The Sheds were back again, after their previous two dates at Rock City were supposedly part of a ‘Farewell Tour’. Nevertheless, one of Britpop’s finest still sounded fresh as a daisy.
Date: December 11
Venue: Rock City
Has it really been 15 years since A Maximum High, one of the best albums of the Brit-pop scene, landed in record shops? Is it really that long since Shed Seven were relevant?
The first answer is yes, but the answer to question number two is unequivocally no.
Ok, so they haven’t written anything new since 2003, and many people apart from ‘Shed Heads’ – their loyal fanbase – missed that little reprieve anyway as it crept into the charts at number 23 and disappeared as quickly.
But they’ve always been relevant and always will be thanks to one of the best albums of the 90s.
And so they appear at Rock City for the 9th time on the Maximum High 15th Anniversary Tour. And what an album to tour.
Its singles are grandiose in stature: Where Have You Been Tonight?’ is electric; Getting Better is riotous; Going For Gold is still the glorious sing-along chest-beating anthem it always was; while the fist-waving Bully Boy and stand-out tune, On Standby, are both epic.
But it’s not A Maximum High in its entirety. There’d be pandemonium if Chasing Rainbows didn’t finish the set, or if Speakeasy and Dolphin were carelessly and wantonly omitted.
The thing is, The Sheds are one of those bands that have a bunch of songs you’d forgotten you loved.
Remember Disco Down? Recall She Left Me On Friday? Sure you do, because they were, nay are, ace indie tunes from an era when pre-fab pop was just a glint in Simon Cowell’s cunning little eye; a time when music mattered, and an era when being cool meant being into indie and being scruffy and having disastrous haircuts.
Rick Witter and Shed Seven may not be trending on Twitter; they’re not Little Mix. But in A Maximum High, they wrote an ere-defining album. And to those Shed Heads, that’s relevance.
Oh, and they played a version of The Smiths’ Panic. What’s not to like?