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REVIEW: Shame at the Leadmill

The Leadmill have started selling La Croix. In American sober circles, there’s a lot of hype about La Croix and it’s not often found round these parts. My partner is keen to try it, and ever-keen for new experiences, I brave a sip of hers, ready to have my mind expanded by its peachy goodness. Alas, dear reader, it’s basically just fizzy water that tastes a bit like when you’ve dissolved aspirin in dilute pop!

A below par start then. But we’re not here to review La Croix. No, tonight we’re here to catch the similarly hyped Shame. Now three albums in, after bursting onto the scene with their 2018 debut, Songs of Praise, the South London five-piece are growing up.

Shame at the Leadmill

Photo credit: Sahar Ghadirian

I mean, they’re still pretty fresh-faced, still being in their early-20s (how?), but their output has evolved from those early, angst-ridden post punk riots, into a slightly more anthemic indie rock, that at times veers into La Croix approved Americana.

And I guess whether you like that or not, very much depends on what you like about Shame.

Shame at the Leadmill

Photo credit: Sahar Ghadirian

For me, my intro to the band was through their early stuff, and their latest offerings have left me a little cold at times. However, having said that, their opening song this evening, Fingers of Steel, taken from their latest album, Food for Worms, is an undeniably catchy banger, and gets the sing-along reaction from The Leadmill it fully deserves.

Off we go then, and the first few songs of the set off like a train (the fast one to Manc, not that one that goes bloody everywhere). Or maybe it’s better exemplified by bassist Josh Finerty’s jack-in-the-box impression, all adolescence and excitement. A much more promising start.

Shame at the Leadmill

Photo credit: Sahar Ghadirian

It’s not long before we’ve got shirtless lead singer, Charlie Steen, stage diving into the crowd and telling us how we’re the best crowd of the tour. Awh shucks, *kicks feet* I bet you say that to all the venues, Charlie.

He’s not necessarily wrong though. The Sheff crowd is pretty on it tonight. Helped admirably by the crisp Leadmill sound, there’s circle pits of sweaty yoots stretching nearly as far back as me and the other grumpy 30-odd-year-olds, head nodding into our La Croix towards the back.

Shame at the Leadmill

Photo credit: Sahar Ghadirian

While the crowd doesn’t stop, for me, the gig loses momentum around the midpoint. They’re down to play for an ambitious 90-minutes, which given the amount of material and the short poppy length of their songs, was always set to be a mean feat. They end up playing for around an hour and 15 mins, but they might have been better served shaving off 15 mins and lowering the track count.

They pick it back up towards the end, and One Rizla’s meandering riff hits the spot, but I can’t help feeling like Shame’s performance this evening, much like a Peach La Croix, hasn’t quite hit the spot.

It would have been a shame to miss it and I’m excited to see where they take it, as there’s much more to be seen from them, and given the crowd reaction, I’m very much in the minority. Grandpa out!




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