Music News

That Time Shonen Knife Ate Osaka Ramen at Ratio Beerworks

Shonen Knife stopped at Ratio Beerworks on Tuesday, September 3, for noodles from Osaka Ramen.
Shonen Knife stopped at Ratio Beerworks on Tuesday, September 3, for noodles from Osaka Ramen. Mark Antonation
No question about it: The women of Shonen Knife rock hard. And when they need fuel before one of their contagiously fun and energetic shows, they look for ramen. The Japanese punk-pop band is known for seeking out noodles while on tour, and fortunately, a couple of local businesses were there to oblige them last night before their gig at the Oriental Theater.

Guitarist Naoko Yamano, bassist Atsuko Yamano and drummer Risa Kawano showed up promptly at 6:30 p.m. at Ratio Beerworks, where about two dozen fans, many sporting a little gray on top, greeted them with album covers to be signed, photos to be snapped and hungry bellies waiting to be filled. Osaka Ramen ladled up pork and chicken miso ramen loaded with pulled pork, corn, whipped butter (yes, that's a thing), poached eggs and spinach. Ratio paired the noodle soup with a ginger-lime-coconut saison, though the bandmembers stuck with water during their visit.

click to enlarge Shonen Knife fans turned out for ramen, beer and their favorite band. - MARK ANTONATION
Shonen Knife fans turned out for ramen, beer and their favorite band.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The devil horns were flying at Ratio. - MARK ANTONATION
The devil horns were flying at Ratio.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Noodles and beer with Shonen Knife. - MARK ANTONATION
Noodles and beer with Shonen Knife.
Mark Antonation
Formed in 1981, Shonen Knife has had several lineups over the years, but founding sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano are back together for this incarnation. Risa Kawano joined the group in 2015, and the three are touring in support of Sweet Candy Power, the group's 22nd album, which dropped earlier this year.

After the slurping and sipping, fans followed the band to the Oriental. The musicians must have gotten their fill of noodles, though, because they didn't play "Ramen Rock," instead powering through other food-themed hits like "Sushi Bar Song," "Banana Chips" and "Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches."


But fans got just what they wanted: a sweet and savory serving of Shonen Knife.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation