IT was their biggest-ever headline gig - and they did not disappoint.

Following support from The Twang and Reverend & The Makers, York heroes Shed Seven took to the sun-baked Castlefield outdoor arena in Manchester, and the capacity 8,000 crowd took to them – serenading the band with their own rendition of Chasing Rainbows as they left the stage after a flawless near two-hour show.

The Sheds are always popular in Manchester – like honorary Mancs given how their 90s Britpop past fitted in so well with that city's legendary music scene. Frontman Rick Witter originally hails from that neck of the woods, of course, and guitarist Joe Johnson is a Man City fan too.

It shouldn't be a surprise, therefore, that they sold Castlefield out - even if certain sections of the music media still demean the York outfit as underdogs.

The ever-popular Greatest Hits package the Sheds play on their biennial tours is now augmented by new material from 2017's critically acclaimed Instant Pleasures – their first studio album in 16 years.

Friday's set list included the most they've played off that album in a live show – the anthemic opener Room In My House was followed later by the rocky Butterfly On A Wheel, the dancy People Will Talk, and power ballads It's Not Easy and Better Days. The under-rated beauty Invincible opened the encore.

The fact the 8,000 sang along boisterously to each one shows how well that album was received.

Also singing along on several tracks were two gospel-voiced singers - the band had used such backing vocals for the first time on Instant Pleasures and they duly formed part of this live show.

The now-regular brass trio were there as well of course, and it all contributed to an accomplished updated audio, without taking away from the Sheds' original and much-loved guitar sound.

Whether in the mosh pit, dancing on the grassy bank at the back of the bowl arena or swaying along anywhere in between, the audience lapped it all up.

The Sheds had to drop a couple of tracks from the planned set list due to the venue's curfew. It was still the longest show they've done, featuring 19 songs.

There weren't too many surprises in there. Morphing She Left Me On Friday into the epic instrumental bit from the Stone Roses' I Am The Resurrection is always a winner - and is bound to be well-received in the Roses' homeland. Ending the main set with Parallel Lines, the closing track from 1996's A Maximum High, perhaps turned the clock back a bit.

Finishing the night with signature tune Chasing Rainbows was nailed on. A bit obvious perhaps but, considering the crowd were still singing it long after the music had stopped, the only people complaining were those who'd set the 10.45pm curfew.

Peter Martini