It was their final London show, and their third to last show ever. Shed Seven were calling it a day, but, as is par for the course for a band with as many top-20 hits as they boys from York have, the quintet wanted to go out with a blaze of glory. Considering the rapturous welcome they received last night at the Shepherdís Bush Empire and the volume of the crowdís voice, I just have one thing to say: mission accomplished.
I have been a huge Sheddies fan ever since their first single, ìMark/Casino Girl,î back in 1994. And since about that time, the UK press has slagged off Shed Seven for being unfashionable, ugly and whatever else they could throw at them. However, during all this haranguing, the Sheddies just kept writing songs that just kept charting. Finally, however, the industry wore the boys down, but youíd have never guessed it by hearing their final London show last night. The building was packed to the rafters and as the 5-piece hit the stage and kicked into the first song off their debut album, ìDirty Soul,î it was on. The atmosphere was electric, with the fans out for a good time and both band and fans wanting not to mourn the passing of a great indie guitar band, but to celebrate its life. And so a celebration it became. It was almost an entire greatest hits set during the 75-minute main show. ìShe Left Me On Friday,î ìGoing For Gold,î ìMagic Streets,î ìBully Boy,î ìOcean Pie,î ìWhere Have You Been Tonight,î ìParallel Lines,î ìDisco Down,î and ìOn Standbyî were all aired to the great glee of the amassed throng. I have never heard a crowd so loud, singing at the top of their voices and throwing all their energy into each song. Frontman Rick Witter obviously picked up on this and raised his game, as well. By the time the four-song encore rolled around, I was hoping to hear three songs and I got two of them: the brilliant ìI Am The Resurrectionî-esque ìAround Your House,î and the set closer and second-ever single, ìDolphin.î Mental was the only was to describe how the crowd reacted for ìDolphinî and as the band left the stage for the final time in London, it was impossible for anyone to be anything be elated after this celebration of a truly underappreciated bandís career. Big ups to Simon Lawler and Julie Greer for their help in getting me into this excellent Sheddies showcase.