Shed Seven, Cast

02 Academy


Blur’s done it, Pulp’s done it, even an underrated Squeeze did it: Let’s do it, let’s get the band back together and relive our and your halcyon daze.

Such is the case with the remarkable Shed Seven, always there or thereabouts in the Britpop explosion on the 1990s, but without the commercial thump of the footie terrace singalong of your Oasis or your arch arty laddish-ness of your Blur.

No, these sons of York were always more sophisticated with their ornate arpeggios and baroque brass arrangements but do their 90s masterpieces stand the test of time?

Of course they flipping do, and then some… Emerging from the darkness to the strains of the theme of Western classic A Big Country, a lean and hungry Rick Witter and the also equally svelte boys launched into a storming Room In My House, the first track on Instant Pleasure, the band’s first album for 16 years which is giving the charts a right kicking right this minute.

And never has an album been more appropriately named as it really is all killer and no filler.

The new material is warmly received by an enthusiastic crowd who enjoy several bouts of quality banter with Witter.

“It’s a Tuesday but it feels like a Saturday,” he quips.

But it’s the biggies a packed-out 02 have come to see and hear and, true to form, the classic Disco Down has the venue bouncing around like we’re all on Spacehoppers.

Who needs cosmetic surgery when great tunes like this can make us all feel 25 years younger?

The band’s brilliant brass section are the stars of anthemic Going for Gold and a fitting finale of Chasing Rainbows, not that are many to be chased on a cold and wet night in Boscombe.

And high fives all round the support band, fellow 90s heroes Cast.

John Power’s fruity rasping Scouse voice is as strong as it ever was, as indeed is their newer material.

A great night all round, and not just for the nostalgia factor. There’s life in these old bones yet.