A Maximum High
A Maximum High is the second studio album by the British rock band Shed Seven, released in April 1996 via Polydor Records. The album was written by all four band members at the time of release; the album title comes from lyrics in the song "Parallel Lines". Shed Seven held writing and rehearsal sessions at a local potato plant, RS Cockerill's of York, prior to recording the album. One of the first tracks recorded, with their new producer Chris Sheldon, was the lead single, "Where Have You Been Tonight?", written in late-1994 and debuting live at the band's Christmas show on 23 December. It was one of five tracks completed during a three-week recording session at RAK Studios in February 1995, before the band departed midway through the mixing process at Metropolis to embark on their first tour of Japan, satisfied with what they had achieved; this version of "Lies" was previewed on an NME compilation cassette given away free with their 6 May 1995 issue a year before the album was released. Following gigs in Spain and Japan, the band headed back to the studio in May 1995 to begin work on further material for inclusion on the album, which, at that point, was titled In Colour.
Numerous tracks recorded in this period feature the renowned session musicians, The Kick Horns and The Phantom Horns, adding a brassier undertone to the featured songs and marking a notable change in sound to that of the band's previous output. A Maximum High garnered a positive response from critics upon release. Ian Harrison of Select drew a number of comparisons with The Smiths in his review, summarising the album as "sexy, Smiths-fuelled and superb". Of all the contenders to be the heirs to The Hated Salford Ensemble, this band pull it off with the best spirit and the least number of groaning timbers. Continually there're the lilting/grinding guitars à la Marr, while Rick's voice twists and soars like Moz pre-Brendan Behan look-alike period, he went on to liken the "jugular-directed guitar attacks" to that of their debut album, but noted a distinct change "of a band trying new moves and a richer sound". This change of sound was noted by Mark Sutherland, writing for the NME in April 1996, who stated that "the Sheds have rocketed on so far from'94's'Change Giver', they could rewrite the traditional album reviewers lexicon" and went on to compare the band to The Stone Roses.
Indeed, parts of it are good enough to pass as someone else's second album: chiefly, the record The Stone Roses should have made instead of'The Second Coming'. Writing for The Guardian in April 1996, Caroline Sullivan labelled A Maximum High "good, but not outstanding", as she praised guitarist Paul Banks's "exultant jangling", but found fault with the album's lyrical content; the LP has been referred to as "the band's most engaging album full of inspirational anthems excellent shout-along, arena-ready numbers." A limited edition double CD version of the album titled A Maximum High Special Edition was released in September 1996, five months after the regular issue. It featured a bonus disc of many of the band's b-sides from their first 9 single releases, along with an alternate piano version of the album track "Out By My Side" and an expanded album cover with additional lyrics and photographs. Aside from the two UK releases, the French limited edition was issued with a free bonus disc in a cardboard slipcase featuring two live tracks—"Mark" and "Dolphin"—recorded at the Hanover Grand, London on 30 January 1996.
The former track was issued in the UK in May 1996 as a b-side to "Bully Boy" – the fourth single taken from A Maximum High – whilst the latter remains exclusive to the bonus disc. The Japanese version of the album featured additional material, a bonus track titled "Song Seven", to be found as a b-side on the band's UK single "Getting Better", released in January 1996. A Maximum High spent a total of 26 weeks in the UK album chart, peaking at number 8 on 13 April 1996, with the Special Edition reissue peaking at number 13. Discounting the band's singles compilation which reached number 7 three years chart-wise, A Maximum High is Shed Seven's most successful album to date, it has sold 186,325 copies in the United Kingdom as of November 2017. The album spawned five Top 40 UK hit singles for the band in "Where Have You Been Tonight?", "Getting Better", "Going For Gold", "On Standby" and "Bully Boy". Each single release entered the chart at number 23 or higher, including their biggest hit to date, "Going For Gold", which peaked at number 8 in March 1996.
