Shame at SWX Bristol: Sparks fly at high energy gig from the raucous Londoners

Shame frontman Charlie Steen on stage at SWX Bristol (photo: Matthew Barnes)Shame frontman Charlie Steen on stage at SWX Bristol (photo: Matthew Barnes)
Shame frontman Charlie Steen on stage at SWX Bristol (photo: Matthew Barnes) | Matthew Barnes
The London band played a sell-out show to promote new album Food For Worms

It may have been wet and cold outside SWX but the venue quickly warmed up at this sell-out show.

Energetic support act We Hate Change soon got the packed venue jumping and moshing but by the time band of the moment Shame appeared, sparks were flying.

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This south London post-punk five-piece are on tour to promote their third studio album, Food For Worms, and it soon became clear that they are even better live than on record.

Apart from catching them briefly at a festival performance, this was my first time seeing Shame so was I keen to sample them at their own headline gig.

As soon as the lights went down and Shame walked on stage, singer Charlie Steen was clambering over the front row, microphone in hand and crowd in his pocket.

From the new album, Alibis instigated the first moshing of the set, followed by Six Pack and Concrete, which were like indie rock adrenaline shots.

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By now, Steen had climbed up the wall beside us and formed his own circle pit before being carried away up and over to return centre stage.

The band produce high energy raucous indie punk and each member seemed to be buzzing whether it was a new song or old favourite.

During crowd-pleaser Tasteless, a song which takes on a life of its own when played live, there was a mass singalong to the chorus of ‘I like you better when you’re not around’.

The energy levels continued with One Rizla and then slowed down for the twisted ballad Angie, which closed the set and dialled things down after the frenetic pace of the previous 80 minutes.

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Shame are full of antagonistic joy live and it’s hard to stay still whilst watching them.

At one point I was tempted to launch myself off the steps to fly on top of a crowd half my age. Thankfully, I talked myself out of it, but part of me already regrets that.

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