Shame | Live At Electric Ballroom Review


Photograph by Tyla Trafford Reeves-Vane.

Photograph by Tyla Trafford Reeves-Vane.

Electric Ballroom Camden | 18th April 2018

For a band gaining recognition for vulgar displays and shirtless antics, it is surprising to see dozens of blazer-bearing suits and boots sinking after work pints in the Electric Ballroom tonight - hardly a fitting scene for the boardroom regulars.

Donning a white boiler suit, frontman Charlie Steen is seen chatting to modest-dressing 40-somethings outside, before adding sports sunglasses and a cowboy hat surely stolen from the prop room of Walker, Texas Ranger to his outfit.

As the echoes of The Shamen’s 1992 tongue-in-cheek pro-ecstasy hit, ‘Ebeneezer Goode’ fades out, Steen introduces Shame as a Christian rock band, looking to ‘spread the word of Christ’ before laughing sarcastically.

‘Dust On Trial’ jolts the crowd into alertness, before anarchistic circle pits open in the middle of the room. Steen tells the crowd Shame won't tolerate intimidation, and he encourages everyone to get involved, which directly leads to the venue heaving at the seams.

Photograph by Tyla Trafford Reeves-Vane.

Photograph by Tyla Trafford Reeves-Vane.

Shame are as comfortable on stage as they are in the studio – evidenced by their ear to ear grins. Unsurprising then that Camden is treated to an untitled new track – which sounds like a plodding Joy Division tribute - the five-piece are open to judgement.

Sure enough, Steen wriggles out of the top half of his boiler suit, revealing an already sweat-drenched torso ready to face the throes of ‘Tasteless’, which sounds just as electrifying now as it does on their debut record, Songs Of Praise.

Members Josh Finerty and Sean Coyle-Smith frolic around the stage; wild arrays of limbs and guitar necks flicker across the centrepiece in intoxicating fashion, entrancing in their movements, helped along by blunt, pulsating light beams of yellow, blue and purple during the fiery 'Friction'.

Tonight's antics proved that Shame are among the most exciting bands to witness in the UK, fusing tantalising post-punk guitars and muddy rhythms over their frankly incendiary live performances. This is just the start - it's only a matter of time before they hit the arenas.