No concerts in 2020 but Shed Seven are live on new album and back gigging in 2021

The artwork for Shed Seven: Live, Another Night, Another Town

SHED Seven’s live album, Another Night, Another Town, is out tomorrow

“We had to put back the release date by a fortnight, because under Covid guidance, we hadn’t been able to sign the signed copies,” says lead singer Rick Witter. “But last Thursday the warehouse delivered them and we sat in different rooms in the Gillygate pub to sign them, so everything is ready now.”

Specially curated by the York Britpop luminaries and available exclusively through the Sheds’ store, Another Night, Another Town “captures their dynamic live performances and anthemic songs over 21 tracks”.

As trailed on the shedseven.com website, Sheds’ followers can pick up a limited-edition coloured gatefold vinyl edition, a special double CD set, a 180g heavyweight triple vinyl version and a download, plus a selection of new merchandise.

Another Night, Another Town is Shed Seven’s fifth “live” album after Where Have You Been Tonight? Live, in 2003; Live At The BBC, in 2007; See Youse At The Barras: Live In Concert, 2009, and Live At Leeds 2007, digital download only, in 2009.

“But we hadn’t recorded a live album since we returned as a five-piece in 2007 and we certainly hadn’t released one as good as this!” says Rick, 48, reflecting on the new album, mixed by Chris Sheldon, who produced the Sheds’ 1996 album A Maximum High and 1999 single Disco Down (whose lyrics have been raided for the Another Night, Another Town title).

“We’re delighted with the results, which we think are as close as we can get to capturing the Shed Seven live experience on record.

“We’re playing better live now than ever, and with Chris Sheldon mixing it, it’s a good memory of great times. There’s brass on there as well, and because gigs with big crowds still aren’t coming back in the imminent future, this is the next best thing to a gig. At this time in our lives, it’s the best thing we can do.”

Shed Seven’s five-piece line-up since 2007: bassist Tom Gladwin, left, lead vocalist Rick Witter, drummer Alan Leach and guitarists Paul Banks and Joe Johnson

The decision to release a live album was made in the hiatus of the pandemic lockdown. “We were thinking, at the beginning of Lockdown, ‘we’re not going to be able to do anything, so how can we do something to stop us going stale?’.

“We’d recorded a lot of the last Shedcember tour in 2019, so this was a good time to go through those recordings and the 2018 Castlefield Bowl show [in Manchester] to curate the best live album we could.

“Listening to 18 different versions of She Left Me On Friday…we spent a lot of time doing that, then picking the best, so there are songs from lots of different gigs, which should please Shed Seven fans that were there.”

For the packaging, the Sheds have drawn inspiration from their favourite live albums, among them The Smiths’ Rank and U2’s Under A Blood Red Sky. “We also had a little bit of idea, from the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street, such classic imagery, not copying it, but paying tribute to it,” says Rick.

“We must have grown as a band because we now have four photographers following regularly on our tours, with lots of logging of our gigs. We got in touch with three of them to ask if we could cherry pick them for album artwork and it looks great.”

Another Night, Another Town’s arrival coincides with tickets going on sale for the Sheds’ rearranged Live After Racing’ @ Doncaster Racecourse gig, now moved to May 15 2021.

“We should have been playing there this August, as well as about 12 big festivals and The Piece Hall at Halifax that we were headlining,” says Rick. “Thankfully, we’ve re-scheduled most of these gigs.

“The bonus for us is that usually in a year when we do a Shedcember tour, we’re not allowed to do those outdoor shows in the same year because the promoters like to push the Shedcember shows through the year, but because of what’s happened this year, we’ll now be doing both summer and winter shows in 2021. It looks like being a busy year.”

The poster for Shed Seven’s all-Yorkshire line-up at The Piece Hall, Halifax, next summer

Shed Seven’s diary for outdoor engagements in 2021 is taking shape: Don 21 Music Live, Doncaster Racecourse, May 15; Neighbourhood Festival, London, May 29; Isle of Wight Festival, Newport, June 18; The Piece Hall, Halifax, June 26; Corbridge Festival, July 3; Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Beaufort, July 31, and Watchet Music Festival, Somerset, August 29.

The Piece Hall concert will be an all-Yorkshire event embracing Shed Seven, up-and-coming anthemic York band Skylights and Leeds groups The Pigeon Detectives and The Wedding Present. “We wanted it to be a Yorkshire celebration, thinking, ‘who could we ask?’, ‘ who would be up for it?’, and it was a real delight that The Wedding Present said ‘Yes’, as I love them but haven’t seen them for a while,” says Rick.

Impeded by the unremitting Coronavirus pandemic, The Sheds have ended up “taking a rest this year. “But being savvy, I thought, ‘we’re going to be able to play next year but loads of bands will be looking to do the same, so we better not sit on our laurels’. We structured the 2021 Shedcember tour as soon as we could, getting the gigs organised,” says Rick.

The dates will be announced in due course but he did confirm Shed Seven would play the Leeds O2 Academy, rather than Leeds First Direct Arena, where they made their debut last winter. “It’s just too stressful!” Rick reveals. “We’re set in our ways and we just know what we’re doing in front of 3.000, 4,000, whereas with 10,000 you have to concentrate so much more to make it work.

“It’s like a big step-up to play arenas, especially when we’re playing ‘normal’ venues for the rest of the tour, with that gig in the middle. We ended up with three set builds, trawling stuff around for the tour where we wouldn’t use half of it on most nights!

“So, we’re going to revert back to our comfort zone, but with plenty of big cities on there, as I kinda let the cat on my radio show.”

Rick Witter’s Disco Down has found a new home at Jorvik Radio from 7pm to 9pm on Sunday. “I did show number three last weekend with [York singer-songwriter and erstwhile Seahorses frontman] Chris Helme as my guest,” says Rick. “Mark Morriss [from The Bluetones] did an earlier show, so I’m working my way through my contacts book!”

Tomorrow, the focus will fall on the launch of Another Night, Another Town. “We hope this album provides just a little bit of the live experience we’re all missing before we return in 2021,” says Rick.

Shed Seven LIVE? Not this summer, alas, but on a new album out in December, yes

Shed Seven’s artwork to announce their December 4 live album, Another Night, Another Town

SHED Seven are to release a live album on December 4 after a frustrating summer of Covid-cancelled gigs.

Specially curated by the York Britpop luminaries and available exclusively through the Sheds’ store, Another Night, Another Town “captures their dynamic live performances and anthemic songs over 21 tracks”.

As trailed on the shedseven.com website, Shed followers can pick up a limited-edition coloured gatefold vinyl edition, a special double CD set, a 180g heavyweight triple vinyl version and a download, plus a selection of new merchandise.

From this week, you can pre-order a signed copy to download album opener Room In My House and Ocean Pie now.

“A few words” from frontman Rick Witter accompany the announcement: “When it became clear virtually no live events would be taking place this year and with no Shedcember [December tour] to look forward to, we thought it was a good time to go through recordings from our 2019 [Shedcember] tour and 2018 Castlefield Bowl show [in Manchester] to curate the best live album we could.

“From 10,000 people singing along to Chasing Rainbows at Leeds Arena to playing the classic outro of I Am The Resurrection in the home of the Stone Roses, this 21-track album features the best from our live shows over the last couple of years.”

The live album has been mixed by Chris Sheldon, who produced the Sheds’ 1996 album A Maximum High and 1999 single Disco Down (whose lyrics have been raided for the ‘Another Night, Another Town’ title).

Taking it sitting down: Shed Seven have been left with a blank summer gig diary in Covid-19 2020

“We’re delighted with the results, which we think are as close as we can get to capturing the Shed Seven live experience on record,” continues Rick, 47. “We haven’t released a live album since we returned as a five-piece in 2007 and we certainly haven’t released one as good as this!

“We hope this album provides just a little bit of the live experience we’re all missing before we return in 2021.”