All tracks written by Witter/Banks/Gladwin/Leach. Track 13 is bonus track included on the Japanese edition of the album. Track 4 is exclusive to this album release. Tracks 1, 6 and 11 are taken from the 1996 single, "On Standby". Track 2 is taken from the 1994 single, "Speakeasy". Tracks 3 and 7 are taken from the 1995 single, "Where Have You Been Tonight?". Track 5 is taken from the 1994 single, "Dolphin". Tracks 8, 12 and 15 are taken from the 1994 single, "Ocean Pie". Tracks 9 and 14 are taken from the 1996 single, "Going For Gold". Track 10 is taken from the double A side 1994 single, "Mark/Casino Girl". Tracks 13 and 16 are taken from t
Instant Pleasures is the fifth studio album by the British rock band Shed Seven, released via BMG Rights Management in November 2017. The album charted at No.8 in the UK album chart, on sales of 13,277. Rick Witter – vocals Paul Banks – guitar Tom Gladwin – bass Alan Leach – drums Joe Johnson – guitar
Rick Witter & The Dukes
Rick Witter & the Dukes are a British alternative rock band from York, England. Rick Witter Rob Wilson Stuart Fletcher Matt Lunn In August 2005, former Shed Seven front man, Rick Witter, announced details of his new band, Rick Witter & The Dukes, along with a week of low key concerts in Scotland; the initial plan for The Dukes was to mix playing brand new material together with a few old Shed Seven songs in an effort not to alienate Witter's existing fanbase from the days with his former band. His new outfit maintained the guitar rock stylings of his predecessor, but added a harder, rockier edge. Two sold out shows at Fibbers, in York, followed the handful of Scottish dates in December of the same year; the same month saw the first airing of Dukes material online, as four song excerpts began streaming on a newly created Rick Witter & the Dukes MySpace page. The four short demos included the tracks. By April 2006, the Dukes had announced a full 18-date UK tour, as well as making a further demo available to download for free, titled "The Sky Falls Down".
In July 2006, the band began recording sessions for their self-financed debut album in Leeds with record producer, Will Jackson slated for release in late 2006. In August of the same year, the band went on to headline the Beached Festival in Scarborough, whilst their debut album The Year of the Rat was released in April 2007 via Hookline and Singer/Notting Hill Music. Five of the album's tracks feature fellow York musicians, Chris Helme and John Hargreaves of the Yards, on backing vocals and piano, whilst one track features the additional vocals of the Leeds-based jazz musician, Kate Peters; the LP itself is dedicated to the memory of Rick's father. Initial copies of the album came in the form of a special limited edition, presented in an embossed metal tin with card slip case and fold out lyric poster, limited to 1,000 units. To celebrate the album's release, the band announced a special one-off gig aboard a boat on York's River Ouse, known as the Ouse Cruise, as the band played a set consisting of their own material to 70 fans.
The Year of The Rat Witter's official website Rick Witter & The Dukes on IMDb
The Seahorses were an English alternative rock band, formed in 1996 by guitarist John Squire, following his departure from The Stone Roses. The band released their debut album, Do It Yourself in 1997, began work on a follow up, before splitting up due to musical differences during recording sessions in January 1999. Forming the Seahorses in 1996 following his departure from The Stone Roses, Squire first recruited bassist Stuart Fletcher who he saw by chance at the Fibbers venue in York where he was drinking with his guitar tech Martin Herbet. Fletcher was playing in local covers band, The Blueflies, as a last minute replacement for the band's regular bass player who had pulled out of the gig, he auditioned two singers – Sean O'Brien of Warrington band "The Steamboat Band", Chris Helme, spotted by a friend of Squire's guitar tech busking outside Woolworths in York. Following several auditions and the prompting of his manager, Squire settled on Helme, despite being hesitant because he "closed his eyes when he sang and only folk singers do that".
