Live Photo from Shame gig. Credit: Haris Votsis

Post-punk collective Shame play SWG3 as they tour their latest album Food for Worms

By Haris Votsis

Shame emerge from small gigs in Brixton pubs to Glasgow’s SWG3 on their headline UK/EU  tour.

The environment of SWG3 is very fitting for a post-punk gig. The steel piping on the ceiling, grey walls and overall warehouse structure reverberates the noisy distortion and echoey vocals of post-punk appropriately in a slightly sinister, joyously decadent and semi-depressing way. Just as good post-punk should be. 

In the crowd can be seen a consistently greyscale attire, with crowd-goers mainly sporting black hoodies and white t-shirts. Which is why it was surprising when the first act comes on and two energetic guys wearing colorful long sleeve sweaters and a sleeveless gilet come out hyping the crowd up. They greet the audience and ask ‘are you ready Glasgow?!’

This is a hip-hop duo from Florida named They Hate Change. They start moving around the stage in a highly energetic, free-flowing but harmonious fashion as the lights start flashing in the colors of their sweater sleeves. 

The bass starts coming in loudly, with bouncing 808 kicks moving the crowd along in a boom-bap manner. They start rapping fast and doubling each other very effectively, always with high energy. 

When the second song comes in, fast 808s start playing and a lovely flute melody comes in with some tribalistic drumming in the background. The crowd starts to liven up as they exchange flows and dance to the beat. There is an amazing energy from the duo and a very synchronized pattern of rapping and movement that shows how great of a chemistry they have. Their aggressive but upbeat style of rapping gets the crowd buzzing for what is to follow. 

Shame comes on stage. They set up and assume positions on bass, guitars, drums and vocals. The crowd immediately begins chanting ‘‘Here we f***in’ go’’ and the classical orchestral piece ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ begins playing; a very enthusiastic, epic introduction for Shame. 

The band commences with a song called ‘Alibis’ from their most recent album, ‘Food for Worms’. The crowd once again chants “Here we f***in’ go” but this time it’s done along to the song’s beat and works very well with the band’s high energy and frantic movements. They are all wearing shirts, either white or black and seem very lively, with the bassist and vocalists moving about the stage at a wild pace. 

The vocalist Charlie Steen moves closer to the crowd and sings in an alluring manner while also slurring his words charmingly. He then jumps onto the crowd and crowd surfs until the song finishes. 

The second song comes in with a beautiful and aggressively strummed guitar chord pattern before moving onto a bittersweet arpeggiated guitar section. The drummer Charlie Forbes maintains a solid aggressive groove and offers a quick build-up on the snares and toms to end the song.

By the fifth song, the vocalist had taken off his shirt and the crowd were going wild, repeatedly jumping and yelling out the lyrics. This song is called ‘Six-Pack’ from their recent album and contains some amazing noisy sections which were done marvelously by the band. Somewhere in the middle of the song, the bassist throws a mic stand on the floor and a chaotic noise section evolves into a softly euphoric feedback noise…

That is until the drums take over with a steady post-punk beat and a lovely guitar high-end section brings an old-school post-punk riff into being. This song is ‘Concrete’ and is played with great synergy within the band. The vocalist begins the beautiful chant ‘I hope that you’re hearing me…’ and orders the crowd to open up as he runs inside and back again. 

A few songs later, the vocalist decides to stand in the crowd and literally walk on the palms of fans holding him up. This mad display of crowd interaction finishes when he lays on his back and is carried back by the crowd. This song was ‘Fall of Paul’ from their recent album. 

Overall brilliant energy from Shame, and the crowd reciprocated and then some. Frequent circle openings and soft moshing was done, as well as a consistency in the crowd shouting the lyrics dancing to the songs. It’d be a Shame not to see this band in Glasgow again!


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