Tuesday, 23 July 2013

You're a long time dead............ Shed Seven


Many bands made Britpop what it was. Whether it was Menswe@r strutting around in sharp suits or Elastica snarling at the camera and singing about having a shag on car bonnets, certain bands made it what it was. So we come to the mighty Shed Seven, whom without, we wouldn't have had the Melody Maker try and pigeon hole the "new wave of the new wave" scene that turned into Britpop. To me not just a Britpop band but the band who to me, defined what "indie" sounded like. At the time the only album I had in my possession was "The Greatest Rock Album Ever......" And I though there must be something more!

And there was ........

The evening session sometime in 1994 played one of the greatest singles of my teenage years - "Mark". It played over the airwaves and kicked started my obsession with music for the next 19 years. With the release of their debut album "Change Giver" Britpop exploded and shoved Shed Seven into the limelight. The single Mark just broke into the top 70, which back then was a feat for an indie band, but the next three singles Dolphin, Speakeasy and Ocean Pie made the top 40 and started a string of top charting singles.  I don't think I can explain my love for their debut. It was an album that came along at the time when British music was at a turning point and when many kids took up the guitar trying to copy the arpeggios of their new heroes.  From the opening track Dirty Soul to the closer - On an Island With You; the album felt like a complete piece of work and not a handful of singles with a few extras. The album flows like a story from start to finish and I honestly can't listen to one single track without playing the whole album.  It just doesn't feel right.

In 1996 the single, Where Have You Been Tonight was in the charts and is still the song that takes me back to those days of hot summers, Glastonbury and Louise Wener. The new album that was going to be called "In Colour" would be soon called "A Maximum High" and was Sheds most successful album at the height of the Britpop era and become a classic. Spawning five top 40 singles and spending 26 weeks in the album charts, they also created the finest Britpop singles Going for Gold which will be placed on every Britpop compilation album for the rest of time.

With 1998's "Let it Ride" we find the Sheds shifting their sound for a beefier rugged soundscape and pulling no punches. Spending 7 weeks in the album chart and spanning four top 40 singles including the infectious "She Left Me on Friday" and my personal favourite "Chasing Rainbows". The album also featured the keyboard talents of The Inspiral Carpets' Clint Boon.  Maybe not as successful as their previous efforts but the album still remains one of my favourites and is still Shed Seven to the core.

The last studio album was 2001's "Truth be told" and would see the departure of guitarist Paul Banks but the return of the Sheds original guitarist Joe Johnson who left before the release of their debut album Change Giver. With only one single " A Cry for Help" the band split and went their separate ways with new bands and other projects. The band did release another album "One Hand Clapping" which comprised of material and demos of what would have been the 5th album and was limited to only a thousand copies.

I'm glad to say that the Sheds are still playing reunion shows every now and then with all original members. And as far I can see they are not stopping and neither are the ticket sales.

So STOP what you are doing right now and purchase the best back catalogue of one of the best British bands of the 90's.

Change Giver changed my life.......... And It might just change yours.

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