Shed Seven – Live At Wolverhampton Hall – May 28, 1998 – BBC Radio 1 In Concert Series – BBC Radio 1 –
Shed Seven for a Wednesday night/Thursday morning (depending on where you are). Recorded live in concert at Wolverhampton Hall on May 28, 1998 for BBC Radio 1’s In Concert series.
Shed Seven formed in 1990 from the ashes of Brockley Haven, a band featuring frontman Rick Witter, guitarist and songwriter Paul Banks, bassist Tom Gladwin, Magnus Thompson and John Leach, brother of Alan Leach. Both Witter and Banks had also previously played together in a band named ENAM, performing to German exchange students in Banks’s front room. Prior to signing a six-album deal with Polydor Records in October 1993, guitarist Joe Johnson left the line-up and was replaced by Paul Banks. The band twice entered the local Fibbers/Evening Press Battle of the Bands competition, twice failing to win, whilst in September 1993, still unsigned, they were voted the third best live act at London’s Inner City Festival. The initial press attention enjoyed by the band came as a result of the positive reviews of their live shows, coupled with complimentary comparisons to The Smiths. In March 1994, an article by Dave Simpson of Melody Maker, charting the aspirations of “the UK’s brightest hopes”, stated that; “…Shed Seven’s beautifully posed, epic music is different. Not so much New Wave of New Wave as post-Smiths, they’re taking the insular bedsit angst of Morrissey’s early music and subverting it with a brash and insensitive sexual narcissism.”
With five UK Top 40 entries in 1996, Shed Seven had more hit singles than any other act that year, the high point coming with the release of their seventh single, “Going For Gold”, which entered the UK chart at number 8 on 17 March and remains their biggest chart hit to date. A sold-out thirteen-date Autumn tour followed, including their debut at the York Barbican Centre. The definitive band line-up released 3 studio albums – Change Giver (1994), A Maximum High (1996) and Let It Ride (1998) – along with a greatest hits compilation, Going For Gold (1999). The release of the latter was forced upon the band by their record company, Polydor, after Let It Ride failed to match the album sales of its predecessor, which sold 250,000 copies in Britain alone. Despite the band’s reservations about issuing such a compilation so soon in their career, the album went on to sell 130,000 copies and featured brand new material in “Disco Down” and “High Hopes”, both intended to be issued as singles. “Disco Down” went on to become the last Banks-era hit for the band, peaking at number 13, while “High Hopes” was sidelined by Polydor in favor of a proposed re-release of the previous single, “Going For Gold”. However, the band refused to comply, leading to Shed Seven and Polydor Records parting company in late 1999.
For a reminder of their pre-Polydor split period, here’s Shed Seven as they were heard over Radio 1 on May 28, 1998.
Crank it up.