LIVE REVIEW: Shonen Knife, Kolars @ Sage Gateshead (30.04.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Carl Chambers

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along come a band like LA’s KOLARS. There’s nothing strange about singing guitarist Rob’s big Strokes-esque riffs and Lou Reed affected vocals, as great as it is on tracks like the anthemic One More Thrill. But then cast your eyes to the right and there’s Lauren stood on top of a bass drum, tap dancing rhythms whilst also playing a regular drum kit. It’s surreal and original and when the tracks are as good as closer Dangerous, it’s anything but a gimmick. Wonderful stuff.

Shonen Knife perform four songs in a row about food and such is their legendary status, they also manage to avoid the gimmick tag. Two of the three original members remain and so does the sheer unadulterated fun that they have consistently provided on these shores since they toured with Nirvana back in 1992. Their Ramones influence remains on tracks like the 1-2-3 punk of All You Can Eat, whilst more recent tracks like Ramen Rock embrace a heavier rock sound. A cover of Nick Lowe’s Cruel To Be Kind shouldn’t work, but it does because Shonen Knife are so adorable and kitsch with their Rock 101 poses and sheer love of it even after 37 years, that they can make a song about Banana Chips the highlight of your night.   

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