‘When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert’ – the now immortal words of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain on Japanese punk-pop trio, Shonen Knife, who make their welcome return to the UK this month.
Formed in 1981, the influential triumvirate have amassed somewhat of a cult following with their ultra-happy power-chord thrashings over the years, particularly in America and the UK where they won the affection of the late, great John Peel among others.
Now, as they gear up for a lengthy nationwide jaunt – including a weekend at Butlins courtesy of the Matt Groening-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties – it would seem an arduous task, to say the least, to cram the best of a back catalogue spanning nearly 30 years into just an hour.
‘Picking a set list is always hard,’ agrees guitarist/vocalist, Naoko Yamano – the band’s only remaining original member. ‘We have more than 100 songs to pick from to play live so I have to adjust and consider what kind of gig/ what kind of audience. The balance of new songs and best songs is important too,’ she adds. ‘I want people to have fun!’
When quizzed on whether or not the band are particularly excited about their Scottish excursion, Yamano gets straight to the point. ‘Yes!!’ she gushes. ‘We’ve toured before with BMX Bandits and played with Teenage Fanclub in the 90’s – I can’t wait to go music paradise!’ (Ryan Drever)
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Mon 10 May