Gig preview: Shed Seven, O2 Academy, Leeds

Shed Seven
Shed Seven
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Shed Seven are back for their December Greatest Hits tour and will be finishing up their last date in Leeds at the O2 Academy.

This is the band’s first full tour in two years and lead singer and Minster FM DJ Rick Witter believes being a band for over 20 years is key to their success.

“Because we’re not writing anything new at the minute it is the greatest hits tour, it’s like riding a bike for us. We have played those songs so many times it’s easy to get back into the swing of things.”

Even though Shed Seven have spent decades in the business it may not have sunk in for lead singer Rick.

“It doesn’t feel that long, we actually formed in 1990 it’s 23 years ago and I can’t believe where time goes really. I do still feel about 15 in my head, so that helps.”

The band’s most recent single release was over ten years ago but despite this, in the last couple of years they have played festivals and have been able to play their tour with sell out dates and now the band are even contemplating writing new material.

“It’s an ongoing discussion, but at the minute everyone is so busy with other things in their lives. We struggle organising a meet to discuss writing new songs, let alone going into a room and writing new songs. I would just say ‘never say never’ with us.”

Despite being together for over two decades Rick still thinks the band are improving.

“I think the older that we get as a band, the better we are at playing our instruments and our songs.

“It’s just that we are totally in charge of our destiny and I think the older we get as people, the more relaxed we are at playing songs and I think people are appreciating that.”

Working without new challenges is seen as a positive by Rick: “Maybe it is because there is no pressure on us we are just doing a gig and not worrying about a new song and how it is going to go down. We haven’t got a record label telling us that we should be doing that instead. It’s just that we are totally in charge of our destiny and I think the older we get as people, the more relaxed we are at playing songs and I think people appreciate that.”

Even though a lot of bands appear to wind down around the festive season, Shed Seven say it’s the best time to play and it has become “a bit of a thing” Shed Seven playing at Christmas”.

“We’ve been doing this for a while, a tour every other year at Christmas, it seems to be our way of doing stuff. Christmas is a really good time to do a gig, because people are winding down to the Christmas holidays. I don’t know why, apart from the cold it’s a nice time to be out and about.”

Rick puts their loyal fan base down to the band’s talent and reputation.

“Without blowing my own trumpet, I do think that we are just a really good live band, we put on a good live show and we have got a rich history of hit singles that people seem to love. People come and see us because they are guaranteed that they are going to get to see a good show and they like coming along and singing their hearts out and having a drink and most times people leave really happy, singing all the songs”

He thinks that fashion cycles and music trends may be the reason for increased interest in the band and that 2014 may be the come back year for Britpop.

“I can sense that the 90s are going to start coming back into fashion again. I think this year is the 20th anniversary of Britpop and next year will mark the time when it was at it’s height.

“I think attention is going to be drawn to a lot of bands from that period of time. I can envisage it being quite a busy time for some of those bands, us included.”

The York based band will be playing Leeds O2 Academy this Saturday which Rick labels as one of their “home town” gigs, though he thinks that there is more pressure when they take to the stage in York.

“Because it’s our actual home town, there’s always that little bit more pressure on. Because we actually live here and walk around the streets so if you’re rubbish people will come up to you and tell you.”

Their second “home town gig” will be at Leeds O2 Academy this Saturday.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic venue, the atmosphere and sound that’s generated in there. Leeds is going to be the last gig of the tour, so it will be a big one.”

Brief band history

Shed Seven formed in York in 1990 and originally comprised Rick Witter on vocals, Joe Johnson on guitar and keyboards, Tom Gladwin on bass and Alan Leach on drums. Johnson was replaced by Paul Banks in 1993.

The band scored 15 consecutive top 40 hits between 1994 and 2003 including Going For Gold and She Left Me on Friday.

They split up in 2003 after their record label refused to release their fifth album.

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