As Shame descended on the proud city of Liverpool, Getintothis’ Mark Rowley found out how tasteless they can be.
Having texted a regular Friday night drinking buddy and invited him to come along to see Shame, his all but predictable reply read, ‘Given Shame a fair hearing. Some good bits but too much shouting for me. So I’ll swerve it. Ta’
Though that says as much about middle-aged man, as it does about one of the hottest punk bands presently plying their trade across the British Isles and further afield, you’ll understand why the crowd in the Buyers Club was much smaller than it perhaps could and should have been.
The other reason being that on this particular evening (and week), Shame found themselves competing against a plethora of quality ‘club’ bands performing around Liverpool city centre.
That said, it didn’t stop Shame from giving their all.
Frontman Charlie Steen, who is actually one hell of a diamond geezer (as are all the lads), looked quite menacing as he stared into the crowd, mock-serious with furrowed brow, hollering, ‘No more questions! No more questions! I hope you’re hearing me.’
His stage presence was a perfect foil for the rest of the band, who continued to rock out behind him having the party of their life. And their sound was amazing! So tight; a cacophony of banging drums, pounding bass and loud guitar, all played at breakneck pace. With, of course, a fair bit of shouting too.
A sizeable part of the audience let themselves go completely and threw all decorum out of the door. So much so that the singer-bawler only really managed to muster enough courage to walk in amongst them towards the end of the set.
Playing in Edinburgh the night before and Dublin the following evening there’s no let up for a band which is right up there with Cabbage (who are incidentally, a comrade in arms), competing for the ‘Duracell Bunny Award For Most Gigs Performed And Most Miles Covered In One Year’
The night was put on by Harvest Sun Promotions, who’d had their own Buyers Club ‘residency’ of three shows in three nights, with Flyte and Howie Payne topping the previous evening line-ups. On the bill tonight were support slots from London duo, The Rhythm Method and Liverpool 3-piece, Mincemeat.
The Rhythm Method was main support, having played regularly with Shame on this current tour.
With an ultra-pleasant if slightly naff, 80s-disco backbeat and deadpan, de-rigueur out-of-tune vocals (featuring it has to be said, extremely witty, stand up-style lyrics), they were mildly entertaining and inoffensive.
Their charm is apparently subtle and insidiously engaging, although initially unappealing. More listens will thus decide whether they are actually any good. Already championed by The Guardian, expect them to have a number one hit soon and be the absolute darlings of Radio 1, just as long as their commendable leftish political leanings don’t throw a spanner in the works.
Local lads, Mincemeat, who opened proceedings, provided a more conventional and powerful sound of the staple rock triumvirate of guitar, bass and drums.
Featuring the strong fuzz of reverberating guitar feedback, along with some classic 1950s rock ‘n’ roll-inspired vocals, Mincemeat were the ideal choice to kick-start the evening under way.
Images by Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan