Review: Jack Foley
IT WAS designed as a celebration, and it certainly seemed that
way, as Shed Seven bowed out in considerable style, at Shepherd's
Bush Empire on Wednesday, December 17, 2003.
Rick Witter and co put on a show that every fan will remember
for some time, throwing in favourite after favourite, and providing
a timely reminder of why they will be sorely missed in their absence.
The decision to split was not taken lightly, but dwindling sales
and a failure to make an impact on a Pop Idols fixated chart have
obviously taken their toll - despite the recent rock revival spearheaded
by the likes of The Strokes and The Darkness.
Little wonder, then, to find the cheeky persona that is frontman,
Witter, asking the crowd which Pop Idol they thought would win
this year, and mocking the winner either way, and thanking his
loyal followers for choosing the Sheds, rather than Stereophonics,
for spending time with this evening.
Similarly, an invitation to 'crash' The Stereophonics' after-show
party was greeted with a rebellious, 'up for it' roar of approval,
as was the mere mention of a revival gig in February... until
it was added by the year 2010.
Shed Seven refused to go quietly and, for most of the evening,
played each song with the same type of enthusiasm that is only
usually reserved for encores.
Hence, old-school favourites, such as Getting Better, Going
For Gold and On Standby came thick and fast, whipping
the delighted crowd into a vast, sweaty frenzy and providing them
with exactly what they had come to see - a farewell party which
And with this in mind, who could blame the band for being a little
frustrated at the path their career has taken them.
Formed in the early 90s from the ashes of school band, Brockley
Haven, the Sheds quickly emerged as firm favourites on the emerging
indie scene, forcing even the likes of Oasis to play second fiddle
They've enjoyed more Top 40 hits than the Gallaghers and have
conducted their business without feeling the need for any of the
arrogance of their Manchester counterparts.
Time spent in their company has always been fun, while some of
their bigger anthems will always remain timeless.
Speakeasy, for instance, was picked up as an advert tune,
and was played in an acoustic version on the night, while Chasing
Rainbows remains an inspirational now as it did when first
released. Little wonder it was reserved for the penultimate track
of the night, before the Sheds went into overdrive with a boisterous
version of Dolphin, which came complete with some pulsating
Other highlights, of which there were plenty, were the recent
single, Why Can't I Be You?, and the deeply heartfelt,
Cry For Help, which demonstrated the more mature side of
She Left Me on Friday never fails to get the crowd going,
while the party vibe attached to the night was brought to a fitting
close, pre-encore, with the funky Disco Down, during which
the whole of the Shepherd's Bush venue seemed to be jumping around
as a whole.
In suitably gracious fashion, Witter and co then took the time
to thank everyone for the tremendous support they have shown down
the years, and applauded their commitment to the Shed's cause
(which recently included bombarding the email of their last record
company, demanding a rethink).
And with that, they departed... somewhere over their own rainbow...