Shed Seven – Live Review – The Piece Hall, Halifax
By Steve Crabtree, September 2021
This wasn’t just another night. It wasn’t just another town. But York’s greatest export Shed Seven certainly ensured that the crowd they were playing to at the Piece Hall in Halifax were telling others where they had been tonight.
The Piece Hall’s live summer gig season was finally getting underway. Over a year late because of you-know-what, and it was an honour to see the Sheds come and play in my backyard. It’d been a good 18 months or more since I saw them headline Leeds FD Arena, but this outdoor show in this incredible place was about to knock that show right out of the park.
“Live gig debauchery”
There were thousands of us inside the Piece Hall, and we’d got the good weather. As the theme tune to The Magnificent Seven kicked in, it was showtime. On come the band, and on comes Rick Witter – looking as cool and as young as ever. And the reception the band received from this passionate Halifax crowd was thunderous.
‘Room In My House’ started things off. ‘Speakeasy’ was next and it was loud. It was a brilliant feeling, and live music had returned. We’d set off on a 90-minute journey of Shed Seven favourites, and general live gig debauchery. It was great.
Witter was joined on vocals by a roaring Piece Hall crowd for much of the night. Every tune became a sing-a-long, as it always does with Sheds fans. And we tried to give him as much as he gave us. ‘People Will Talk’ and ‘Better Days’ completed the newer stuff in the set. And the power of ‘On Standby’ and ‘Getting Better’ came bang in the middle of the show – making sure that if you’d forgotten what live music was, it was right there rattling away in your eardrums.
“Woken us up from musical hibernation”
They were pretty much on form, despite not doing much since February 2020. Tight and clean – and if the music scene had been a little bit asleep since Covid arrived, Shed Seven had well and truly woken us up from musical hibernation. With drummer Alan Leach and guitarist and keyboard player Joe Johnson announcing that this would be one of their last shows before an indefinite break, it was a bitter-sweet night in some ways. One of my favourite bands, and a couple of their main players saying goodbye; was this the last time I’d see this line up? Will Shed Seven ever be the same again?
Thankfully though, it was the gig that took the attention. ‘Disco Down’, ‘Bully Boy’ and ‘Going For Gold’ all sounded fresh, and Witter’s son Duke took backing vocals for ‘High Hopes’. But it was getting towards the end of the night, and it’d passed by in a flash.
As we left The Piece Hall, we all continued bellowing out ‘Chasing Rainbows’. As is the norm. It’s normally a great way to end a Shed’s gig, but this time it seemed ten times more important. Probably because we’d not had stuff like this for so long, and it was great to have it back.
Welcome back to live music, Halifax. And welcome back Shed Seven. See you in Shedcember…
Images: Frank Ralph