Sweat soaked, stormy and sarky as ever. Shame’s return to The Leadmill was everything you would expect, and then some. Their absence from Sheffield has been a short one. The South Londoners’ last visited the Steel City venue in April this year, during the UK leg of their European tour, just a few months after the release of debut album, Song of Praise. But the frenetic five-piece came back harder for round two. They return with a higher dosage of seething riffs, sarcastic jeering and several stage dives.
For a band who revel in mocking the nonsense of this modern world, their stage was cohesively no-nonsense. “SHAME” was written in white on a black backdrop. And that’s it. Granted, it may be due to budget, but it does the trick. They walked on stage and their presence set the room a light. From the first chord blasted – Shame kept The Leadmill burning all evening.
That first chord belongs to ‘Dust on Trial’, the frenzied opener of their debut. As the track built up to its thrashing conclusion, topless frontman, Charlie Steen, moved forward to the railing. Arms open, with eyes rolling to the back of his head like a satanic Christ the Redeemer (forgive me Father), Sheen fell into the crowd. And so the atmosphere for the night was set.
Charging through tracks from Songs of Praise, Shame reached their most revered track, ‘One Rizla’. The sensationally scornful tune is a firm favourite and a huge ‘fuck you’ to supposed limitations and people who give too much of a fuck. You know the type, right? “You’re clinging to conflict,” Steen, growled in the outro. The continuous sprinkling cesspit of Red Stripe, severe perspiration and some other unknown liquids soon became a downpour.
This downpour along with numerous stage dives, shouting and psychotic staring successfully continued. ‘Gold Hole’ had Sheen on his back, immersed in the crowd for its majority. Encore, ‘Donk’ was equally raucous.
The band are by no means original. But as Sheen put it, “Do I give a fuck?” Not in the slightest. The night was a masterclass in punk performance and it’s a shame their absence from Sheffield might well be longer this time.