INTERVIEW WITH SHED SEVEN
As the Britpop revival continues to run its course, more bands are taking their hits on tour. Laura Williams caught up with Shed Seven frontman Rick Witter ahead of the Bristol-leg of the Maximum Hits tour.
Despite being from York, where he still lives, Witter spend some of his formative years in the Westcountry. “My parents moved to Chippenham when I was 16 or 17,” he said. “It’s quite a strange place. I remember wanting to go out and have nights out but there was just one crap club. You had to go down to Bath or Bristol for anything and I didn’t drive so I found myself a bit trapped. I ended up working in a 24-hour petrol station.”
Shed Seven have visited Bristol a few times over the years, but they haven’t been on the road for a couple of years now. Rick said: “The last proper tour was Christmas ’09. We have fallen into this trap of reforming every other year and doing Christmas tours, playing the old stuff and people keep coming back to see us play. What we did in the 90s meant something to people.” He ratified our cynical suggestion that ever couple of years they run out of money for the ever-growing cache of kids they seem to have between them. The dad-of-six said: “It pays for the Christmas presents.” He then had to leave the phone to help one of said kids free a toy tiger’s leg from the radiator. Rock and fuckin roll!
Back to business. We asked Witter about the ‘Britpop revival’ and he has a theory. He said: “Over the past few years, everything has been very 80s – bands and fashion etc. I do believe that next year it’s time for the 90s. Even to the point which I noticed Butlins are having a 90s revival night, with The Farm and stuff. Everybody likes to look back at an era in time. We will be getting in on that.” It’s worth noting that within a couple of weeks of carrying out the interview The Stone Roses announced their reunion tour, maybe, just maybe he’s onto something.
And while they have named the tour ‘The Maximum Hits and Maximum Highs’ tour, a play on the name of their breakthrough album ‘A Maximum High’, he says they didn’t want to just take that album on the road without including the other song people want to hear at a Shed Seven gig. He said: “We discussed a Maximum High tour and thought, because everyone else is doing that we didn’t want to do it. We thought we’ve got a lot of hits that went on that album but we wanted to throw other things in too.” But rather than rely on the same line up, the same arrangement and the same vibe they’ve decided to throw a full-on brass band into the mix. Rick said: “We’re taking a brass section out on the road with us. The only time we’ve had that before was when we did TFI Friday (ed – old Channel 4 TV show with Chris Evans for those younger readers). We haven’t practiced yet, but we will.”
As well as the whole 90s revival shebang, Shed Seven are hoping to cash in on the Olympics. Rick said: “We’ve got so many song titles that would be perfect for the Olympics; songs like Going for Gold. We’ve also thought about writing a Christmas song. I remember the Christmas songs from when I was a kid, like Slade and stuff, they were great. We’d like to do one but everyone’s so busy doing their own things. We have all got to be 100 per cent into it. Perhaps we’ll do one in 2013, along with a new album.”
Shed Seven play Bristol O2 Academy on Sunday November 27. Tickets £18.50adv from www.ticketweb.co.uk
by 247 Magazine