Musical Archaeology (part 6) – Six by Seven

We welcome Paul Neill, today's musical archaeologist. Paul was a senior procurement guy in private and public sectors, ending up as Head of Procurement for the Department of Education. He now has a portfolio career, including buy-side work and as a partner with The Bidding Consultancy, working with suppliers bidding for contracts. And we've been to some pretty interesting gigs together...

They could have been contenders - Formed in Nottingham in 1991, their first single – ‘European Me’ - was described by NME as “one of the greatest debut singles of all time”. In 1998 they played Glastonbury and appeared on ‘Later with Jools Holland’, alongside Blondie, Massive Attack and Elliot Smith. They toured with Placebo and played no fewer than 5 live John Peel sessions. Can you guess who is it yet? That’s right...Six By Seven.

Six By Seven are one of many great bands over the years that should have been massive, but didn’t quite make it. The problem for them wasn’t the ‘difficult second album’ syndrome that has stopped so many up and coming acts in their tracks. They made seven excellent albums. But, hey, that’s the music industry for you.

Influenced by the likes of Spaceman 3, My Bloody Valentine, AC/DC and the Sex Pistols, they were a fantastic live band with an intense, moody, guitar-heavy sound and great lead vocals from Chris Olley. I saw them at a few brilliant venues – the Leadmill in Sheffield, the Roadhouse in Manchester and the Garage in London – and they blew me away every time.

They disbanded in 2005 but, in good rock ‘n’ roll tradition, reformed in 2007 - only to split again, for good, in 2008.

Here’s a couple of Six By Seven classics – IOU Love and Cafeteria Rats.

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