And whilst Helme was a songwriter himself, Squire admitted early on that despite liking a couple of songs including "Blinded by the Sun" which he radically re-arranged for the album, "Yeah, he can write the odd tune but I don't like them and it might be a problem on if he wants to record them with the band". In the summer of 1996, Squire rented a cottage in Coniston, Cumbria to write and rehearse with Helme and Fletcher. Several drummers were auditioned before recruiting Andy Watts, who had gigged with Fletcher and knew Helme; the delay in recruiting a drummer was due to Squire's desire to get a drummer who, like Reni, could sing backing vocals. It had been rumoured that Reni was set to join the band. Just weeks after Watts joined, the band played secret warm up gigs in Buckley and Lancaster, before heading to North Hollywood to record with David Bowie and T. Rex producer Tony Visconti; the band's debut album, Do It Yourself, was released in May 1997 on Geffen Records with whom Squire was still signed to following his departure from the Stone Roses, received mixed reviews.
One of the songs on the album, "Love Me and Leave Me", was co-written with Liam Gallagher of Oasis, with whom the band toured in 1997. Shortly before the release of the single "Love Me and Leave Me", it was announced that drummer Andy Watts was leaving the group to spend more time with his family. Watts claimed that he was asked to leave by the band's manager Steve Atherton at a meeting with the band's accountants, on behalf of the band, because they did not approve of the drummer's excessive behaviour on tour, felt he did not fit in with the desired image for the band. Commenting on the reason for Watt's departure, Helme stated that he had been "playing like an arse" with Watts putting that down to his cocaine usage. Watts was temporarily replaced by session player Mal Toby Drummond; the Seahorses would go on to play support slots with The Rolling Stones, U2, Oasis. In 1998, the band began work on a follow up album with Mark Heaney; the band previewed several new songs during secret fan club gigs and festival appearances including "City in the Sky", "700 Horses", "Tombraid" and two Helme compositions "Won't Let You Fall" and "Moth".
The band entered Olympic Studios with producer David Bottrill in January 1999 to record the album, with the working titles of Minus Blue and Motocade, things came to a head between Squire and Helme – the sessions were abandoned and the band split after Squire walked out of the studio and didn't return. The band's split was announced on 23 January 1999, with a press release citing musical differences. A spokesman for the band informed the NME that Squire had "become dissatisfied with the material being produced by Helme until it reached a point where their partnership was no longer possible". Despite having previewed formed songs including two of his own compositions, Helme would claim in 2001 that his contributions were being ignored and that the songs the band were working on were "unfinished tunes with unfinished lyrics, they're all John's songs". Squire had commented that "I'd say the ratio of songwriting is the same as before. Helme admitted in 2011 that he had been unhappy with Squire writing the majority of the band's material and, picking up the majority of the band's publishing money.
Due to this, he attempted to launch a solo career whilst still in the Seahorses, claimed that the Seahorses' management informed him that they would sue him if he started touring playing his own material whilst still in the band. This led to trust issues between Helme and Squire, Helme began drinking and turning up for rehearsals "hung over and stinking" to the increasing irritation of Squire. Squire commented on his reasons for ending the band that "I thought'This sounds shit, we don't deserve to be in this place.' The band sounded complacent. I don't suppose. Maybe it got far too much attention for little effort in the early stages, because of what I'd done in the past." He added that the "band wasn't working out cos the singer, wanted to pursue a solo career in tandem, there was no way that, going to work for me". The origin of the name The Seahorses has been the subject of various conspiracy theorie
Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was used interchangeably with alternative rock; as grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream in the 1990s, it came to be used to identify those acts that retained an outsider and underground perspective. In the 2000s, as a result of changes in the music industry and the growing importance of the Internet, some indie rock acts began to enjoy commercial success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term. Sometimes used interchangeably with "guitar pop rock", in the mid-1980s, the term "indie" began to be used to describe the music produced on punk and post-punk labels; some prominent indie rock record labels were founded during the 1980s. During the 1990s, grunge bands broke into the mainstream, the term "alternative" lost its original counter-cultural meaning.
