Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 29 September 2017
Japanese pop-punk band, Shonen Knife, now in their 36th year of releasing music and touring worldwide, grace the stage in Adelaide as part of this year’s OzAsia Festival, alongside supporting local band, Satan’s Cheerleaders.
Satan’s Cheerleaders begin the show with their unique rock and somewhat jazzy take on the soundtrack of the game, The Last Ninja. Their set is a jump back in time to being a 90’s kid playing the classic action-adventure game based around a ninja protagonist on a journey to the palace belonging to the evil Kunitoki with the aim to assassinate him and retrieve the sacred scrolls. This is a performance like no other, with Satan’s Cheerleaders playing the songs off all levels of the game which sounds bizarre, but is actually incredibly entertaining.
Behind the band is a projected video of the many levels of the game being played accompanying the music. This is a fantastically clever addition to the transforming it into a thoroughly enjoyable experience as you watch a 90’s style ninja game being played out whilst a live band perform its entire soundtrack.
A scene-stealer within the performance is talented saxophone player, Jamie Capatch, who creates a mind-blowingly magical saxophonous symphony. The all-round combination and atmosphere of the performance is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, combined with incredibly talented musicians bringing the soundtrack of The Last Ninja to life.
Shonen Knife provide one of the most up-beat, pop-punk performances you may ever witness, enhanced by their simple yet incredibly catchy lyrics, such as the repetition of “Hot, hot, Wasabi, why is it so hot? Hot!” and “All you can eat, all you can eat, all you can eat”. Many of their songs focus on their love of Japanese food as it is a large part of their life, and therefore their inspiration resulting in many food-based hits, such as the heavier ode to their favorite noodles, Ramen Rock.
The band is made up of two sisters and original band members, Naoko on Vocals and Guitar and Atsuko on Bass and Vocals, as well as their new drummer, the very talented Risa on drums and vocals. These are some of the happiest performers you may ever witness on stage with radiant smiles throughout the entire show – they all seem genuinely glad to be on stage performing to an enthusiastic, bouncing audience.
Shonen Knife perform not only some of their classics, but also songs from their new album, Adventure, which was inspired by 60’s and 70’s classic rock, and are great fun to flip your hair to, similarly to the sisters’ synchronized hair flips on stage. All round, the band provide an up-beat, fun performance that you can’t help but move your feet and sing your lungs out to.
This is a contrasting show with two incredibly talented bands who provide performances outside of the usual. This is a fantastic show that will introduce its audiences to all new forms of music that the world can provide, as well as satisfying long-time fans’ music tastes.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Your Twitter: @Georgie_xox
Venue: Nexus Cabaret, Lion Arts Theatre, North Terrace & Morphett Street, 5000
One night only – Season ended