Words and pictures: Sacha Renaud
Walking past the Moth Club last week, I saw an unknown band billed as Almost Seamus was performing. I decided to take a look and was surprised to see the five south Londoners known as Shame walking on stage.
After the success of their brilliant second record ‘Drunk Tank Pink’ early in 2021 and an intense promotional tour, the post-punk quintet has been giving intimate shows to try out their new material before the release of an awaited third album. Following two intense nights at the Brixton Windmill, Shame were ending their ‘test tour’ of small London venues here.
The iconic Hackney venue was ideal to host such a band, and they once again made everyone in the audience sweat (if not more than usual) due to the high quality of the new songs. They offered us harsh and acid guitar riffs over frenetic drumbeats and soulful lyrics from frontman Charlie Steen who, when he wasn’t surfing the crowd, would allow us to take a breath during calmer, more shoegazey compositions.
They delivered a great set, alternating old songs such as ‘Alphabet’, ‘Tasteless’ or ‘One Rizla’ and new ones with odd temporary names like ‘Wicked Beers’ or ‘Mewtwo’, which seemed to blend into each other perfectly.
Shame is the kind of band that makes you feel like you’re simply hanging out with five old friends, especially in a small and intimate venue like the Moth Club. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, anyone in the crowd from the pre-teen goth girl to the middle-aged dad is here to share joy together which brings a real sense of community.
They shared a couple of words and jokes with the audience during the gig and even improvised a jazzy elevator music jam to keep us entertained while the bassist Josh Finerty was trying to fix his rig issues, the result of his unstoppable jumps from the bass drum and kung fu moves while playing.
With this intense and physical show, Shame proved that they are now ready for their next tour, with plenty of great new songs.
Find out more from Shame here.