Another Night, Another Town will be Shed Seven’s fifth “live” album after Where Have You Been Tonight? Live, in 2003; Live At The BBC, in 2007; See Youse At The Barras: Live In Concert, 2009, and Live At Leeds 2007, digital download only, in 2009.

The track listing will be: Room In My House; Mark; Where Have You Been Tonight?; People Will Talk; Devil In Your Shoes; Butterfly On A Wheel; She Left Me On Friday/I Am The Resurrection; Better Days; On Standby; It’s Not Easy; Getting Better; Enemies And Friends; Ocean Pie; Dolphin; High Hopes; Disco Down; Bully Boy; Going For Gold; Parallel Lines; Invincible and Chasing Rainbows.

The Sheds should have been playing in the open air at The Piece Hall, Halifax, on September  19, but as with this summer’s post-racing concert at Doncaster Racecourse on August 15, preceded by Witter and guitarist Paul Banks’s acoustic set at Pocklington Arts Centre’s Platform Festival at The Old Station on July 11, Covid-19 intervened.

However, Shed Seven’s diary for outdoor engagements in 2021 is taking shape: Don 21 Music Live, Doncaster Racecourse, May 15; Neighbourhood Festival, London, May 29; Isle of Wight Festival, Newport, June 18; The Piece Hall, Halifax, June 26; Corbridge Festival, July 3; Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Beaufort, July 31, and Watchet Music Festival, Somerset, August 29.

Meanwhile, The Piece Hall has added Nile Rodgers & Chic to next summer’s concert list, booked in for June 18 with Liverpool soul singer Rebecca Ferguson as the support act. Tickets will go on sale at 10am on Friday at www.seetickets.com and www.lunatickets.co.uk

Shed Seven move June 26 headline show at Halifax Piece Hall to…June 26 2021

Piece in our time? No, not until next year after Shed Seven’s Piece Hall headline show was moved to next June

YORK band Shed Seven’s all-Yorkshire bill at The Piece Hall, Halifax, is being rescheduled for a second time.

The Coronavirus lockdown put paid to the original date of June 26 2020, first moved to September 19. Now, third time lucky, the Sheds’ show will take place on June 26 2021.

Joining the Sheds that West Yorkshire day will be Leeds bands The Pigeon Detectives and The Wedding Present and Leeds United-supporting York group Skylights, plus the Brighton Beach DJs.

Tickets for this Futuresounds Events open-air concert are on sale at £42.50, premium seats £55, at lunatickets.co.uk, seetickets.com and gigantic.com.

This is the second outdoor Shed Seven show in 2020 to need a new date. They should have been chasing winners as well as Chasing Rainbows at Doncaster Racecourse on August 15, but that Live After Racing debut is now a non-runner instead of being under starter’s orders at 5.45pm.

The new race day will be May 15 2021, the post-racing show now re-billed as Don 2021 Music Live.

When announcing the Halifax headline gig, Shed Seven lead singer Rick Witter said: “We’re doing this Piece Hall show partly because our 2018 gig at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl went so well.”

No-show blow: Covid-19 has scuppered Paul Banks and Rick Witter’s Shed Seven Acoustic set at next month’s Platform Festival at The Old Station, Pocklington

The revived Britpoppers drew 8,000 that June day; the capacity will be 5,500 for the Piece Hall, a renovated 18th-century Halifax cloth hall that now houses history exhibits and independent shops, bars and restaurants.

Last year, the Sheds mounted their biggest ever Shedcember winter tour, chalking up their record run of 23 shows between November 21 and December 21, with Leeds First Direct Arena on December 7 at the epicentre.

“After we did the Shedcember gigs, we just fancied doing something similar to Castlefield Bowl this summer, but this time a Yorkshire gig,” said the Stockport-born Witter, when interviewed in January.

Stockport, Mr Witter?! “I know, but I consider myself a Yorkie now,” said Rick, who attended Huntington School in York.

“I remember Embrace playing The Piece Hall [Elbow have done likewise], and it’s taken a few months to confirm our gig since we came up with the idea of playing there. We wanted to do an outdoor show, and to do it in such a salubrious setting will be a great buzz.”

