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Shed Seven - Instant Pleasures (Album Review)

Thursday, 23 November 2017 Written by Graeme Marsh

There have been some substantial resurrections in 2017, but now it’s the turn of Britpop stalwarts Shed Seven. ‘Instant Pleasures’ is the band’s fifth studio LP, arriving some 16 years after their fourth and a decade after their initial reformation as a touring concern.

Always the bridesmaids, the York band lived in the shadows of the genre’s main protagonists – Blur, Oasis and Pulp – but being the underdogs seemed to suit them. After all, on the live scene they could compete with anyone. Here they’re challenged to repeat those thrills in the studio.

Bringing in producer Youth and decamping to a remote part of Spain ensured the band were fully focused and the blistering lead single, and album opener, Room In My House duly promised much.

The epic track recalls the work of the Stone Roses' John Squire and it’s difficult to think of anything in their existing catalogue that can compete guitar-wise.

Shed Seven always packed a powerful punch and the lively Nothing To Live Down and Butterfly on a Wheel both epitomise their strengths. They are catchy, upbeat numbers that scream classic Britpop, while Said I’m Sorry again hints at the decade that made them famous. Still, there’s more to this collection than echoes from the past.

The racing beat of Enemies & Friends soon conjures a tasty riff and catchy chorus, but the band also slow things down to the pace that once delivered classics like Going For Gold and Chasing Rainbows. The impassioned It’s Not Easy utilises gospel backing vocals alongside typically ballsy, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, while the pace-shifting Hang On To Yourself crawls along before igniting though brass, dexterous guitars and backing vocals cribbed from Sympathy For The Devil.

Chasing Rainbows, specifically, is recalled on closer Invincible, while Better Days marries strings with emotional piano for something winningly off kilter. People Will Talk, though, will give you nightmares if you (rightly) shudder at the thought of the Nolans’ I’m In The Mood For Dancing.

As a whole, ‘Instant Pleasures’ lives up to its name. Wearing their hearts on their sleeves has always been the Sheds’ game, but it’s unlikely that anyone could have seen an album as good as this coming along after 16 years. And with #shedcember now well underway, it’s a good time to catch the fire while it still burns brightly.

Shed Seven Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri November 24 2017 - DUBLIN Olympia
Sun November 26 2017 - LEICESTER O2 Academy Leicester
Mon November 27 2017 - LINCOLN Engine Shed
Tue November 28 2017 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Thu November 30 2017 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Fri December 01 2017 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Sat December 02 2017 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 Academy Newcastle
Mon December 04 2017 - BLACKBURN King George's Hall
Tue December 05 2017 - STOKE Victoria Hall
Thu December 07 2017 - CARDIFF Cardiff University Y Plas
Fri December 08 2017 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Sat December 09 2017 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Mon December 11 2017 - NORWICH Nick Rayns LCR
Tue December 12 2017 - BOURNEMOUTH O2 Academy Bournemouth
Thu December 14 2017 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Fri December 15 2017 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Sat December 16 2017 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Mon December 18 2017 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Tue December 19 2017 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Thu December 21 2017 - HULL Hull City Hall
Fri December 22 2017 - MANCHESTER Academy
Sat December 23 2017 - MANCHESTER Academy

Click here to compare & buy Shed Seven Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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