SHED 7 guitarist Paul Banks said it was a “no-brainer” to pick Wentworth Woodhouse as the scene for the band’s comeback single — although the smoke alarm presented quite a challenge.
The York-based Britpop survivors, who play a sold-out show at Sheffield's O2 Academy tonight (Tuesday), spent a long day shooting in the massive mansion’s impressive Marble Saloon for their new single Room in My House.
Paul said they had received a warm welcome from staff at the “Big House” — which has previously appeared in TV series and films — but hadn’t reckoned with how their smoke machine would play havoc with the alarms.
“It turned out a lot of people who work there are fans of the band and they were really helpful,” said the lead guitarist, who directed the video himself.
“The trouble was, the machine we use for haze kept setting off the alarm, so we had to get (drummer) Alan’s son to sit by the alarm all day turning it off so the fire brigade didn’t come out.”
Paul said he had friends in Rotherham but had not heard of Wentworth Woodhouse until a company scouting locations suggested it fitted the band’s brief of somewhere derelict.
“We went on a recce and realised it was this huge stately home,” he said.
“They were really open and amenable to what we wanted to do although they wanted to know why we wanted to use all the derelict bits — that was just the feel we wanted for the video.
“It was a no brainer, really — it had all the looks we wanted.
“It’s certainly going to be a hard venue to beat.”
The band and their crew managed to pack all the filming they needed into a long day from 8am to 2am, with Paul revealing they had called in favours from friends and recruited actors from previous clips to help produce a video which looks more costly than it actually was.
“There are a few Easter eggs — references to previous songs and videos — in there,” he said.
“The message of the song is that we’re open to everyone, really, there’s plenty of room for people to come on board with us.”
Shed 7 notched up a string of hits in the 1990s — most notably Chasing Rainbows, Going for Gold and She Left Me on Friday — but split up in 2003.
The band members pursued individual projects, with Paul forming other bands before going into film-making and singer Rick Witter, now a Minster FM DJ, having a short spell fronting Rick Witter and the Dukes.
But they reunited in 2007 and, despite not having released an album of new material for 16 years, have continued to pack out venues on a UK tour, dubbed Shedcember, in the run-up to Christmas every year.
This year’s tour sold out within weeks and a dozen extra dates have been added, including one at Sheffield’s O2 Academy on November 28.
And they had the honour of performing for rock legend Robert Plant when they appeared on Chris Evans’ radio show to promote the forthcoming album, Instant Pleasures.
Paul put the success of their revival down to having build a loyal fanbase on their merits first time around.
“We were never the darlings of the Press in the 1990s,” he said. “There always seemed to be this thing that they wanted to find the next band to put on the front of the NME.
“I’m not knocking those bands but that was never us.
“There was this thing we called the Curse of Shed 7 — everyone who supported us went on to be bigger than us.
“We were never flavour of the month but some people love an underdog.
“And when you are that kind of a band, the fanbase feel a kind of ownership and loyalty to you.
“We all went away for a while and did the normal stuff like having families and our fanbase did the same.
“It’s like we all said: ‘Let’s all meet up in ten years when we’ve grown up a bit’.”
Speaking of growing up, Paul revealed that touring is tougher now the Sheds are all in their 40s.
“It takes longer to get over a heavy night when you get older so doing it for two months solid is quite a feat,” he admitted.
The dressing room rider has changed a bit, too: “There’s still a lot of drink on there, maybe more, but perhaps less Monster Munch and more sushi.”
You can see Shed 7’s video for Room in My House at https://ShedSeven.lnk.to/RIMVideoFA .
Visit http://www.shedseven.com/tour/ for details of their upcoming gigs.