years since their 1981 formation – a journey that has seen them championed by grunge superstars Nirvana, respected DJ John Peel, and revered comedian Stewart Lee, finding fans around the globe as they have released album after album of infectious, sweetly intentioned rock and punk music.

Photo courtesy of Shonen Knife (via Japan FORWARD)

It’s quite rare to see rock stars of any stripe endure that long, let alone an all-female independent band from Osaka, Japan. But tonight, sisters Naoko and bassist Atsuko Yamano proved they can delight an audience of older and younger fans alike.

712 Day is an annual event held by Shonen Knife every year around July 12, a play on the Japanese phonetics for the numbers 7, 1 and 2 that can be pronounced as “Knife”.

Photo courtesy of Shonen Knife (via Japan FORWARD)

This time, they were able to hold their Tokyo show on July 11 in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, which meant the limited number of ticket holders had to sit in their bucket chairs through the entire performance, despite the mosh-worthy tunes. And in respect of their 40th anniversary, the band played a broad selection of songs from throughout their long career, continuing for nearly two hours and through two encores.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.