Just 2 weeks into 2018, Shame set the bar sky high for album of the year with ‘Songs of Praise’, one of the most eagerly anticipated debuts for a long time. In the summer it was rare to see a festival line up poster without their name on it, and at the end of last year Shame were absolutely inescapable, for all the right reasons. On the 23rd January they performed at the 100 Club for Fred Perry Subculture and proved exactly what this buzz is all about.
The oldest track on their Spotify is ‘The Lick’, dating all the way back to pre-historic 2016; A give or take 2 year presence on streaming platforms demonstrates quite how quickly Shame have burst onto the scene. With a rapidly selling out tour starting in April, their raw passion for what they’re doing and constant grind is certainly paying off.
Over 2000 people applied for the roughly 200 competition tickets up for grabs for this intimate show, and the 100 Club was packed to the absolute brim. Numerous personalities were in attendance, such as the likes of Liam Gallagher’s sons- Gene and Lennon (which NME seem to think was the most important aspect of the show, headlining their article ‘Liam Gallagher’s sons were at the Shame gig last night’… yawn), Huw Stephens, and HMLTD. ‘Songs of Praise’ has been backed and promoted by endless artists/presenters/magazines/fans/anyone who has working ears. If it wasn’t clear enough already, it was now crystal clear that there really is something special here.
One of the most enticing aspects of Shame’s live shows is their energy that never seems to run out. Right from the get go they were all thrashing about on stage as if they were invincible, so much so that it’s a miracle no equipment (or limbs) were broken. Frontman Charlie Steen was filled with such fury like a volcano ready to erupt, the eruption being the removal of his camo t-shirt which somehow managed to bring out an even higher intensity within. The variety within ‘Songs of Praise’, ranging from heavier, grunge-esque tracks like ‘Gold Hole’, to softer ballads like ‘Angie’ allows Shame to really build a unique, established live show and break away from the fictitious ‘South London scene’ that seems to be the favourite phrase floating around at the moment.
The night unsurprisingly saw ruthless crowd surfers, pints being chucked every which way and a room filled with faces of pure enjoyment. A definite highlight had to be ‘The Lick’ which saw the whole crowd enraptured by the almost mysterious vibes the simple guitar part creates, then was sent into a frenzy for the chorus and favourite lyric ‘Relatable, not debatable…’ which only true Shame fans know how many times to repeat that line for.
Another highlight was their most listened to track on Spotify ‘One Rizla’ at a huge 329,000 listens, which brings out their more ‘poppy’ side with an infectious melody and guitar riff; this one had the crowd bouncing in unison and screaming the lyrics in the direction of the stage. Also notable was the appearance of Angie on stage for Angie, and Charlie being lifted into the crowd on his knees, again raising the question of how all members of Shame’s bodies are still fully intact.
This year has a lot in store for Shame, and they weren’t hesitant to make sure everyone knew it by exiting the stage to their chant of ‘Shame is the name’. Their ever-hungry desire for more is going to take them to some exciting places in the next few months.
Thanks again to the Fred Perry Subculture Team.
Words by Georgia Essex.