Shed Seven

This Feeling TV Live at Nambucca

Nambucca played host to the Other Kin, Shed Seven and Cabbage’s live performances of This Feeling TV (episode 5) Tuesday night. One thing is striking about the night, optimism. It’s everywhere. The youngest in the audience fuck about care free whilst, the elder states people among us, can sense the ground swell of rock n roll emerging once more. Despite the neglect from the mainstream, This Feeling has provided a home for the outsider and, after years of graft, they look set to kick the doors in and take back the airwaves for the righteous!

Opening the live proceedings were the Dublin five piece Otherkin and, although Shed Seven are legends and Cabbage are well established, the sense of “follow that” loomed large. Their blend of psyche, grunge and rock n roll was a joy to behold. The guitar playing, comfortably the best we’ve seen in some time. It was intensely brutal but, in a similar fashion to Nirvana or The Cribs, never loses sight of great pop melodies.   

Shed Seven treated us to a rare acoustic set. On new tracks ‘It’s Not Easy’ and ‘Better Days’, it struck home just how heartfelt they are and highlighted the trust Rick and Banksy have as song writing partnership. The classics ‘Going For Gold’, ‘On Standby’ and ‘Chasing Rainbows’ were giving an airing and, as ever, their hymnal quality reigned supreme.

Cabbage’s set is less promotional trail for the upcoming debut album release and more a rampaging assault on Downing Street. Their guttural psyche-cum-punk is the sound of this generation kicking back against all things Tory. Never without humour or melody, you can’t help but feel they are one big single and tabloid scandal away from scaring little Englanders half to death.

Top 20 Albums of 2017

20. Ride – Weather Diaries

The Oxford quartet’s first album since 1996’s ‘Tarantula’ saw them on mixed form. At it’s best though, ‘Cali’ and ‘Lannoy Point’ deliver their brand of melodic shoegaze.

19. Cast – Kicking Up The Dust

The Scouse legends deliver their best album since the 1995 classic ‘All Change’. Flitting between their free flowing blues and spritely pop numbers, John Power has hit a purple patch of song writing once more

18. Noel Gallagher – Who The Built Moon

The old mongrel shed a few coats for his latest album. When he nails it, as he does on ‘Holy Mountain’, it’s magnificent. It’s big bold and new. Alas, when he doesn’t, its because the leaps are not big enough or he doesn’t remain in his big key change comfort zone. Nevertheless, with plans to make another record with David Holmes, this could be the start of a glorious journey.

17. Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley

Those clever clever bastards have churned out the goods once more. Getting to grips with pit life in Wales this time round. The guest vocals from Camer Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell and Manics’ James Dean Bradfield were welcome additions to their sound. However, the standout track comes from the rage

16. GospelbeacH – Another Summer of Love

The West Coast veterans channel their inner Byrds spirit and deliver exactly what it says on the tin. As the cold sets in and all that’s left to eat is cold meat, this blast of sunshine will see you through to your next holiday.

15. Alvvays – Antisocialites

Molly Rankin’s sublime vocals should be saved for a long journey staring out windows at vast landscapes. Everything this band do sounds life changing or affirming.

14. Girl Ray – Earl Grey

With the single of the year ‘Touble’ on its books, Girl Ray were always making this list. Brilliant melodies, unique vocals and a sense of humour unrivalled, they are band with magic at their fingertips.

13. Tom Williams – All Change

History has always proven the poet can achieve far more than social comment. Nevertheless, the social commentary here is smothered such warming pop music vibes, it’s hard to picture this not reaching even those who disagree.

12. Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

There is nothing we can say, that the genius John Dorman hasn’t about Michael Head already: Nevertheless, we love this album, we love that Head is in a good place and long may it continue.

 11. Liam Gallagher – As You Were

To quote Jurassic Park, “clever girl”. Did anyone see this album coming? All the money was on a flailing Beatles via psyche album. What we got was, big emotive albums with remarkably honest and humble lyrics from the icon.

 10. Shed Seven – Instant Pleasures

Sixteen years was well worth the wait. All the pain and bitterness felt by band and fans alike when they were shunned by the industry has dissipated. Emerging from the fog are the unsung heroes of Britpop. This new offing is packed with great choruses, wit, and a charming underdog spirit. Business as usual!

 9. The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classics

This supergroup was always going to deliver wasn’t it? Whether it’s the Mary Chain inspired ‘The Strangle of Anna’, the Gary Numan-esque ‘The Rabies are Back’ or Earl Brutus via The Horrors ‘Black Hanz’, everything sounds so fresh!

 8. Idles – Brutalism

Wry, sarcastic and effing hilarious. This pitiless body of work will stop at nothing to take the piss and provide punk rock nirvana.

7. Johnny Flynn – Sillion

The one true genius of the nu-folk era returned from acting to prove he is still the master. No one in the folk world can touch him for sincerity of song writing. Everything he delivers has a warmth and depth of emotion to be admired.

6. British Sea Power – Let The Dancers Inherit The Party

Is this the first ‘Remainer’ album? Quite possibly. It has overarching sense of together is better and, inevitably, a sense of loss.

Forever consistent, BSP have risen their pop sensibilities to ‘Open Season’ standard and, on leadoff single ‘Bad Bohemian’, surpassed it. Despite the “half glass empty” and “what’s done is done” lyrics, it’s as defiant single your likely to hear. Effortlessly free, it tumbles and swirls with abandon.

