GIG REVIEW: Shame @ Stereo, Glasgow

words fae Ethan Woodford (@human_dis4ster)

Hot on the heels of their ferocious debut album, Songs Of Praise, Shame have embarked on a tour of some of the UK’s most intimate venues. Last night (12th April) Shame arrived in Glasgow and encountered a crowd that anticipated an electric live show that would match the energy of their debut album, and the London band delivered on these expectations and then some.

From the outset, frontman Charlie Steen made himself impossible to ignore. It’s impressive how at home he seems on the stage at such a young age and at this point in the band’s career. Immediately he strikes up a casual conversation with the crowd, dropping spontaneous jokes about how they are a “Christian band.” Beckoning the crowd to come closer to the stage, Steen leads the band into set and album opener Dust On Trial, the atmosphere becoming undeniably ecstatic.

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Shame and Stereo are a match made in heaven: Shame’s post-punk grit along with their massive hooks and melodies sound both raw and crisp in such a small venue. Stereo is renowned for being a great venue and one reason for this is the sound is always sublime and Shame go along with this environment perfectly. It’s almost sad that Shame are already booked to play the much bigger O2 ABC later in the year as the band’s presence suits the intimacy of Stereo perfectly.

The band themselves seemed to thrive off the energy of the night, Steen in particular growing more and more confident with each song not that he even needed the boost. Standing on the edge of the stage conducting the crowd with a wave of his arms, before long he had his audience entranced watching his every move in anticipation of what he would do next. Pouring beer over our faces, grabbing at fans’ outstretched hands, Steen lives for interaction with the audience and it amounts to making him one of the most exciting frontmen working today.

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On top of all the showboating, Shame have ounces of substance to back it up. Each song from their debut sounds even angrier and passionate in the live setting. From the dark, menacing manner of The Lick to massive anthem One Rizla, Shame adapt with ease turning each song into a reason for the crowd to lose themselves in the moment. Steen introduces each song with casual interludes, including a reassurance that he now believes other bands when they say Glasgow is always the best tour date. By midway through the set Steen is talking to his audience like they are old friends and it leads to a magic gig that was deserved due to the band giving their all.

Shame finish their set with a triumphant rendition of Gold Hole and as it comes to an end, Steen ascends the 10-foot tall amp and dives off into the crowd, which was strangely unsurprising considering the showmanship he had demonstrated throughout. Completely winning over Glasgow with their bravado and infectious sound, Shame put on one of the best live shows around: it’s no surprise this band is going places.

GIG REVIEW: Yuck @ Broadcast

Putting on a performance that went down better than the price of a vodka mix on a Saturday night, shoegaze Londoners Yuck traversed any pitfalls that comes with playing in such an intimate venue.

Glasgow’s Broadcast offers very little moving space as the band members practically have the audience breathing down their necks. Thankfully, any pre gig blues were put to rest swiftly and securely, unfiltered 90’s guitar rock pouring into every inch of the packed locale and evoking a great laidback yet enthusiastic response from the crowd.

The setlist was fairly varied considering the fact that the band have just released Stranger Things, their third LP and their second without former frontman Daniel Blumberg though Yuck seem to be managing just fine without him. Cannonball sets the bar high for the rest of the night with its chunky, overpowering riffs going down a treat which is wonderfully followed up by Hearts in Motion, a distortion full track that tells a classic romantic tale while drenching itself in grunge influences.

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Thankfully Yuck haven’t resented their earlier work, it can be argued that they owe a lot to it for helping them venture into different territory, and some of the high points of the night come from this pre-Glow & Behold era. Get Away is where any subtlety about the band’s influences gets thrown out of the window with searing riffs reaching face melting magnitudes of volume and intensity.

When all is said and done, the criticisms Yuck face for lacking the vigour that made them such a surprise hit in the early 2010’s are forgotten almost instantly. In this day and age of almost instant internet reviews and almost anyone being able to get their music heard, it’s a relief to see that when put to the test and placed on stage with instruments in hand, a great band will shine and a sub par one will falter: it’s no surprise that Yuck are the former.

Review: Chloe Marie @ King Tuts – 22nd August 2015

It seems fitting that this would be the review I do today. It’s been two years since I’ve started my blog and although it’s moved from different platform, it’s remained the same: a scrawny scottish guy talking about what interests him. Music has always been a large chunk of what I write about and although I love to review AAA albums from artist I love, my main aim has always been to draw attention to the artists who I think deserve it the most. It’s a joy to help anyone that you think is talented, regardless if it’s 1000 folk or 10 who decide to listen to you.

Less about me, more about the gal herself: Chloe Marie, a singer songwriter hailing from a small village in Ayrshire with a huge heart. She has had a wonderful year so far with her debut track Without You In The Frame was released in March and greeted with a warm reception, followed up with some gigs all around Ayrshire. Having written her own songs and performing for many years at various talent shows, it’s no surprise that Chloe is such a natural when she’s on stage. This was obvious to all who were lucky enough to see her at King Tuts this weekend, a venue that has welcomed many acts from Ayrshire such as Echo Valley and Biffy Clyro who have all experienced success in bucketloads, something that Chloe should prepare herself for after she exceeded all expectations.

She opened her set with the track Runway, a fitting track as it tells of the singers’ ambitions and how she’s got her sights set on success. “You see I’m done with your negative ways, how they held me tight, i’m making my way”  she sings fiercely over the aggressive strum of the guitar, resulting in a track so upbeat and folk-esque that it would have Mumford and Sons green with envy.

This was swiftly followed up with Baby I Will Follow You and despite the fact the subject matter in the song was a bit more sombre, regarding an intense relationship at a young age, it still managed to remain in the heads of everyone who was there long after the gig was over thanks to her knack of creating catchy hooks on her tracks. Lyrics such as “We are innocent little ships, innocent as a life just begun”  make it hard to believe that it was crafted very earlier in Chloe’s career at the age of 17 due to how simple yet fitting it is.

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Picture taken by Martin Bone

The gig was finished with Without You In The Frame and Changing respectively , two of Chloe’s best known tracks that highlight her impressive vocals and show the great potential she has. With veteran musician Scott Nicol taking on the role as manager for her, his experience will no doubt work well with what Chloe has learned so far from her gigs. There were smiles all round at the King Tuts on Saturday and no doubt there’ll be more to come in this singer’s future.

Liam Menzies

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