Shed Seven at O2 Academy Brixton
Shed Seven, the golden boys of post-Smiths early Britpop, played a nostalgic set last night to the delight of their many fans. With a troubled history of record label collaboration and a series of albums and singles that have hit just below the top of the billboard, the band’s prowess live on stage is often touted as their biggest strength. Their signature wailing vocals and strong guitar riffs didn’t disappoint.
After able support from The Twangs, the strains of Elmer Bernstein’s theme from The Magnificent Seven boomed out and Shed Seven stormed onto the stage, to wild shouts from their getting-on-for-middle-aged audience. Opening with Room in My House, the first track from 2017’s successful comeback album Instant Pleasures, the band immediately showcased their immense onstage charisma. Keeping to the style that has garnered them a faithful following since the mid-90s, with nods to Oasis and, latterly, Arctic Monkeys, it set a strong tone for the rest of the evening: faintly melancholic lyrics and stomping beats, performed with polish and affection.
Standout hits from Instant Pleasures included the angry rock banger Better Days and almost bluesy swayer It’s Not Easy, while a generous sprinkling of old favourites was scattered between the newer tracks. Frontman Rick Witter proved yet again that he is a formidable force on stage: gesticulating like a street preacher, he put his whole soul – and his considerable pipes – into his performance. Slow-building anthem High Hopes, one of the two singles from their greatest hits album Going for Gold, was met with a delight amply justified by Witter’s heartfelt delivery.
Shed Seven are a picture of practised ease: their comfort with one another as performers is palpable, a testament to their 20-plus years of history. The moment that everyone was waiting for came right at the end of the set, as they treated the audience to both Going for Gold and Chasing Rainbows as an encore. A catchy ending that kept everyone bopping as they left the venue, it was proof that endurance is nine-tenths of success. Shed Seven is back with a vengeance, and they’ve certainly got more to say.
Photos: Nick Bennett
For further information and future events visit Shed Seven’s website here.
Watch the video for Chasing Rainbows here: