LISTEN: Rick Witter tells Shed Seven fans to "buckle up" for special gigs and album
LISTEN: Check out Rick’s big interview in full with Graham Walker in our free podcast – CLICK HERE.
The Going For Gold and Chasing Rainbows hitmakers will release their first album in more than six years with A Matter of Time out on January 5, 2024, via Cooking Vinyl – pre-order and get bundles at store.shedseven.com and shedsevenn.lnk.to/AMOT.
It will launch their 30th year with a series of album launch Stripped Back, Signing and Meet and Greet sessions and release shows – quickly selling out –
with dates in Leeds, York, London, Southampton, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Leamington Spa, Nottingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Kingston Upon Thames, Coventry. For details see www.shedseven.com/gigs.
More full-blown landmark celebratory shows will follow.
But first, this month – October 2023 – they play Cardiff, The Tramshed (19th), London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (20th), Nottingham, Rock City (21st SOLD OUT), Stoke-on-Trent, Victoria Hall (23rd), Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall (24th), Glasgow, The Barrowland Ballroom (26th SOLD OUT), Middlesbrough, Town Hall (27th), Manchester, Albert Hall (28th SOLD OUT).
There is no homecoming on this autumn tour – but Yorkshire fans can expect something special to mark the band’s three decades
"There is method in our madness," explained frontman Rick, in our exclusive chat - listen here.
"It just so happens that 2024 is our 30th anniversary, since the debut album came out. It basically opens up so many opportunities for us to play in our home county next year.
"I cannot really give too much away right now.
"But in the very first week of our 30th anniversary year we're releasing the brand new album - that's a great way to start. And then there'll be lots and lots being announced as the year goes on with a lot of Yorkshire involved in that.
"So all I can say is, if you're a fan of Shed Seven, I'd buckle up, and if you're not, I'd hide under a rock for a year."
The band, originally from York, features founding trio frontman Rick, guitarist Paul Banks and bassist Tom Gladwin, now with drummer Rob ‘Maxi’ Maxfield and keyboardist Tim Willis.
Shed Seven, one of the big hitters during the heyday of Britpop, produced classic singles leading to seven Top 20 hits including Going For Gold, Chasing Rainbows, Disco Down and On Standby, as well as four Top 10 albums.
Their popularity has continued since reforming in 2007, with 2017’s Instant Pleasures album, debuting at number eight - their highest-charting record in 18 years. The band’s subsequent sold-out shows have included Leeds First Direct Arena, the O2 Academy Brixton and Manchester’s O2 Victoria Warehouse.
Recent sold out gigs include their 6,000 capacity Summer Series headline show at Leeds Millennium Square.
In our chat Rick revealed how the new album may shock some - unlike their Brit Pop days, influenced by The Stone Roses, A Matter Of Time he says is shaped from their early days listening to the likes of U2, Simple Minds, Duran Duran and The House Martins.
But he says Shed fans will love it and describes the writing period last year as a 'purple patch' producing some of their greatest work yet, including special guest duets with Peter Doherty, Happy Mondays’ legend Rowetta and Laura McClure of Reverend & The Makers.
He said it would be amazing if some of them could join them on stage during their upcoming tour - but he guarantees it will be full of greatest hits as well as brand new material from the next album.
And he says Shed Seven are planning to give The Rolling Stones a run for their money, playing into their 80s
Rick said of the upcoming October shows: "Fans who have been in the past know exactly what they're gonna get.
"We're one of these bands who would get lynched if we didn't play particular songs from our past. We have to make sure that we're catering for everyone. We have to acknowledge our history. But it's just as important to include what we're doing now.
"The problem is we only get a certain amount of time to do a show. So in the past we could cherry pick great album tracks or better B-sides to include in the set. They're going to have to take a backseat for a while because we have new songs that we need to play.
"I think it's really important to put on a show. We want people to go away with good memories. I've seen bands who don't look like they're even bothered about being there. And that offends me.
"So it's loud, it's rock and roll. It's bright, it's cheerful. And it's exactly what you should expect."
Reverend and the Makers star Laura McClure duets wih him on he forthcoming album, on folky-pop song Tripping With You.
Rick said: "Laura recorded her vocals remotely, so we didn't actually get the chance to see her doing it. The title might be slightly misleading. I wrote it as a love song but I was feeling it was a bit too lovey-dovey, a bit too sentimental. It's basically about stalking
"We asked Laura to sing it in a certain way and she just nailed it immediately.
"If we're playing local to Laura and she wants to come out and get on the stage and sing with us, that would be absolutely amazing."
He said the industry has changed massively in their three decades as a band and admits they are still learning the ropes but have signed to Cooking Vinyl records for a couple of albums and praised them for their guiding hand.
Of the forthcoming album he said: "We only started A Matter Of Time in March 2022 and we'd finished writing it by December. That's pretty much unheard of for us, we usually take a lot longer over these things.
"But for some reason, I think me and Paul just got on to a right purple patch and spent that period of time, just commited. So many ideas were flowing lyrically out, it was all just gushing out of me. And it seemed to just really work.
"I think subconsciously last year, while we were writing this album, we were looking back at our younger selves. There's a few hints at what we might have been listening to when were 14 to16. So there's a little bit of U2 in there, Simple Minds, Duran Duran and The House Martins.
"Through the Brit Britpop era, it was all a bit more The Stone Roses - but I think we've gone back way beyond that. This album is very Shed Seven. I think if you're a fan you've got no worries, you're going to love it. I can quite confidently say that.
"I think that's why perhaps the last album six years ago, and this one, hopefully will shock a few people because we have been here for a long time. And I think we're coming up with some of the best work we've ever done at this age.
Rick, in reflective mood, is quick to say all the accolades, the record and concert tickets sold over three decades, is not particularly down to luck - but talent and hard work.
He added: "I'm pleased that we still have the opportunity to do what we love doing. And I also think that the older we get, we kind of just seem to get better at doing it.
"So God knows what we're going to be like in another 30 years.
"If we're still active enough and fit enough and we've still got the muse then without a doubt when I'm 80, I will be talking to you.
"We see a lot of young kids at the front, or on their dad's shoulders halfway back, five and seven year olds - singing every word. They're not there under sufferance, or because because their parents couldn't get a babysitter, they're there because they want to be there.
"They're wearing a Shed Seven T-shirts and singing every word.
"So that five year old, more than likely we'll come back when she's seven, and then when she's nine, and then when she's 11. And that will make us the new Rolling Stones."
A MATTER OF TIME: TRACKLIST:
Talk of the Town
Let’s Go Dancing
In Ecstasy (featuring Rowetta)
Tripping With You (featuring Laura McClure)
Let’s Go (Again)
Ring The Changes
Throwaways (featuring Peter Doherty)
Tour dates:OCTOBER 2023
19th - Cardiff, The Tramshed
21st - Nottingham, Rock City SOLD OUT
24th - Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
26th - Glasgow, The Barrowland Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
27th - Middlesbrough, Town Hall
28th - Manchester, Albert Hall (SOLD OUT)