Shonen Knife, Nivara Lounge
4 October 2017
by Ian Duggan
Have I ever been to a happier feeling gig? I think not!
Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife played Hamilton’s Nivara Lounge on Wednesday night, and the venue was near capacity. The band were there to have fun, and so were the crowd. Although everyone was happy, no one seemed happier than recently added drummer Risa Kawano; she was incredible to watch, both for the style and quality of her drumming, but also for her infectious perma-smile. My face would have ached after such a performance. Despite the wall-to-wall crowd, everyone was happy. People danced, and despite the numbers in attendance everyone had their own personal space.
On this tour Shonen Knife included both Yamano sisters, Naoko and Atsuko, two of the bands original 1982 members. With their moves commonly synched, and with their silver sequined glam-like costumes, it was difficult to not see them sometimes as a kind of mix between The Ramones and The Osmonds. For the encore the band came out wearing white Shonen Knife t-shirts, and started out with their excellent cover of the Monkees ‘Daydream Believer’. Overall, a fantastic set from start to finish.
At the conclusion of the night, many people bought vinyl, t-shirts and other paraphernalia. Many took the opportunity to meet the band, get their vinyl signed and have photos taken with them. This just extended the happy vibe beyond the gig itself. With fantastic music, and seemingly without even a hint of there being a dickhead element to the crowd, this was hands down one of the best gigs I have ever been to.