Shed Seven - Nottingham Rock City - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Shed Seven - Nottingham Rock City

by Lawrence Poole Rating:9 Release Date:

As asides overheard in the gents go, many a band would be delighted with the Twitter-sized review ‘Well for 23 quid, you can’t beat that bugger!’ And after catching the indie generation-straddling double-bill of the Inspiral Carpets and Shed Seven in fine fettle at a sold out Rock City last night, it would be very hard to disagree.

Despite arriving on stage at strangely early (6.55pm), it was clear that many of the masses gathered in front of the mixing desk for the latest in this hoary old venue’s 35th birthday bashes had turned their body and minds to ‘Christmas break’ mode. How else would you explain the flurry of plastic two-pint pots, which were being brandished on a school night or the smattering of festive knick-knacks, which adorned several party-goers?

This of course, was manna from heaven for support act Oldham psychedelic veterans, the Inspiral Carpets.

Back with the founding member and original lead singer Stephen Holt, who has a touch of the Martin Clunes about it him (appropriate as there were lots of Men Behaving Badly in the audience), the Inspirals hit the ground running.

Surfiing on Clint Boon’s whirling keyboards and bassist Martin Walsh propulsive licks, they rattled through a tight, yet loose 40-minute set with the scorching She Comes In The Fall, bittersweet This Is How It Feels and booming Dragging Me Down, real highlights.

With a swelling crowd now nicely oiled and putty in the hands of the oncoming Shed Seven (arriving neatly the strains of western classic The Magnificent Seven), lithe frontman Rick Witter and Co simply blew the roof the place.

Powering through an unrelenting 75-minute set, which took in the bulk of their Britpop career high A Maximum High plus the stellar singles dotted around it, it was breathless stuff.

High Hopes, Where Have You Been Tonight? Disco Down and Devil In My Shoes all hit the spot in the early onslaught – the 14-year-old called Tyler spotted and verbally jostled by Witter, must have wondered what had hit him.

Boosted by their ‘parping’ three-strong brass section, Going For Gold and On Standby kept up the momentum with several 40-somethings abandoning wives and girlfriends to crowd surf with beery abandon.

By the time a closing salvo of Getting Better and Chasing Rainbows had been aired it was difficult not to feel giddily nostalgic.

Neither bands pulled up any dramatically creative trees in their pomp, but who cares when they and us are having so much fun with the output from their indie-pop cannon.

He was right of course, you couldn’t beat that bugger.

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