Elsewhere, ‘Don’t Let The Sun Get In The Way’ is a sauntering rock behemoth which will stop you dead in your tracks to ponder life as you know it.

5. Daniel Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders – Scenery For Dreamers

Proving age is but number, Wylie, 59, as delivered a masterpiece. No one thought it was possible for him to ever reach the heights of the Cosmic Rough Riders’ ‘Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine’ but, this Teenage Fanclub via Neil Young offering just does that.

4. Theatre Royal – And Then It Fell Out My Head

Comfortably the pop record of the year. Smart, funny and always brave in its song writing topics. The heartfelt ‘Standing in the Land’ just grows in resonance the more the British press turns away from atrocities of Syria. To wrap such a subject in a achingly beautiful acoustic number is the very reason why so many people think Ed Sheeran is shit. This is the pinnacle of a simple song!

‘Locked Together on the Lines’, ‘Port Bou’, and ‘Will Somebody Please Write Me a Song’ ooze a carefree spirit that demands instant affection.

3. Ryan Adams – Prisoner

Mr Prolific is back, and his back with the most brutal of break up records. This is the sound of a crushing divorce and searing unseen pain. Channelled through big rock riffs and dream pop production, Adams is at his scintillating best. 

2. Wolf Alice – Visions of Life

The hottest property in the UK right now, and rightly so. They’ve combined a sense of experimentation with punk and pop immediacy on an album that is forever shape shifting in sound. Rock music might not be dominating the charts right now but, Wolf Alice have taking a big stride towards making it relevant again and, they’ve done it with the utmost integrity.

1. Trampolene – Swansea to Hornsey

What a year these boys have had. As if supporting The Libertines and Liam Gallagher wasn’t enough, all the promise from the early EPs has been followed up with an instant classic. There's the aching beauty of ‘Gangway’ and ‘Beautiful Pain, the vitriolic social comment of ‘Dreams So Rich, Life So Poor’ and William Blake poetry scattered throughout, it has it all

Shiiine On: Then, Now, Forever!

“When something's good it's never gone”

New Order, 1990.

From the second summer of love to the end of 1996, saw several cultural spikes from the UK. Acid House, Baggy, the Camden pop art scene and the 60s renaissance of Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and Cast. They haven't just sound-tracked the lives of the 30 plus crowd at the Shiiine On Weekender, they continue to be the fulcrum for subsequent generations looking for something real. Yes, The Libertines, The Streets and The Enemy have contributed significant albums, but, there has never been that Joe Strummer defamation “finally Beatles mania has bitten the dust” written about the Happy Mondays, Oasis or Stone Roses. Why? Well, as this great weekend showcased, it was music by the people for the people. Not a bunch of tossers kitted out Topman clobber. Every act, DJ, venue host, heck, even the dancing security guard proved that a working class hero is still something to be.

'Do you remember when....' is probably the most uttered phrase this weekend. Do you remember when he Bluetones went straight in at number 2 with 'Slight Return', or, when Steve Lamacq used to help us with our homework on the evening session? On and on the fond memories went.

To cynics, the Shiiine On Weekender is a festival for the outdated and irrelevant. They're wrong. For any artist or band yearning to breakthrough, a lot of these bands hold a the answers their looking for.

Echo & The Bunnymen show the value in looking cool as fuck. Mark Morriss and Rick Witter demonstrate the value of between song banter. Meanwhile, Echobelly's Sonya Madan's ability to connect her dancing to their sound gives that additional meaning to songs and makes her look every bit of a star now as in 1995. In a world where music is stolen as much as its bought, these things matter even more now. Talent is not enough to garner adoration, it's got to be earned!

Recently, the glorious Caitlin Moran spoke about the differences between the approach taken by Radiohead and Kasabian on Richard Herring's RHLSTP (RHLSTP) podcast:

“Radiohead and Kasabian are interested in exactly the same music. Kasabian are a working class band from Leicester and Radiohead are a middle class band from Oxford. I love both intensely and dearly but this seems to absolutely typify the differences between working classes and middle classes.......Where as Radiohead make these impenetrable things and don't really talk to the audience, we make these scary things and to make you cry. Where as Kasabian make the same music and are like oooooaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh. There was a quote from Serge after a Radiohead gig saying 'there was no birds on blokes shoulders, that's a shit gig'. That's exactly it, they want to share it with everyone and make it joyful.”

This come one, come all spirit is alive and well at the Shiiine On Weekender and can be seen in the various cover songs played. It's an art form often overlooked but cultivates identity so easily, it should be rehired immediately.

The Farm remind everyone of their punk and protest roots via The Clash's 'Bankrobber' and arguably draw the biggest reaction of the weekend when Paul Hooton rightly revels in the victories over the West Yorkshire Police, Thatcherites and the Murdoch press.

The music industry is often looked upon negatively, and often with good reason. The lack of reward for the risk is nothing compared to what it was for this weekends acts. Nevertheless, is there a better time to be in a band? There are more festivals, more radio stations and a ton of more interesting less corporate ways of promoting yourself. The talent that Cabbage, Whistlejacket and The Academic possess, the world is theirs to take if they want it enough.

The odds are clearly stacked in favour of those from more comfortably backgrounds but let the likes of Jake Bugg and especially Skepta and Kano be the example of not only how but why it should be done.


Please go read Mark Beaumont's Guardian review and the beautiful piece from Step On Magazine: