Review: Shed Seven continue to be one of the best Christmas traditions around
- Credit: Steve Hunt
For people who like a certain type of music a Shed Seven gig is as much of a festive tradition as mince pies, sprouts and the after lunch snooze.
Every December the band hit the road for a series of dates and to give their legion of fans the chance to sing-a-long to their plethora of 90s classics as well as a few new tracks thrown in for good measure.
It's been two years since they last brought the tour bus to Norwich, so the crowd are well up for it in spite of it being an otherwise dreary Tuesday and a gig that starts earlier than normal due to other events in the UEA LCR.
And the band respond in kind with a pulsating 100-minute set which proves they still deserve their reputation as being one of the best live acts around.
Much of that hinges on lead singer Rick Witter, who forever seems to be on good form, has a voice which has held up brilliantly in the near three decades of the band's existence and struts around the stage like the secret lovechild of Iggy Pop and Mick Jagger.
But that should not detract from the strength of the band as a whole, all of whom know their roles perfectly, but perform them in a way that doesn't seem run of the mill or as if they are simply going through the motions.
In particular lead guitarist Paul Banks who, over the years, has grown his sound into something meatier and more integral to the live experience and he particularly enoys showing off some of his guitar solos tonight.
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Throw in a three-piece brass section and this is a real Britpop party. A celebration of the many fantastic songs the band have delivered over the years.
And what songs they are. Hit after hit, tune after tune, the Sheds keep them coming so that everyone must be hoarse from singing along by the end of the night. Personal highlights include Dolphin, Ocean Pie, Where Have You Been Tonight? and opener Room In My House, which proves they still know how to write a great tune.
But in all honesty I could have just listed the whole set, as every single second of it was a winner.