Shed Seven at Shepherds Bush Empire
Emerging from Shepherds Bush underground station, people hustled about, begging for tickets on the door and lining up down the street to get a little taste of the 90s BritPop scene that came to Shepherds Bush Empire last night. Shed Seven, on the verge of their 30th year as a band, and leading up to the release of their upcoming album A Matter of Time, put on an electrifying show for the sold-out venue. Frenzied fans were bubbling with excitement outside, discussing shows they had attended over the decades, reminiscing about the days when ticket stubs could easily be collected for memorabilia before the world went digital. Inside, the crowd were packed like sardines. But punters didn’t seem to mind at all, as they carefully balanced their beverages and wedged in where they could for the best view.
In true old-school fashion, the group’s entry on stage didn’t pose the same glitz, glamour and drama we see from newer artists today. But as the band casually swaggered on stage, you wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference, as the energy in the room went from a muted buzz to a roaring accolade. It only intensified as the show was kicked off with a chorus of chanting in time to 2017 hit Room in My House. This was shortly followed by Speak Easy, a throwback for the OG fans from their debut album Change Giver, released in 1994.
From beginning to end, newer songs to older hits, Shed Seven performed with a level of passion and emotion that you’d think all of the tracks were written just yesterday. This enthusiasm from older bands is not only an indicator of great showmanship but also an absolute treat for the fans. The reciprocated passion from the audience during the performance was enough to bring tears to any live music lover’s eyes.
A lack of phone cameras filming was a refreshing change of pace, even during some of the most anticipated numbers. One example of this was Going for Gold. At the back end of this track, the band famously uses an Elvis Presley sample they use in the song to transition into a cover of Suspicious Minds, which they play at every live show. With the support of a three-piece brass section on top of the five-piece band, fronted by lead singer Rick Witter’s groovy moves, this particular performance was a major highlight of the night.
The coolest family affair yet – mothers brought daughters and fathers their sons – the night was a visual display of a generation of Britpop being passed down. Providing absolutely everything you want from a gig, for the young ones in the crowd, if this was their first taste of live music, it’s going to be hard to beat.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit Shed Seven’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Kissing California here: