Gig review: Shame at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Remember those grainy archive programmes of 1977 when music was dangerous and punk ruled OK? Well that's over 40 years ago, and music has impotently limped onto safe radio stations, festival circuits and endless reunion tours.


Shame are the danger British music desperately needs. Their album is a blend of uncompromising post-punk mixed effortlessly with enough pop sensibilities to make shouting about concrete seem as normal as singing about love.

Heading to the stage fifteen minutes late due to an unruly snare drum, the itchy feet of the awaiting crowd could be forgiven as four different stage hands battled to solve the problem before a beat was struck.

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This semi-professional DIY attitude is what the band trade on throughout, and indeed is their MO for the evening. Thrashing around the stage on the brink of collapse and near implosion, the London five-piece are a ballsy, arrogant and powerful tour-de-force. Their confidence negates their youth, as they perform with a sweaty swagger and attitude long missing from live music.

Performing tracks from their debut Songs Of Praise, the crowd pogo around to favourites such as Concrete, One Rizla, Tasteless and Lampoon. Whilst the album is hardly restrained in its energy, the live performance takes the tracks to a different level. Visceral, angry, brash and bold, the crowd respond in kind chanting the words back to every song.

The Brudenell Social Club is the perfect setting for the nights performance, both scuzzy and professional at the same time much like the band.

An up-close barrier free intimate show is exactly how you should see Shame perform. Shirtless, sweaty and loud was the order of the evening.

Too often the phrase ‘brought the roof down’ is used to describe a live performance, but when Shame literally kick the ceiling tiles off the Brudenell during a stage dive, showering the audience in dust and debris, then and only then has a band made their mark on a venue.