Seven summer festival appearances by the Sheds have been knocked on the head by the Covid-19 pandemic and so too has Rick Witter and Paul Banks’s Shed Seven Acoustic headline show at Pocklington’s Platform Festival on July 11

Roll on next summer, the all-Yorkshire day at the Piece Hall and Shed Seven’s first run-out at Donny racecourse. “I went as a guest to see Kaiser Chiefs play at York Racecourse [July 22 2016], and it was a great day out,” said Rick. “People love it because it’s a full day out with racing and music. Let’s feel the love that day as everyone makes a big day of it. We can’t wait.”

Absolutely.

REVIEW: Shed Seven, Leeds First Direct Arena, December 7 ****

Rainbow chasers: Shed Seven on the road again for December

Shed Seven, Shedcember Tour 2019, Leeds First Direct Arena, December 7

SHED Seven, December 7, and they must be in heaven. Sixteen years after York’s only ever Top Ten band split – a case of Britpop crackle, then snap – they are at a maximum high, playing to their biggest ever indoor crowd down the A64 in Leeds, where Manchester’s Happy Mondays had to settle for the smaller Leeds O2 Academy. You’re twisting their lemon, man.

First re-forming in 2007, going for concert gold again, the Sheds have since made their Shedcember winter tours a regular fixture, this year playing their record run of 23 shows between November 21 and December 21, with Leeds Arena at the epicentre.

This has been the year when “Britpop’s meat and potatoes band” had their Going For Gold compilation dipped in molten gold for a 20th anniversary deluxe vinyl reissue, and frontman Rick Witter enjoyed a November natter and a tipple-tasting session on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. Overdue respect of sorts, first from their former major label, Polydor, who had jettisoned them while the hits were still flowing, High Hopes dashed, and then a long-running chat-and-chomp show.

However, the Shed renaissance is built on their raucous, beer-swilling, body-still-willing, terrace-chant live shows, peaking across the Pennines in Summer 2018 when 8,000 gathered at Manchester’s Castlefield Bowl one June night.

By now, their set lists have been bolstered by 2017’s “comeback” album, Instant Pleasures, their first since 2001’s Artful work, Truth Be Told (a record entirely absent from Saturday’s 19-song setlist).

These Shedcember shows are bigger, brighter in their lighting, filmed up close on the video screens, and bolstered in Leeds by boisterous support slots from Birmingham’s The Twang and Sheffield’s Reverend And The Makers.

Shout-out: Shed Seven had a message for Mrs Craig Lilley at Saturday’s gig

Striding on to The Magnificent Seven theme tune, it was T-shirts for Witter and guitarist Paul Banks, Breton-striped top for guitarist and keyboards player Joe Johnson, shirts for bassist Tom Gladwin and high-rise drummer Alan Leach. There is still nothing flash about the Sheds, save for the lightning bolt on Banks’s T and the glistening sheen of the regularly employed brass trio.

They started with the swaggering Room In My House, the instant pleasure from Instant Pleasures, later represented by Enemies & Friends (the night’s one lull), Better Days, an even better It’s Not Easy and knock-out first encore Invincible.

The Shedlist was dominated by fan favourites, from debut single Mark, through exhilarating versions of She Left Me On Friday, Dolphin and Bully Boy, before the one surprise as Going For Gold segued into its distant third cousin, U2’s Angel Of Harlem, on a suitably cold and wet December day, where by now no-one’s feet were touching the ground in the standing zone.

Parallel Lines, a cautionary tale as viewed today from the distance of fatherhood and “day jobs” in the Sheds’ latter forties, assumed its rightful place as the set’s extended closer. The night ended, as it always must, with the riotous Disco Down and all-our-yesterdays Chasing Rainbows, matching the multi-colour lighting chosen to cloak the Arena’s chameleon reptile skin.

Oh, and Mrs Craig Lilley, should you by a miracle be reading this, you were roundly booed after Witter revealed you had made your husband stay in, despite his ticket in his pocket. Rather than the room in your house, here’s where you should have been tonight, both of you.

Charles Hutchinson