Shed Seven, together with The Bluetones, are amongst the Britpop survivors despite mixed critical coverage over the years. Rick Witter’s voice and the band’s songwriting never looked like setting the world on fire, but 12 years after forming and nearly a decade after their breakthrough single Dolphin pointed the way to fame, they’re still plugging away. Why?
The answer becomes immediately obvious on the first listen to this live album. This bunch of Yorkies, dumped by Polydor in 1998, may be left for dead in the songwriting stakes by contemporaries Pulp, Suede and even Longpigs, but live they’re a match for the best, and their old material stands the test of time.
True, there’s little variety in the instrumentation, dominated as it is by guitars, Hammond and rhythm section. But did that stop The White Stripes? In their catchier moments, they become Charlatans soundalikes, but there’s no denying the energy and involvement present in the set they’ve put together here.
And just to show that they can still churn out the odd decent song from time to time, the live rendition of recent single Why Can’t I Be You qualifies as one of the better tracks on the record.
Fans will want to get a hold of this album – but as with most live albums, it’s not the most accessible place to get a taste of the music. What it does do is make you think it’s high time you saw them live. For a live album, there can surely be no greater plaudit.