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Shed Seven, O2 Academy, Glasgow

  • Written by  Joe Watson

When the York quintet took to the stage after an excellent supporting set from Cast and then Elmer Bernstein's theme to The Magnificent seven, these precursors would suggest that a very tightly packed O2 Academy in Glasgow would be entertained by both classic and nostalgic music and tonight Shed Seven wouldn't disappoint.  

Despite having released their brand new fifth studio album Instant Pleasures only less than a month earlier, only four tracks from this would make it into the epic seventeen track setlist spanning a relentless ninety minutes. The opener was one such song. It seems the norm that writers now pen tracks with the idea of it being an opener in mind and the first song from the new album was the first song of tonight, 'Room in my House'. 


Rick Witter and Paul Banks didn't have to reinvent the wheel to come up with something new, the main ingredients of Shed Seven's success were Witters knack for producing anthemic rousing choruses and Bank's ability to create a dirty blues lick that can hold you from start to finish. 


With only half of the crowd joining in the oooh-oh's that make 'Room in my House' as anthemic as it is, it creates the building blocks for the crowd to quickly get on side as the crunching guitar intro of 'Speakeasy' along with a very memorable performance of 'Where Have You Been Tonight?' are next up. 


Witter interacts with the crowd with funny anecdotes of the nineties, singling out a boo boy after a drum malfunction and social media tweets. He dedicates 'High Hopes' to a couple in the crowd who had it as their wedding song. Followed by the second song taken from Instant Pleasures, the boil begins to simmer until 'Dolphin' is given an extension with Banks recreating John Squire's outro to 'I am the Resurrection' which whips the place into a frenzy. 


'Ocean Pie', 'On Standby' and 'Devil in Your Shoes' act as the three songs that would have been hard to leave from the set, why it was probably so large, and also as a breather for Witter before what would turn out to be a grandstand eight song finish. 


The second half of the setlist begins with 'She Left me on Friday' and the Academy echoed with 2,500 sets of vocal chords and Rick Witter's were as precise and punchier as ever and even better on 'Better Man', one of the stand out tracks from Instant Pleasures


If singing weren't enough for the Shedecember's they also had their chance to dance as 'Disco Down' moves them into full swing, the last song wrote by Paul Banks before he decided that he had enough 17 years ago. His relentless guitar appreggios keep tempo with the mood on 'Bully Boy' and a sea of 5000 arms joining the chanting. 


Their only top ten hit in fifteen attempts from their Mark 1 era 'Going for Gold' concludes the pre-encore routine with Witter telling the crowd that he is "...going to stand over in the corner before returning to stand back here"


The fourth song from Instant Pleasures, 'It's Not Easy' complete with their brass section would be a natural closer to any gig except 'Getting Better' and 'Chasing Rainbows' were still to be worshipped by an eagerly awaiting crowd to close out what is arguably and widely acknowledged as one of the best gigs of 2017 by a British rock band. 


Whilst band and crowd performance eventually stole the day, we still left wondering why their latest single 'Nothing to Live Down' didn't make an appearance, but with a setlist so vast in its ability to induce passion and emotion, this may be more greed than critique.


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