The term "indie rock" became associated with the bands and genres that remained dedicated to their independent status. By the end of the 1990s, indie rock developed several subgenres and related styles, including lo-fi, noise pop, slowcore, post-rock, math rock. In the 2000s, changes in the music industry and in music technology enabled a new wave of indie rock bands to achieve mainstream success. In the early 2000s, a new group of bands that played a stripped-down, back-to-basics version of guitar rock emerged into the mainstream; the commercial breakthrough from these scenes was led by four bands: The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Hives and The Vines. Emo broke into mainstream culture in the early 2000s. By the end of the decade, the proliferation of indie bands was being referred to as "indie landfill"; the term indie rock, which comes from "independent," describes the small and low-budget labels on which it is released and the do-it-yourself attitude of the bands and artists involved. Although distribution deals are struck with major corporate companies, these labels and the bands they host have attempted to retain their autonomy, leaving them free to explore sounds and subjects of limited appeal to large, mainstream audiences.
The influences and styles of the artists have been diverse, including punk, post-punk and country. The terms "alternative rock" and "indie rock" were used interchangeably in the 1980s, but after many alternative bands followed Nirvana into the mainstream in the early 1990s, "indie rock" began to be used to describe those bands, working in a variety of styles, that did not pursue or achieve commercial success. Aesthetically speaking, indie rock is characterized as having a careful balance of pop accessibility with noise, experimentation with pop music formulae, sensitive lyrics masked by ironic posturing, a concern with "authenticity," and the depiction of a simple guy or girl. Allmusic identifies indie rock as including a number of "varying musical approaches compatible with mainstream tastes". Linked by an ethos more than a musical approach, the indie rock movement encompassed a wide range of styles, from hard-edged, grunge-influenced bands, through do-it-yourself experimental bands like Pavement, to punk-folk singers such as Ani DiFranco.
In fact, there is an everlasting list of subgenres of indie rock. Many countries have developed an extensive local indie scene, flourishing with bands with enough popularity to survive inside the respective country, but unknown elsewhere. However, there are still indie bands that start off locally, but attract an international audience. Indie rock is noted for having a high proportion of female artists compared with preceding rock genres, a tendency exemplified by the development of the feminist-informed Riot Grrrl music of acts like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, 7 Year Bitch, Team Dresch and Huggy Bear. However, Cortney Harding pointed out that this sense of equality is not reflected in the number of women running indie labels; the BBC documentary Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie pinpoints the birth of indie as the 1977 self-publication of the Spiral Scratch EP by Manchester band Buzzcocks. Although Buzzcocks are classified as a punk band, it has been argued by the BBC and others that the publication of Spiral Scratch independently of a major label led to the coining of the name "indie".
"Indie pop" and "indie" were synonymous. In the mid-1980s, "indie" began to be used to describe the music produced on post-punk labels rather than the labels themselves; the indie rock scene in the US was prefigured by the college rock that dominated college radio playlists, which included key bands like R. E. M. from the US and The Smiths from the UK. These two bands rejected the dominant synthpop of the early 1980s, helped inspire guitar-based jangle pop. In the United States, the term was associated with the abrasive, distortion-heavy sounds of the Pixies, Hüsker Dü, Meat Puppets, Dinosaur Jr. and The Replacements. In the United Kingdom the C86 cassette, a 1986 NME compilation featuring Primal Scream, The Pastels, The Wedding Present and other bands, was a document of the UK indie scene at the start of 1986, it gave its name to the indie pop scene that followed, a major influence on the development of the British indie scene as a whole. Major precursors of indie pop included Postcard bands Josef K and Orange Juice, significant labels included Creation and Glass.
The Jesus and Mary Chain's sound combined the Velvet
Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east and Shropshire to the south and Flintshire and Wrexham county borough to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester. Other major towns include Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Northwich, Runcorn and Winsford The county covers 905 square miles and has a population of around 1 million, it is rural, with a number of small towns and villages supporting the agricultural and other industries which produce Cheshire cheese, salt and silk. Cheshire's name was derived from an early name for Chester, was first recorded as Legeceasterscir in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, meaning "the shire of the city of legions". Although the name first appears in 980, it is thought that the county was created by Edward the Elder around 920. In the Domesday Book, Chester was recorded as having the name Cestrescir, derived from the name for Chester at the time. A series of changes that occurred as English itself changed, together with some simplifications and elision, resulted in the name Cheshire, as it occurs today.
