Shame give fans a tantalising glimpse of ‘normality’ with riotous socially distanced shows

The London six-piece were in Milton Keynes to play two gigs at the end of their Drunk Tank Pink tour.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 1:13 pm
Updated Monday, 14th June 2021, 1:14 pm
Shame on stage at the Craufurd Arms. Photo by David Jackson.

By now, it’s almost certain the Government will delay the relaxing of coronavirus restrictions on June 21, meaning music venues and theatres across the country will have to continue with socially distanced performances inside.

While it will come as another blow to venue owners, musicians and industry professionals, in recent weeks acts have returned to indoor stages as part of a path back to ‘normality’.

In many instances, these performances have been stripped back, maybe a little quieter and more cautious given the circumstances.

Shame on stage at the Craufurd Arms. Photo by David Jackson.

On Friday night however, Shame headed to the Craufurd Arms in Milton Keynes for two shows, both which gave fans a glorious reminder of witnessing a band firing on all cylinders for a riotous post-punk performance.

Shame released their second album Drunk Tank Pink at the start of the year and throughout May and June have been on a rescheduled socially distanced tour of the UK which have included a number of matinee shows.

Socially distanced shows inside venues, which under normal circumstances would be packed to the rafters, are strange affairs.

Ones which kick off at 6.45pm in order to facilitate another performance that night are even stranger. Not that anyone cared.

Shame on stage at the Craufurd Arms. Photo by David Jackson.

On Drunk Tank Pink, Shame were rawer and louder than on their 2018 debut Songs Of Praise and this transition was apparent at the Craufurd Arms.

Opening with new tracks Alphabet and 6/1, Shame played almost all of their new album alongside a few of the more melodic tracks from Songs Of Praise.

Within a few songs frontman Charlie Steen had unbuttoned and removed his baggy blue shirt and was prowling around the stage, weaving in and out of guitarists flinging themselves around and leaning out towards fans sat watching on benches.

Among the highlights of the set were new tracks Nigel Hitter and Water In The Well, while the likes of The Lick and Dust On Trial provided a slower paced respite and a certain degree of melody maybe missing from the continual onslaught of tracks from the band’s latest LP.

Shame on stage at the Craufurd Arms. Photo by David Jackson.

There was little chat between Steen and the audience, besides thanking them for their support, to describe Milton Keynes as the ‘Hollywood of the UK’ and to heap praise on the Craufurd Arms.

Shame were everything wonderful you’ve missed in the last 15 months, blissfully loud and abrasive and delivering for now, the closest thing to a pre-pandemic experience you’re likely to find anywhere at least for another month.

Shame played:

Alphabet

6/1

Concrete

Born In Luton

Nigel Hitter

Tasteless

Water In The Well

Snowday

March Day

The Lick

Dust On Trial

Harsh Degrees

One Rizla

Station Wagon