Shame’s Charlie Steen: ‘There has to be a solution to abuse at shows’

The band discussed their desire to make an app to help stamp out violence at shows at Reading 2018

Shame have discussed their desire to make an app to help solve the problem of abuse at live shows.

After performing on the Main Stage at Reading Festival on Sunday (August 26), the band’s guitarist Sean Coyle-Smith and singer Charlie Steen sat down with NME backstage.

Speaking about violence at concerts, Steen recalled an app the band had been told about at Australian festival Laneway. “If you feel any form of intimidation at any point in the festival site, you click a button on your phone and it pinpoints your location to send a security guard to you,” he explained.

“I want to make an app like that when we have time off,” he added. “I don’t know how to make an app, but it’s ridiculous [that abuse and violence] is still tolerated. The statistics are two-thirds of women fear abuse when they go to a festival. There has to be a solution. It has to be routed out. It shouldn’t be tolerated in any form or another. It has to be [extinguished].”

Moving on to the widely-reported issue of gender imbalance at festivals, Coyle-Smith asked: “Where are all the ladies playing Reading? What’s going on? Is it literally just Dua Lipa that played the Main Stage? [The Joy Formidable, The Regrettes, and Creeper also played on the Main Stage and include at least one female member]

“There are so many female artists, it’s surprising they’re not booked for this kind of thing. Every year, they book the same thing – Kings Of Leon, Kasabian, or Blink-182. It’s not a difficult thing to change up.”

Steen added: “Good music is good music. You should just book it on that. A lot of festivals in Europe have a lot more diverse line-ups than the United Kingdom has.” Watch the full interview at the top of the page. 

Meanwhile, Shame will head out on their biggest UK tour so far later this year. The South Londoners will hit the road in November for a 12-show run, concluding at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town. Tickets for the tour are available here. 

Shame will play:

Bristol, SWX (November 15)
Portsmouth, Pyramids (16)

Leicester, O2 Academy (17)
Sheffield, Leadmill (18)
Leeds, Leeds University Union Stylus (20)
Manchester, O2 Ritz (22)
Newcastle, Newcastle University (23)
Glasgow, O2 ABC (24)
Norwich, Waterfront (26)
Oxford, O2 Academy (27)
Birmingham, O2 Institute (28)
London, O2 Forum Kentish Town (30)

The band released their debut album ‘Songs Of Praise‘ in January. In a five-star review, NME said: This is a band with a real sense of showmanship, as those who have witnessed Shame’s sweat-slicked live shows will know. It’s this that makes ‘Songs Of Praise’ utterly invigorating.”