Because of the close links with the land bordering Cheshire to the west, which became modern Wales, there is a history of interaction between Cheshire and North Wales. The Domesday Book records Cheshire as having two complete Hundreds that became the principal part of Flintshire. Additionally, another large portion of the Duddestan Hundred became known as Maelor Saesneg when it was transferred to North Wales. For this and other reasons, the Welsh language name for Cheshire is sometimes used. After the Norman conquest of 1066 by William I, dissent and resistance continued for many years after the invasion. In 1069 local resistance in Cheshire was put down using draconian measures as part of the Harrying of the North; the ferocity of the campaign against the English populace was enough to end all future resistance. Examples were made of major landowners such as Earl Edwin of Mercia, their properties confiscated and redistributed amongst Norman barons. William I made Cheshire a county palatine and gave Gerbod the Fleming the new title of Earl of Chester.
When Gerbod returned to Normandy in about 1070, the king used his absence to declare the earldom forfeit and gave the title to Hugh d'Avranches. Because of Cheshire's strategic location on Welsh Marches, the Earl had complete autonomous powers to rule on behalf of the king in the county palatine; the earldom was sufficiently independent from the kingdom of England that the 13th-century Magna Carta did not apply to the shire of Chester, so the earl wrote up his own Chester Charter at the petition of his barons. Cheshire in the Domesday Book is recorded as a much larger county, it included two hundreds and Exestan, that became part of North Wales. At the time of the Domesday Book, it included as part of Duddestan Hundred the area of land known as English Maelor in Wales; the area between the Mersey and Ribble formed part of the returns for Cheshire. Although this has been interpreted to mean that at that time south Lancashire was part of Cheshire, more exhaustive research indicates that the boundary between Cheshire and what was to become Lancashire remained the River Mersey.
With minor variations in spelling across sources, the complete list of hundreds of Cheshire at this time are: Atiscross, Chester, Exestan, Middlewich, Roelau, Tunendune and Wilaveston. Feudal baronies or baronies by tenure were granted by the Earl as forms of feudal land tenure within the palatinate in a similar way to which the king granted English feudal baronies within England proper. An example is the barony of Halton. One of Hugh d'Avranche's barons has been identified as Robert Nicholls, Baron of Halton and Montebourg. In 1182 the land north of the Mersey became administered as part of the new county of Lancashire, thus resolving any uncertainty about the county in which the land "Inter Ripam et Mersam" was. Over the years, the ten hundreds consolidated and changed names to leave just seven—Broxton, Eddisbury, Nantwich and Wirral. In 1397 the county had lands in the march of Wales added to its territory, was promoted to the rank of principality; this was because of the support the men of the county had given to King Richard II, in particular by his standing armed force of about 500 men called the "Cheshire Guard".
As a result, the King's title was changed to "King of England and France, Lord of Ireland, Prince of Chester". No other English county has been honoured in this way, although it lost the distinction on Richard's fall in 1399. Through the Local Government Act 1972, which came into effect on 1 April 1974, some areas in the north became part of the metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Stockport, Hyde and Stalybridge in the north-east became part of Greater Manchester. Much of the Wirral Peninsula in the north-west, including the county boroughs of Birkenhead and Wallasey, joined Merseyside as the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. At the same time the Tintwistle Rural District was transferred to Derbyshire; the area of south Lancashire not included within either the Merseyside or Greater Manchester counties, including Widnes and the county b
Britpop was a UK-based music and culture movement in the mid-1990s which emphasised "Britishness", produced brighter, catchier alternative rock in reaction to the popularity of the darker lyrical themes of the US-led grunge music, an alternative rock genre, to the UK's own shoegazing music scene. The most successful bands linked with the movement are Blur, Oasis and Pulp; the timespan of Britpop is considered to be 1993–1997, with 1994–1995, a chart battle between Blur and Oasis dubbed "The Battle of Britpop", being the epicentre of activity. While music was the main focus, fashion and politics got involved, with artists such as Damien Hirst being involved in creating videos for Blur, being labelled as Britart or Britpop artists, Tony Blair and New Labour aligning themselves with the movement. Though Britpop is viewed as a marketing tool, more of a cultural moment than a musical style or genre, there are musical conventions and influences the bands grouped under the Britpop term have in common, such as showing elements from the British pop music of the 1960s, glam rock and punk rock of the 1970s, indie pop of the 1980s in their music.
