Shame @ Bristol Marble Factory | Live exam

Finally able to tour the album they released at the start of the year (Drunk Tank Pink), during the month of November Shame has performed in all major British cities, the last stop in Bristol having an air of Party.

Happening on a Saturday night no doubt helps, as does the news of new COVID restrictions coming into effect as winter draws its cruel veil, giving it more of an end-of-the-world vibe than it can. -be absolutely necessary.

Although The Goa Express bravely tries (and only marginally fails) to watch the headliners (the last track being the pure Primal Scream of the Give Out But Don’t Give Up era, with harmonica), Shame n aren’t in the mood to leave anything behind.

Alphabet’s first song shakes room walls like a hurricane in a football stadium, singer Charlie Steen asks, “Are you ready to feel good?” While it wasn’t written as an ensemble opener, it’s hard to think of anything better in their barrel to fulfill the function.

The searing start continues via the drowning intensity of 6/1, Steen hoarsely shouting “I hate myself and I love myself”, as his band mates seem to have a hard time keeping up. flow, then Concrete’s propulsive bass dominates the room while the call-and-answer nature of the song involves its bandmates on their respective microphones (all four are spread out in nature, with none placed further forward. than the others).

The angular art-punk of recent single This Side Of The Sun adjusts, rather than decreases, the tempo, before the deep, slow bass signals The Lick. Steen speaks the lyrics as he walks over a crowd of hands, his group providing the fishy sweatshop-like soundtrack behind him. He ends up falling into the crowd, making the most of being able to be so close to people while we still can.

While their second album didn’t have the same impact as Songs Of Praise in 2018 (just by not being their debut album), given the chance to breathe in a live environment, the songs sounded huge.

The controlled chaos of wobbly Born In Luton finds drummer Charlie Forbes holding everything together, while March Day, which has a metallic effect on the record, hits loudly.

Meanwhile, Nigel Hitter’s itchy screeching guitar tears out their ears the way it should, while robotic Harsh Degrees throws the crowd into another frenzy. Their whole image gives the impression of appearing ragged and unpolished, when in fact they are tight like a drum. Having your cake and eating it has never tasted so good.

Sean Coyle-Smith on guitar does everything and nothing effortlessly, while Eddie Green is more pronounced, sometimes running around on stage like crazy, and Josh Finerty on bass seems frustrated at not being able to follow suit. But Steen always attracts attention, whether it’s frequent dives on stage or throwing a mic stand into a crowd.

Dust On Trial (from Songs Of Praise) sounds so big it almost chokes while One Rizla (still arguably their greatest song) is really thrilling, with the riff ringing around the warehouse. Angie’s slow start goes down further, but only for a short moment before it explodes into a mini-epic.

Make no mistake, despite the post-punk label attached to them and their ties to the South London scene, this is nothing but heavy British rock music.

Richard Bowes

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