Coming into 2018 as one of British Indie music’s hottest prospects, Shame are destined to reach the dizzy, gritty and scuzzy heights their South London based mates Fat White Family have of recent years. Shame’s raw ethic harks to everything from new wave grunge acts like Drenge and Girl Band, to even some classic early 90s Manchester scene bands like Happy Mondays.
Charismatic, politically driven and spoken frontman Charlie Steen has one of the most beautifully abrasive voices I have heard, its provocative tone could make anyone become as anti-establishment as themselves. Songs like ‘The Lick’ are best examples of this, complimented by the droney bass lines and melodic guitar swings that are becoming so intrinsic to the boy’s unique sound.
My favourite cut from the LP has to be ‘Tasteless’, it is a track that you simply cannot fault. It has everything from subtle guitar lead breaks to visceral drumming patterns and the cascading vocals of Steen.
Go grab yourself an album that could well end up being one of the best of the year. 2018 is looking like a lively one for Shame.
Hailing from Brixton, Gaika is one of the most politically driven and interesting Artists out there in the UK. Reminding me of a variety of Acts, from Massive Attack to Danny Brown, it is hard to pin a specific genre on the Londoner but this could be the closest we have to Trip Hop for a while. Prolific in his releases, Gaika released an album and EP last year, go check them out.
6. Bad Nerves
If I was going to compare this outfit to anyone, it would be TY Segall and if they can be as frequent in their releases as one of their prime influences then we should be seeing a lot of new material from them soon. Expect the East-London based band to be very busy in 2017.
Last month A2 released another EP on his Soundcloud page and it did everything but disappoint. After finding him a few months ago, I just couldn’t stop listening to ‘X2 (Dble)’, the blend of heavy bass and introvert synths are near on unheard of in the UK rap scene.
I only found out about Shame recently when I saw them support Slaves. Not knowing what to expect I went with an open mind and came out loving the band. Getting a mosh pit going as a support Act would be hard for most Artists, but not for this one. Their energy on stage transfers into carnage in the audience, tracks like ‘The Lick’ will have you smashing your head to their unique blend of indie rock.
3. AJ Tracey
If 2017 is as successful as 2016 was for grime then this year will be the year for AJ Tracey. Stepping onto the scene with bangers like ‘Spirit Bomb’ and ‘Thiago Silver’, who knows what this year has in store for the West London rapper, expect a big year for him and grime I’m general.
2. Goat Girl
With both of their released tracks barely making the 2 minute mark, it is fair to say Goat Girl don’t have a lot of material but what they do have is some of the most catchy and brilliantly twangy tracks I’ve heard for ages. If they don’t blow up this year I don’t know what will.
Back in September I saw Cabbage support Blossoms on their UK tour; I came out of the gig genuinely believing that Blossoms should have been supporting Cabbage. Their provocative live set will go down a treat this year; many other critics have made them their choice for 2017, including The Sun, which provoked them to write a brilliant political outburst on the tabloid. One thing is for sure you should keep an eye on the Manchester outfit this year.
Whenever I see Slaves there is a unique atmosphere, the kind of vibe that would only surround one of the most important British bands over the past few years. In the space of an annum they have gone from playing a tiny pub, called the Portland Arms, in Cambridge to the biggest venue the city has to offer. Adding to everyone’s pure ecstasy to see the duo, we were treated by two up and coming English punk bands called ‘Life’ and ‘Shame’ who did more than warm up an emphatic crowd.
Kicking off with ‘Shame’, a band with the swagger of The Fat White Family, the outfit took me by surprise. I had never really checked out the 5 piece but I sure will be over the next few days as they soared through a visceral live set with the pressure of supporting Slaves evidently never phasing them. Over the last few weeks ‘Shame’ have debuted a couple of tracks in ‘Gold Hole’ and ‘The Lick’ and if they don’t make you want to go and see the South London band then I don’t know what will.
By the time ‘Life’ came on, the venue was already rammed with Punks, Skinheads and Indies; despite evidently making punk bangers Slaves have a versatile following and the main support lived up to this as well as any band would. Their performance was gritty and the snarling tone of Mez’s vocals enhanced the sweaty aroma of the audience.
This was the 7th time I had seen Slaves and, as cliché as it sounds, this was by far the best I had seen them. With new material from recent release ‘Take Control’ Isaac and Laurie had a setlist rich in absolute belters, they played their classics, like ‘Cheer Up London’ and ‘The Hunter’, but personally the tracks that sent me into madness were ‘Same Again’ and ‘People That You Meet’. You just can not fault the raw energy of the Kent based lads, they powered through a triumphant headline show, looking down upon a sea of moshers and dedicated crowd surfers that gave the security a hell of a night. Finishing with the lead single from their new LP, ‘Spit It Out’ topped off an amazing night and one that I will not be forgetting for a while. Go and check out the support acts latest releases and of course Slaves’ unbelievable new album ‘Take Control‘.