Sent to us from Bolton – The Shed Project/DDE’s/Northern Revelation- The Phoenix Club

If you’ve ever been in a band and wanted to do a gig, what were your plans? Somewhere small and local? Was it difficult to even get a gig? How about getting anyone to come along to watch? Family and friends probably will attend but paying punters? Yeah, tricky isn’t it!

Well, if you’re in the The Shed Project then none of the above really applies because as debut gigs go this was some achievement. A sell out of the legendary Phoenix Club in Bolton, nonetheless.

I suppose though that if you’ve been working hard your whole life and decided in the last 18 months or so to give this real band thing a proper go, you’ve gotta think big right? Make it an event, iconic, something to last in the memory not just for you but for the people that came along. As their song says – “You’ve only got one shot”

But before I get onto the headline act, it’s only fair to mention the two excellent support acts that warmed up the Phoenix crowd nicely in readiness for Roy n The Boys.

First up from St Helens and hot off their appearance on Brits N Pieces II is 3 piece Northern Revelation with their own slice of indie pop that mixes the classic 3-piece Mod attitudes of The Jam with the classic song writing of Britpop. These lads were also performing with their new drummer, but not that you would have noticed as they sounded tight and accomplished with some big riffs. Featuring Darrel Ashton as singer/guitarist, John Lloyd on bass and new boy Will Culleton they mix the set with their own songs including the two-quality recent singles History and Radon with covers of Fine Time and The Jam’s That’s Entertainment. They showed what they were about to an appreciative audience. Live music was back, and these guys are ones to watch.

Following them were the more established and known band DDE’s coincidentally another powerful 3 piece of Dan Brown singer/guitar, John Page on bass and Paul Gallacher on drums they also showed they are a great live act to check out. To me they fall somewhere between Courteeners and The Wonderstuff, releasing tunes that are toe tapping and rocking but with a subtle side to them. They played many of their known songs (to me) including Cherry Soul, and You Gotta (shout it out), even managing to sneak in a rocking cover of Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones before rounding off their their set with What do I know, very nicely indeed.

Now onto the headliners – The Shed Project – by now the Phoenix was filling up nicely and the crowd was starting to buzz with anticipation. A crowd that had been starved of live music for a long time were expecting big things, as over the last 12 months The Shed Project had gone from an idea to a full-blown outfit making a lot of friends across the country with their ever-impressive catalogue of tunes. Tonight, was the chance to repay these loyal Shed Heads with a set to remember.

Looking resplendent in his pink stone island jacket and bucket hat, Roy took to the stage with his boys to a huge welcome and cries of “Shed Army” and they were off. Straight into new track Modern Way a great set opener that is not only catchy and joyous but lyrically deals with social injustice and the ever-bigger gap between those that have and those that have not. This song is right for the times, just as Ghost Town was for The Specials, in time it could be just as important.

Nerves out of the way and the band rip into Living and Do It, tunes that are known and already loved by the crowd – who by now are singing and dancing along.

One Shot is given a right good blast – the tune that in many ways defines the band and those that follow them. One Shot, One Love – Right on Roy.

A quick mention about the band themselves – it’s easy of course to fall for the charms of frontman Roy, who embodies the greats before, part Ian Brown, part Shaun Ryder but also his own thing (especially the Roy shuffle) the band consist of John Ratcliffe on rhythm guitar and youngster Olli Howawrth on lead guitar, 2 great guitarists who bring the sound of the Sheds to life with their jangle pop sound of early Roses and other Madchester greats. Then there is the rhythm section of Tim Burke who throws down some mean bass lines and the pounding rhythmic drumming of Shane McKenna. Combined they give the band depth and clout that shows they are made for the bigger stage.

Amazingly the band rattle through 14 original songs including the brilliant Lucky Number, the heartfelt Feel My Love with new songs such as Weekend Millionaire, Crowdpleaser and Temptation to name just a few. I don’t think I have ever seen a new band with so many ready to go songs to play live and its credit to their song writing skills and professionalism that they do. Their debut album should be something very special indeed.

Before we reach the climax of the night, there is a chance for shout outs to Paula from Norn Iron for coming so far to see them, a Bez dancer called Gilly and Roy’s own son on Face Time as he recuperates in hospital following a bad accident – it’s a touching moment.

Then we are into the final track(s) a surprise as it’s a brilliant version of Sally Cinnamon which is just perfect for the night and the crowd – paying their dues to one of the greats that inspired them and so many of us – crowd and band in full voice.

But that’s not all, Sally morphs into Made of Stone and I’m sure the roof blew off at that point. Wow!
The band wrap up proceedings to an almighty cheer and everyone is smiling and dancing and just feeling great – this is what a brilliant band do, bring everyone together as one. It’s difficult to do but again The Sheds make it seem simple.

So, as we leave to catch our taxis and rest those weary bones, I’m left wondering what’s next?

Well at this rate of progression its Easy just like another of their songs – Next stop Empress Ballroom Blackpool, then Ally Pally followed by Spike Island next year for the Third Summer of Love.

I’m not betting against them doing it.

Thanks for reading

Peace N Love


3 thoughts on “Sent to us from Bolton – The Shed Project/DDE’s/Northern Revelation- The Phoenix Club

  1. John from shed project here . That’s a fucking awsome review . Thank you so much . Means a lot . Everyone enjoyed it I think , but its hard to gauge from the stage so to speak . Feedback like this makes it all worth while ❤❤ . Cheers brother 👍


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