9th October | The Louisiana
The Rhythm Method are pretty constantly and perhaps unfairly described as a polarising band. Their saccharine, feel-good on the outside pop songs are their own impression of British pop and dance that doesn’t head directly down one linear route, fed with the sort of sardonic, contemporary wit and satire that was built to hand out the banter and invite a bit back also. Live, they are in their element. Their delivery is sharp, the keys and samples are delightfully appealing and only incongruous to few, ‘Local Girl’ a new-wave pop hit, all wonky synths and on the money perception of the backwards opinions of your local pub attendees. It’s dealt with purpose, the joking nature that they present on stage belying an ability to write substantial songs that embody a time in a young mans life that might be not as great as the world makes it out to be.
Their political notions may sometimes be lost over the natural indulging of the melodies but in their live performance it’s surprisingly striking, ‘Party Politics’ an obvious hit but performed with a subtle flair, a self-awareness grounding the duo and letting the crowd unaware of them know that they should take them as they come. Overall, it’s a pretty great performance, Joey bounding and swaying across the stage with all manner of aplomb in a non-showy way, a pretty apt representation of their music. In the intimacy of the Louisiana it really works, fans of the band in full voice and everyone dancing in swing, spreading a message as they go.
In this closed-off atmosphere, Shame are an utterly incensed live band. They are able to focus wringing all facets of energy into a blistering live set where the most arguably integral element, Charlie Steen’s inciting words, are not only projected by him with lingering utterance but by a compelled crowd straight from the off. ‘Concrete’ absolutely stings, a speedball of utter desolation channeled into a reiterated hook, the back and forth intensity of Steen and guitarist Josh Finerty something that remains throughout their forty minute onslaught. From recorded output of the bands shows, Steen seemingly embodied an angsty anxiety that attached to the band’s thematic ethos, his words most certainly there but subtle compared to the united, controlled noise the group are making. But on this stage, he stalks it with a vigour, pounding the floor and climbing the walls as the central focus is his lyrics, surprisingly communicative and stomping. By ‘The Lick’, Steen is already shirt and tieless and urging the crowd into the throng that has descended in front of him, grasping to be a part of the energy live as he screams “this is how it starts”.
What’s most impressive through it all is that their songs find some real range, veering from unwavering punk, through layered kraut and industrial noise, casting aside any sort of constant tempo through the set for something much more about the animation they exude. It’s importantly uncatagorisable, spreading a vitality, and even through this their set is well paced, the constant energy kept even through their sonically weightier tracks. The ending salvo cements their substance, ‘Lampoon’ in particular a caustic free for all that starves itself of breath for that ongoing flood of commotion, while closer ‘Gold Hole’ could just be the highlight, a gnawing beast of a chorus screamed by the crowd as Steen conducts from the top of the speaker stack. It’s visceral, interactive and unquestionably excellent, proving Shame to be a excelling live band with real validity.
Watch the video for ‘Concrete’ below.