Shame have been together just over three years and in that time have become the most viscerally thrilling new band in the UK. They will release their highly anticipated debut album at the start of 2018.
South London school friends Charlie Steen (vocals), Sean Coyle-Smith (guitar), Eddie Green (guitar), Charlie Forbes (drums) and Josh Finerty (bass) formed the band in a practice space at the infamous Queen’s Head in Brixton.
By Christmas 2014 they got their first headline show at The Windmill in Brixton. An embryonic scene was taking shape at the venue and the catalyst was to be Chimney Shitters, Shame’s semi-regular night where they handpicked three other acts to play and they headlined. Following this, they landed a series of support slots. First with California punk band The Garden – where they played their first run of shows outside of London – and then with The Fat White Family where they played Ireland for the first time.
A pivotal show at The Great Escape in Brighton in 2016 was both disaster and triumph. First, they were threatened with a bill for £700 for damage to a venue. However, JD Beauvallet of Les Inrockuptibles saw them at that show and wrote an effusive two-page feature on them that helped get them booked at Pitchfork Paris in October and land their first TV appearance on France’s Le Grand Journal.
While on tour with Slaves, they released their debut single – The Lick / Gold Hole, recorded and produced by Dan Foat and Nathan Boddy. they would go on to release their debut album in March 2017.
Warpaint, having seen them at Pitchfork Paris, gave the band a support slot on their UK tour in March 2017. As a band that is rarely off the road, they have played over 47 festivals this year and “well over” 130 shows in total.
Shame signed with Dead Oceans in early 2017. 10 days later they recorded debut album Songs Of Praise. 10 tracks and a run time of 39 minutes, it’s a compression of everything they are about. “We wanted our first album to be concise and to the point,” says Steen. “No bullshit.”
One Rizla, the opening track is about embracing insecurities, something which Steen had to do when the band first started playing live – taking his shirt off, getting right into the crowd, commanding such a ferocious live show.
“We are trying to capture a moment that has yet to cease – something that is ongoing and developing,” says Steen on what Shame’s driving force is. “Something that is honest in a lot of ways. None of these stories are fabricated. They are all, unfortunately, true.