Britpop was a media-driven focus on bands which emerged from the independent music scene of the early 1990s—and was associated with the British popular cultural movement of Cool Britannia which evoked the Swinging Sixties and the British guitar pop music of that decade. In the wake of the musical invasion into the United Kingdom by American grunge bands, new British groups such as Blur and Suede launched the movement by positioning themselves as opposing musical forces, referencing British guitar music of the past and writing about uniquely British topics and concerns; these bands were soon joined by others including Oasis, The Verve, Cast and Elastica. Britpop groups brought British alternative rock into the mainstream and formed the backbone of a larger British cultural movement called Cool Britannia. "The Battle of Britpop" brought Britpop to the forefront of the British press in 1995. By 1997, the movement began to slow down; the popularity of the pop group the Spice Girls "snatched the spirit of the age from those responsible for Britpop".
Although its more popular bands were able to spread their commercial success overseas to the United States, the movement fell apart by the end of the decade. Though Britpop is seen retrospectively as a marketing tool, more of a cultural moment than a musical style or genre, there are musical conventions and influences the bands grouped under the Britpop term have in common. Britpop bands show elements from the British pop music of the Sixties, glam rock and punk rock of the Seventies, indie pop of the Eighties in their music and clothing. Specific influences vary: Blur and Oasis drew from the Kinks, early Pink Floyd and the Beatles while Elastica had a fondness for arty punk rock, notably Wire. Regardless, Britpop artists project a sense of reverence for British pop sounds of the past; the Kinks' Ray Davies and XTC's Andy Partridge are sometimes advanced as the "godfathers" or "grandfathers" of Britpop. Alternative rock acts from the indie scene of the Eighties and early Nineties were the direct ancestors of the Britpop movement.
The influence of the Smiths is common to the majority of Britpop artists. The Madchester scene, fronted by the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets, was an immediate root of Britpop since its emphasis on good times and catchy songs provided an alternative to the British-based shoegazing and American based grunge styles of music. Pre-dating Britpop by four years, Liverpool based group The La's hit single "There She Goes" was described by Rolling Stone as a "founding piece of Britpop's foundation." Local identity and regional British accents are common to Britpop groups, as well as references to British places and culture in lyrics and image. Stylistically, Britpop bands use catchy hooks and lyrics that were relevant to young British people of their own generation. Britpop bands conversely denounced grunge as irrelevant and having nothing to say about their lives. Damon Albarn of Blur summed up the attitude in 1993 when after being asked if Blur were an "anti-grunge band" he said, "Well, that's good.
If punk was about getting rid of hippies I'm getting rid of grunge." In spite of the professed disdain for the genres, some elements of both crept into the more enduring facets of Britpop. Noel Gallagher has since championed Ride and once stated that Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was the only songwriter he had respect for in the last ten years, that he felt their music was similar enough that Cobain could have written "Wonderwall". By 1996, Oasis's prominence was such that NME termed a number of Britpop bands "Noelrock", citing Gallagher's influence on their music. Journalist John Harris typified these bands, Gallagher, of sharing "a dewy-eyed love of the 1960s, a spurning of much beyond rock's most basic ingredients, a belief in the supremacy of'real music'"; the imagery associated with Britpop was British and working class. A rise in unabashed maleness, exemplified by Loaded magazine and lad culture in general, would be much part of the Britpop era; the Union Jack became a prominent symbol of the movement and its use as a symbol of pride and nationalism contrasted with the controversy that erupted just a few years before when former Smiths singer Morrissey performed draped in it.
The emphasis on British referen