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Review: Shed Seven prove they are still game for a show

By John Davidson

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Shed Seven on stage at the Ironworks (November 2021). Picture: John Davidson
Shed Seven on stage at the Ironworks (November 2021). Picture: John Davidson

Long live the Shed. That’s not a call from men across the country for a wee shack in the garden, but a call out from Rick Witter in the Ironworks on Tuesday night.

The Shed Seven frontman put on a show in his usual fashion, full of energy and enthusiasm, and more than a willingness to engage directly with the audience.

In 20-odd years of watching the band live, I’ve never seen them put on a poor show. This was no exception.

Witter, who was celebrating his 49th birthday at the Inverness venue, has a longevity that many of his contemporaries must be envious of.

And he knew what the crowd of us mostly 40-somethings wanted – a blast from the past. Not only did they perform their classic hit Dolphin, from the 1994 debut album Change Giver, they also included Casino Girl and the beautifully melodic Ocean Pie from that same record.

Records… remember them? Shed Seven have got a 25th anniversary edition of their follow-up album, A Maximum High, out this month too – including a three-disc vinyl option.

This Highland date was the second gig in the ‘Another Night, Another Town’ tour that is seeing the Shed visit venues across Britain this winter, and the emphatic opening, leading into Room In My House, was clearly geared towards the larger venues.

This anthemic tune is taken from their 2017 album Instant Pleasures and is sure to fire up the likes of the Barrowlands in Glasgow, but the smaller-scale Ironworks was perfect for Witter’s one-on-one banter – light-heartedly challenging one punter for going to the bar while he was “giving it everything up there”!

He also acknowledged his previous visit to the venue in November 2017, when his voice "fell to pieces", and hoped this return would make up for it. Fair to say, it was a triumph.

The band, with Paul Banks on guitar and Tom Gladwin on bass, were joined by Rob Maxfield (drums) and Tim Wills (keyboard/guitar) after previous members Alan Leach and Joe Johnson left the band ahead of the tour.

It was impossible to tell that the newest additions had only had a couple of months to learn and rehearse a long list of classic Shed tunes, including She Left Me On Friday, Where Have You Been Tonight?, On Standby, Going For Gold and of course the closing signature song, Chasing Rainbows.

For me, it was like heading back in time to my favourite musical era, but as the band continue their tour they are only looking forwards. Long live the Shed. I’m sure we’ll see them back in the Highland capital in the future, and I’m sure I’ll be back in the crowd.

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