As Shame turned up at The Magnet, Getintothis’ Amaan Khan is reassured that punk is in good hands.
Shame, with some help from Queen Zee & The Sasstones and Sorry, went on to show how a basement on Tuesday night can contain one of the most energetic and authentic punk performances.
Straight on to business, Shame gestured a crowd, that had filled half of The Magnet‘s basement, to approach the stage before throwing some beer at them for the first of the many times they will do so in the evening.
What followed was a set of energetic backbeat driven prophetic punk drawn straight from the wells that fed the punk scene in the Thatcher era and now openly rejuvenated for Theresa May. Even the gig posters featured Theresa May with bleeding eyes.
Attitude and showmanship is a necessity in a punk set. Shame‘s hateful look at the crowd worked well along with the antics of going off stage to perch on the bar and sing or to try crowdsurfing regardless of crowd size.
The goodness in the moderate stripping and the sexual gestures, however, can be subjective. All the while, from the first antic of thrusting a dude’s face in the crotch through all the beer splashing to moshing over a small crowd which was at that point busy having a miniature wall of death – the music was just as strong as the visual and physical performance.
In the end, Shame let Liverpool know they loved them and the crowd let them know all the while how much they appreciated what Shame brought on the night.
Before Shame, the middle slot was taken by their mates from Sorry. Carrying the punk ethos of the night but giving it a pleasantly mopey indiepop face, Sorry provided a kind of interlude between the two highly recommendable sets of their successors and predecessors, before bidding us adieu with the line: ‘Thank you. We’re Sorry.‘
Earlier, Queen Zee & The Sasstones opened the night to a thinner crowd, which worked at the point when they distributed party poppers between the set to celebrate bass player Frank Greally‘s birthday. However, no crowd shortage can budge the band from delivering a good performance of a great tune like I Wanna Take You to a Gay Bar which also saw an audience member join the band on stage to sing along.
And when the band finished their super-energetic set by getting different audience members to play a range of drums, there was no doubt in this writer’s mind that there is always something special to each Sasstones’ gig.
The only doubt at that point left was whether the rest of the night will live up to the first act or not – because, well, that would’ve been quite a Shame.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan