Shame interview: real drive & quiet control but still shamelessly punk

Music contributor Yush Kalia caught up with young Brixton punk band Shame just before they headlined the final Independent Venue Week gig at Windmill Brixton last month.

Shame. Photo by Holly Whitaker
Shame. Photo by Holly Whitaker

It’s a cold January evening, and I’m at Windmill Brixton to meet an exciting young band called Shame. You can be forgiven for not having heard of them yet, as there’s very little online to listen to or read about (keep reading to find out why). They’re a five piece with all the attitude you’d expect from south London teenagers with a passion for punk.

The band comprises of Charlie Steen on lead vocals, Eddie and Sean on guitars, Josh on bass and another Charlie on drums. We sit outside the Windmill, have some drinks, and this is how we got on…

I’ve read that you’re very much in the punk/Iggy Pop camp. Is that still the case?

Steen: We’re still all about that. We’re happy with the punk sound and it’s something we’re working on.  

Is taking your shirt off still part of the act?  

Steen: Yeah man, it’s a fucking laugh. When you get in the moment. We’re really into giving people a performance, and it helps us get noticed.

What have you been up to in the last few months?

Sean: Working on our sound really. We’ve been on tour as well, which was awesome.

Josh: Touring was really amazing, and performing in front of crowds in different towns was a real buzz.

What were the highs and lows of touring?

Eddie: Bristol was a real high. We smashed it, there was such a good vibe. People really went for it.

Sean: The low for me was sleeping in the back of the van, it was fucking freezing!

Finding your music online was almost impossible, why is that?

Charlie: That’s mostly on purpose! We’ve been developing our own recording sound.

Sean: Our playing is a lot tighter now, and we think it’s better. We’re keen to have our recording sound being heard in a way that captures the performance. We’ve worked really hard on it and want it to sound right.

Eddie: We’ve been working on a few new tracks and we’re really happy with the way they’re coming on. We expect to have our new track finished end of February and released in May, it’s called ‘Gold Hole’.

Photo by Holly Whitaker
Photo by Holly Whitaker

Who pens the songs?

All: All of us!

Josh: We all contribute, it’s not one person that sits and writes the songs, we all do.  We all have something to say, and we then work together on making it sound good.

And where do you draw inspiration from?

Sean: Everywhere really. It’s not all about girls and stuff like that but the funny stuff that we have done or seen. It’s how tracks like ‘1 Rizla’ came about. A lot of it’s about the performance, so the lyrics don’t always have to have a profound meaning.

Are you signed yet?

Sean: Not yet but we’re getting there. We’ve had some interest which has been good but we’re taking our time.  

What does the future hold for Shame?

Steen: We’ll be doing loads more gigs, and we want people to come and have a listen. Eddie: We have a good number of tracks building, and looking to have our album ready by the end of the year or early 2017.

Charlie: And we’ll get stuff online as well, so people can hear us!

And that was that. The guys went off to play their set which had all the antics you’d hope for from a punk band looking to impress and thankfully with the talent to back it up – check out my full review of the gig.

Watching them onstage it might be easy to be lulled into thinking this was a typical band all about the frontman, with Steen’s larger than life character steering the performance. However, it was clear to me that there was a real drive and quiet control in the rest of the guys that will keep them focused on producing and performing their unique sound.


  1. […] Young Brixton punk band Shame are getting some attention locally, with gigs at the Windmill, the Bussey Building and Off the Cuff. Having spent time in the studio working on their sound, they’re now ready to put it out and about, and we expect to be hearing a lot more from them this year. Check out our interview with them. […]

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