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.
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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.