Going for gold: Cooking Vinyl's campaign to secure Shed Seven's first No.1 in a 30-year chart career

Going for gold: Cooking Vinyl's campaign to secure Shed Seven's first No.1 in a 30-year chart career

It feels a bit like 1994 rather than 2024 on the charts this week, with Shed Seven pushing for the No.1 album and Liam Gallagher combining with Stone Roses guitarist John Squire on Just Another Rainbow, for what could be the highest new entry in the singles Top 10.

Shed Seven’s result would be an incredible start to their 30th anniversary year (and also the 30th birthday for Britpop). A Matter Of Time (Cooking Vinyl) would be the York band’s first No.1 album – in the latest Midweek sales flash, it’s in the lead with 16,085 sales.

Shed Seven’s debut album, Change Giver, charted at No.16 in September 1994. They have made the Top 10 of the albums chart on multiple occasions, peaking at No.7 with their greatest hits, Going For Gold, in 1999.

Signing with Cooking Vinyl for their sixth studio album, Shed Seven’s chart campaign is on course to be a triumph for a long-established independent music company. It would also be another No.1 for Various Artists Management, following Tom Grennan’s second consecutive chart-topper last year.

Of course, it’s a quiet time of year for an act to capitalise on a chart campaign, but Shed Seven have put the work in and are pulling ahead of hit albums with substantial streaming consumption by Lewis Capaldi, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd.

Here, as the chart race enters the final phase, Music Week goes inside the bold campaign with Cooking Vinyl’s MD Rob Collins and product manager Tom Newman…

Why were you keen to sign Shed Seven last year – did you see the immediate potential in the album? 

Rob Collins: “Yes, 100%. I was in the running to do a deal for the last record, so when I heard the new album demos and saw the ambition of the tour plans I got a deal memo out the same day.” 

How has the album become such a strong contender for No.1, what’s been key to its success this week?

RC: “It’s several things. A very loyal fan base, a great record and a fantastic D2C, retail and digital marketing campaign from the Cooking Vinyl team. The band’s product manager, Tom Newman, has done a phenomenal job with laser-guided focus.”

Tom Newman: “A long pre-order window to build anticipation to the album has been key. We started with a strong D2C campaign combined with the tour announcement, and then dropped products along the way, such as a Blood Records exclusive LP, in-store tour, and intimate out-stores in key markets. All of these were vital to keep the fanbase excited. We also released five instant grats that weren’t necessarily treated as singles in the traditional sense – the label and the band just wanted music out there to engage the fans.” 

How important has indie retail been to the weekly sales? 

RC: “Crucial. We have vinyl exclusives with Assai, Banquet and indie retail.”

TN: “The in-store tour the band are currently on has accounted for over 3,500 sales and counting, so it’s vital we have these stores that can run these types of events across the country. Having Banquet and Crash on hand, as well as HMV, to run the out-stores has also accounted for a lot of sales. It’s been a pivotal part of the campaign”

Can you tell us more about the D2C campaign, what was on offer to the fans? 

TN: “We worked closely with the band and Townsend to create products their fans would love – we didn’t just assemble a load of products on the band’s store for the sake of having loads – quality not quantity. Signing stock has also been a key driver, myself and the band have worked extremely hard getting thousands of products signed and into warehouses. 

“The nature of the long pre-order window let us drop exciting new products throughout the campaign. For example, whilst on tour in October, we sold a two-disc version of the CD which had live tracks recorded from across that tour, which were fulfilled with signed setlists from that night’s show. The icing on the cake has been the band re-recording their first album [Change Giver], which we’ve packaged with the new album to offer to fans as a deluxe digital download, a really strong offering to the fans.”

After 30 years, they are going stronger and making better music than ever before

Rob Collins

What would a first No.1 mean to the band in their 30th anniversary year? Have they been overlooked by the music industry in some ways despite their enduring appeal?

RC: “It means the world to them that, after 30 years, they are going stronger and making better music than ever before. The No.1 really is the icing on the cake but also the beginning of a year’s worth of activity. 

“I do think they have been unfairly judged over the years, but when you see them live and see sold-out rooms singing the words to every song you know they’ve done something right. And that’s what counts now.”  

Peter Doherty features on the album, has that given Shed Seven a new audience among Libertines fans?

RC: “Yes, I think so. Pete is really proud of the track.  Who knew that Shed Seven were one of his favourite bands?”

How is the chart week going with Lewis Capaldi chasing in second place? How hard are Shed Seven working in terms of record store shows, signings and media?

RC:Cooking Vinyl and the band aren’t taking anything for granted. The band are doing one to two in-stores across HMV and the indies every day this week, which are all sold out. We are all working for every sale and won’t take our foot off the gas until Thursday evening.” 

TN: “Whilst we’re in an amazing position, nothing is final. The band are pulling 18-hour days doing two in-stores as well as promo, leaving no stone unturned. We’re pulling no punches and continue to drop variants – a ‘going for gold’ vinyl with Banquet, Serenade digital pressing – which the fans are really getting behind as they want to see their favourite band top the charts.”

And while Cooking Vinyl has been No.1 before, how would it feel to start the year with a chart-topping album? What does it say about your label services offering?

RC: “We had two No.1s with the Prodigy but things have changed a lot since then. From the outset, the aim was for a No.1 album and I can honestly say that, after a couple of months of pre-orders, we really felt we had a chance. The Cooking Vinyl team responded and I have always said we are a match, if not better, than the other options.”

Beyond this week, what are the plans for Shed Seven? Can you help them build their streaming presence? 

RC: “The band will be back in the studio in February recording a new greatest hits album but with the addition of an orchestra. That’s planned for Q4 to tie in with the Shedcember tour… wait for it, in December.”

TN: “We’ve got so much great content heading into the band’s 30th year – we’ve got a few deluxe tracks post-album release we plan to put on the DSPs, a Record Store Day release, and the plan at the moment is to record their York Museum Garden show in front of 8,000 fans to assemble their best live album to date – with some extra special guests to boot.” 

What will the atmosphere be like at the York shows in July – particularly if they have a No.1 album to their name?

RC “The York shows are sold out. The Sheds would be the first band from York to have a No.1 album and I believe the first band to play at the Museum Gardens. It’s going to be a 30-year celebration like no other!”


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