Shed Seven – Live Review – Leeds Arena
By @Steve Crabtree, December 2019
Shed Seven doing #Shedcember is how Christmas starts. Well, every two years anyway. And as a fan of the band for the best part of 25 years, this gig at First Direct Arena, Leeds proved to be a very worthy “I was there” moment.
For the first time ever, I was sat for a Shed Seven gig. And what I missed out on by not bouncing around down the front, I made up for by being able to overlook and take in this massive occasion.
“Took Leeds Arena by the throat”
Saturday nights in Leeds are great anyway. This one was better. Thousands upon thousands had got in to the arena to see this evergreen band, who somehow seem fresher than they ever did in the 90s. And after two great support bands in The Twang and Reverend And The Makers, Shed Seven hit the stage at 9pm and opener ‘Room In My House’ took Leeds Arena by the throat and absolutely shook it. ‘Mark’ followed, and ‘Where Have You Been Tonight?’ set a tone of mainly 90s tracks, with a dash of newer stuff sprinkled in here and there.
And they sounded seriously good in the arena too. Leeds Arena is known for its acoustics, and the incredible indie-rock sound that Shed Seven make absolutely hit the spot. And then some.
The crowd were on a maximum high throughout, and although within the large audience there were the non-hardcore scattered about, that feel you get at a Shed’s gig was right there.
‘She Left Me On Friday’ sounded epic, and ‘Ocean Pie’ was worth its weight in gold. And the thing about Shed Seven is that their tunes from 2017 slot in perfectly… make that seamlessly to the rest of their back catalogue. ‘It’s Not Easy’ proving this to the huge numbers packed in to the venue.
Frontman Rick Witter was on top form, enjoying banter with the crowd, and dealing with the hecklers. His voice on ‘Devil In Your Shoes’ was sublime, as it was on the beautiful ‘Better Days’ – a track which doesn’t get the airtime it deserves. Tonight in Leeds was perhaps the best rendition of the 2017 tune that I’ve heard.
And in and amongst the incredible light show, we had hit after hit. The crowd got riled up with ‘On-Standby’, and stayed that way throughout, jumping for their lives to the sheer brilliance of ‘Getting Better’. And ‘Going For Gold’ was always going to get every mouth singing along. In a twist, Shed Seven fused that in to a cover of U2’s ‘Angel Of Harlem’, before ending a superb main show with ‘Parallel Lines’.
The Sheds had rocked this place to its foundations. The crowd did their bit too, getting ‘Invincible’, ‘Disco Down’ and the ever-pleasing ‘Chasing Rainbows’ as rewardable encore.
Unfortunately, it had to come to an end. It was a proud moment as the band took their bows after 19 songs. And me, along with the others around us, could have stayed and done it all again.
For me, you can never beat an intimate venue with an arena or a stadium gig. But Shed Seven have more than deserved their shot at this one, and they grabbed it like they play to packed stadiums every week. They suit the arena. An amazing show, as per their standard.
The one disappointment? #Shedcember only comes around but once every two years…