Shed Seven was amongst several indie bands that came out of the early Britpop of the 1990s, along with the likes of other popular bands of the time such as Embrace, Cast, Marion and Dodgy who were all prevalent at the time.
Consisting of Rick Witter (vocals), Joe Johnson (guitar and keyboards, later replaced by Paul Banks), Tom Gladwin (bass) and Alan Leach (drums), long-time session keyboardist Fraser Smith also joined very briefly in 2000-1, before the band split in 2003.
The Shed Seven band members, all hailed from York and had previously been in a band called Brockley Haven which had come to an end. Although the band received several knockbacks from losing two unsigned band competitions; Shed Seven eventually signed a record deal with Polydor Records in 1994.
Shed Seven received great praise from alternative and rock bibles the NME and Melody Maker who had earmarked Shed Seven as “undiscovered talent” before they had signed their record deal, and likened them to The Smiths and Morrissey.
With hit singles such high octane fast tracks “Mark” and “Dolphin” (#28,1994), Shed Seven began to gain commercial success and the band brought out their first album Change Giver (1994) which was one of their biggest releases of their career. The album spawned the popular song “Speakeasy” which was eventually used in a phone advert, as well as the slower paced “Ocean Pie”. The album went on to reach #16 on the UK Album Chart and was praised by English and French music publications alike, who categorised Change Giver as one of the best 50 albums of the year.
Shed Seven’s next two albums A Maximum High (1996) and Let It Ride (1998), as well as a ‘greatest hits’ album, proved to be the final great releases from the band before a number of band differences led to the band members to go their separate ways.
A Maximum High (1996) featured many of the greatest hit tracks which had given the band their trademark sound. "Getting Better", "Going For Gold", "Bully Boy" and "On Standby" all peaked in the top 40 on the UK Singles Chart.
In between recording A Maximum High and Let It Ride, Shed Seven toured across the UK and Japan where they had a big following. Let It Ride proved to be the beginning of the end for Shed Seven, and with less successful record sales and discontent in the way the music was going, this led to the band splitting in 2003.
The band members went their separate ways and pursued solo projects, however; by 2007, rumours circulated that Shed Seven would reform to embark on a Greatest Hits UK Tour. Shed Seven tickets proved high in demand and a number of the venues were a sell-out including the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire and the Manchester Academy.
In 2008 the band continued to play at the major UK festivals: T in the Park in Balado, Scotland, and V Festival in both Chelmsford and Staffordshire.