Shed Seven and Cast at Brixton Academy
Fans of northern guitar-based music were treated to a double whammy of classic 90s britpop when Cast and Shed Seven wheeled out new material and old favourites at the sold-out south London venue on Saturday, 16th December.
One of Liverpool’s finest bands, Cast, led by the ageless John Power, played a blinding set. Do That and Paper Chains were both tracks from their latest album, Kicking Up the Dust, which were as good as anything they put out in their mid-90s heyday.
Power, 50, said how good it was to be back at the Brixton Academy. “It’s been a long time, la,” he added in his warm Liverpudlian tones. Sandstorm and Finetime fizzed with energy, Live the Dream was mesmerising and Walkaway provided a real hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck moment. It’s easy to see what Noel Gallagher meant when he once described seeing Cast as a “religious experience”.
Upbeat and insanely catchy, Guiding Star has a timeless quality to it and Alright – a top 15 single in 1995 – was the perfect song with which to close, leaving many of the crowd wanting more.
The venue seemed even more jam-packed by the time the five members of Shed Seven – along with two female backing singers, and later a horn section – came out on stage. Beginning with Room in My House, off their recently released fifth studio album, Instant Pleasures, the group from York had the audience in raptures.
Songs like the anthemic Where Have You Been Tonight? – introduced by singer Rick Witter with the words: “Here’s a song from the 1990s” – Speakeasy and new track People Will Talk were solid examples of the energy and swagger “The Sheds’”undoubtedly possess.
The interplay between Witter and members of the audience was particularly amusing – especially when one, possibly rather drunk young man persuaded him to don a plastic centurion’s helmet – and further musical high points included On Standby and Going for Gold, their biggest hit (number eight in 1996).
With all that said, Cast are the more attractive proposition, musically speaking, and it should have been them as the main act rather than the support. Given the hysterical reaction that greeted each Shed Seven number, however, it would seem that few members of the audience would agree with that opinion!
Watch the video for It’s Not Easy here: