EVERY other Christmas, Shed Seven swap tree decorating, present wrapping, pottering around festive markets and sipping gingerbread lattes for road trips, sound checks and stages.

For 12 years, their December shows – affectionately known as ‘Shedcember’ – have become a firm tradition with fans which has revitalised the York band since their 2007 reunion.

Frontman Rick Witter told Weekend: “Weirdly enough, we’ve been doing this since 2007 so we’re 12 years into it now which is almost how long we were going the first time around. We seem to be bigger now than we were then even though in the 90s we were having a lot of chart success.”

Shed Seven had their heyday in the mid 90s with the likes of Getting Better, Going For Gold and Chasing Rainbows becoming indie anthems and their first three albums going on to be gold certified.

Rick added: “It’s really lovely to see the songs that we wrote back then still actually mean something to people. They still resonate which is pretty cool because at the time when we were writing them and releasing them that’s exactly what we were doing – it was the ‘day job’.

“We were kind of so caught up in doing it that we weren’t really stopping and realising that these songs were going to people’s hearts.

“So it’s lovely now, as older men, to be able to perform these songs and just see the joy in people’s faces and I’m not really able to sing because everyone else is doing it for me.”

Shed Seven are associated with the Britpop era which has seen a lot of bands come and go or now playing to much smaller crowds. So what has made Rick and his gang stand the test of time?

The 47-year-old said: “To be fair we have put in the work over the years and we haven’t milked it – we don’t go out all the time. That’s one of the reasons we choose to do Shedcember every other year.

“There is that kind of mentality where if we did it every year some people would be like: ‘I went last year. I won’t bother this year’ and then you’re playing smaller gigs and it doesn’t look as good.

“So it’s just about being a little bit canny and plus it works well for us because the year we don’t do Shedcember we tend to do a lot of festivals through the summer.”

That brings us to Neighbourhood Weekender when next year Shed Seven will be sharing the main stage with Ian Brown and Sam Fender at Victoria Park on Saturday, May 23.

READ MORE > Ian Brown to headline Neighbourhood Weekender 2020 at Victoria Park

Rick said: “When we were asked if we wanted to be a part of that it was a no-brainer. Bring it on. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

Neighbourhood Weekender is run by SJM Concerts which was launched by former Woolston High student Simon Moran. And Shed Seven have been working with the promoters since 1994.

Rick added: “There’s a big history between us and SJM and it’s been a great success story for Warrington.”

Talking of success stories, Rick was recently given a reminder of his band’s legacy when he visited the world famous Abbey Road Studios to remaster their singles collection, Going For Gold, to mark 20 years since its release.

He said: “It’s essentially like cleaning. It’s like putting the album through a car wash really – buffering it up a little bit.

“But there was a lot of history coming out of those walls and floors and ceilings. It was a joy to go and be in such salubrious surroundings.”

It still takes Rick by surprise when he is told those hits have been around for more than two decades.

He added: “I tend not to think about things like that because it’s always a ‘sit down’ moment. I have to steady myself because I suddenly realise how old I am.

“But it is incredible really. It’s brilliant the way these songs have stood the test of time. What I’ve also noticed is that people our age or slightly older are now bringing their teenage children.

“If they keep coming back there’s a whole new generation of people who will come and see us in the years to come so we’ll just go on and on. You’re talking to the new Mick Jagger...”

And what makes it all the more special is that Rick has shared this all with his best mate, guitarist Paul Banks.

Rick said: “Paul and I met in first year at big school when we were 11 and we’ve been bumming about in school bands since. I remember going to Paul’s house and he’d come to my house when we were 12 or 13 and we’d design record covers in our bedrooms to the songs that we’d yet to write, even down to the barcode. They’re in a box in the attic somewhere. I’ll have to dig them out one day.”

From daydreaming as teens to conquering the charts to growing older with their fans, Shed Seven songs are still chanted by thousands.

Rick added: “That’s probably the most satisfying part of being in a band. They’ll be an occasion – hopefully not soon – where we’re not here anymore but hopefully the songs will live on which is the best thing. And that’s why our first single was called Mark. It’s not about a bloke called Mark, it’s about leaving your mark forever so as soon as we released that into the wilderness we’d done just that. It was satisfying from the beginning.”

Shed Seven are doing two nights at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse on December 20 and 21. Visit shedseven.com/tour. For more information about Neighbourhood Weekender go to nbhdweekender.com