Raw power, utter madness: Shame live up to the hype in Sydney

tom wilkinson shame the lansdowne happy mag
Photos: Tom Wilkinson

Riding the combined first-time-in-Australia and post-Laneway tour vibes, British post-punk band Shame lived up to their newly earned hype.

It’s not often that a small local opening band, who are near impossible to find on social media, remain a highlight long after their set has finished. Local boys 100 did not only this, but carried such an impact that they lingered long into the other sets.

Fighting their relative digital obscurity, 100 have a reputation that precedes them, insuring the band room was quite possibly the fullest I’ve seen for a first support. Duelling screeches from both guitarists accompanied melodies reminiscent of classic metal, contrasted by Talking Heads-esque vocals.

100 managed to evade any specific genre classification, skipping from the post punk Ratchet, to the classic metal Just Us, before throwing that all to the wind and jumping into straight out psychedelic.

Timid, quiet and clothed is the polar opposite of how you would describe local favourites Pist Idiots. Jumping into song amid cheers and a energetic crowd, the Sydney four piece have come a long way since their humble beginnings as a joke band in a competition.

Sporting more clothes than I’ve ever seen him in, singer-guitarist Jack Sniff lead the crowd through favourites including wild renditions of 99 Bottles, Fuck Off and Surry Hills. Surprisingly the band defied odds by remaining clothed, with the exclusion of drummer John, who started in his underwear to begin with.

Storming off stage with middle fingers in the air, Pist Idiots were everything we have come to love about the four piece; deafening, in-your-face and crude.

Riding the combined first-time-in-Australia and post-Laneway tour vibes, British post-punk band Shame lived up to their newly earned hype. The 19 year olds shot to notoriety in the underground South London DIY scene, before their recently released debut album Songs of Praise received widespread critical acclaim.

Known for his raw and rowdy stage performance, singer Charlie Steen bust onstage to a packed room, his charisma and humility evident in his greeting of the crowd. Sheen is the embodiment of the post-adolescence anger; his onstage presence combined and visceral screams is a stark reminder of the frustration and fear of growing up.

Pausing between songs to engage the roaring crowd, Sheen contradicted the usual semi-violent sentiment at punk shows, instead stating on several occasions, “ I don’t want to see any aggression”, “if someone wants to come to the front, let them through”, and “we don’t tolerate aggression”.

As the set continued, the touring exhaustion felt by the band became increasingly obvious. Although managing to continue the same levels of energy, Sheens vocals weakened, loosing vocal melodies to the guitar.

That being said, their energy onstage did not waver, with Sheen even becoming physically rowdier, climbing the stage and becoming the first person I’ve seen to crowd surf the Lansdowne.

Throughout their set, Shame displayed time and time again why they have achieved notoriety so early in their musical careers. Their established foundations, whilst still suffering some growing pains, are phenomenally strong stepping stones for a band who have hit the ground sprinting.