Seven shades (of shit)

by 7shades

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    300 copies only, professionally replicated, in a jewel case with full colour 8 page booklet, featuring original artwork from John Spragg, Brent Riley & Mick Russon

    Includes unlimited streaming of Seven shades (of shit) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      £10 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £8 GBP  or more




Let's make this quite simple. Cardiacs are my favourite band of all time...and as with everyone who loves Cardiacs, I am deeply saddened by the state that Tim Smith finds himself in. For those that don't know, in 2008 he suffered a devastating heart attack and stroke, and has been left with all mental faculties intact, but unable to control his body as he would like. Hence he requires full-time care, and this is an expensive business.

This album came about through a desire to do a fund-raiser for Tim, a plan which came to fruition via a Pledge Music campaign which raised over £1,000 for him...

The music was all written, by myself, as a very direct tribute to Tim's music and the music of Cardiacs - my hope being that fans of his unique style might be reminded in parts by the sound and style of my efforts. In the absence of any new Cardiacs material, I wanted to try and fill that gap in the best way I can. Realising that there was no way I could ever really do that, I'm hoping that there will be small glimmers of that influence in this album, and that it might raise a smile with Cardiacs fans when they hear them. Of course, the album is inevitably shot through with influences from a myriad of other sources, and I hope that these all bring something interesting to the table too :-)


released January 17, 2014

- 7shades are -

Neil Spragg - Drums, vocals, electronics
Andy Read - Guitar
Libbertine Vale - Vocals, trumpet
Joshua Ryan - Guitar
Lance Ruffoon - Bass
Louis Clark - Keyboards (in absentia)

Conceived in 2013 & 2014 at Toleman & Sparrington Studios
Drums kindly recorded by Steven Wattison in Worcester, UK
Engineered, produced and mauled by Neil Spragg at Broken Studios
Mastered by Mark Cawthra at Infallible Ear, except tracks 5 & 6
which were mastered by Neil Spragg at Broken Studios
Bass on track 1 by Craig Wood
Vocal & words on track 4 (pt.1) by David Thrussell
Extra guitars, bass and vocals on tracks 6 & 10 by Ian Sherwen & Neil McAuley
Toothbrush guitar on track 7 by Spragg & Read
Singing on track 6 by Alfie
Otherwise, all music & words by Neil Spragg, augmented by 7shades
Artwork by John Spragg (booklet front), Brent Riley (booklet back) & Mick Russon (the rest)
CD X-ray image of GX 339-4 courtesy of Andy Read
Photography by Cai Broom
More info - or email

7shades would like to extend the deepest gratitude and maximum laudation to everyone who made this project possible by pledging actual real money - you are all stars, made of stars!

In chronological order -

Harry Collison, Jonathan Smith, Martin Stenson, Paul Rhodes, Tracy Norton,Rob Edwards, Mark Holland, Allan Murphy, David Beck, Richard Crossley, Andrew Spragg, Kevin Bolton, Pete Bennett, Phil Oates, Mark Benson, Stuart Minal, Holmes Jordan-Read, Paul Heron, Rob Sim, Chris Owen, Samuel Heron, Michael McGregor, Rebecca Serella, Graham Russell, David Merchant, Dave Martin, Graham Newnham, Andy Killeen, Henry Osborne, Steve Bishop, Bert Hilhorst, Darren Chaney, Andy Jones, Sarah Donnelly, Kenny Bannister, John Mooney, Hywel Williams,
Mikey Poole, Stephen Randall, Daniel Jervis, David Stainer, Jeff Mumford, Rob Anderson, Ian Sherwen, Donna Goulding, Tristan Rowley, Alan Harwood, Paul Cartlidge, Paul Bagley, Stephen Howard, Pete Smith, Alice Gregory, Stephen Barton, Tom Rutter, George Rhone,
Neil McAuley, Peta Foley,Flora Bertolli, Jonathan Leach, Sean Cooke, Denise Adamson, Jens Freymuth, Gav Bolton, Marco Zatterin, Tim Wright, Pete Moltesen, Andrew Holland, Tina Starmer, Susan Askew, Stuart Browne, Caroline Read, Hugh Hackett, Kenneth Halsey, Dan Tighe, Paul Hudson, Matt Gidley, Rob Stow, Rob Valentini, Nicky Wojciechowski, Rob Bollard, Phil Kelsall, Nik Wells, Karl Pillage, Andrew Cotterill, Geoff Taylor, Camillo Antonini, Tim Rogers, Jude Oliver, Kristian Hartridge, Michael Holloway, Doris Woo, Gary Bowden, Ben Davies, Chris Wishart, Helen Foulds, Jason Hanford-Smith, Stephen Adams, Mikael Danielsson, Johnathan Whitehead, Niki Phillips Brownlow, Andy Hooper, Tommy van Arsdale, Charlie Short, Nigel Mackerras, Steven Leigh, Massimo Sposaro, Craig Palmer, Neil Dube, Berend Dijk, Graham Sewell, Daz Hull, Ade Schofield, Nige Moore, Steven Wattison, Craigus Barry, Neil Findlay

Extra-special love and wet kisses to every Cardiac for bringing us here,
and to those with an enquiring mind and an inquisitive ear for music

...but above all, for The Leader of the Starry Skies...

x For Tim x


all rights reserved



7shades Hereford, UK

Psychedelic, punk, prog & pop in roughly equal measures, and taking in many other influences en route, 7shades might appeal to anyone with a love for unusual music played with conviction by people who really should know better!

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Track Name: Permutations
I've got chewing gum in my hair again
Itchy feet to beat the street again
Are you knocking on the door again?
Everything again, again, AGAIN!

Weather turns to pissing rain again
I can't think or hear or scream again
It's all I can do to start again
Everything again, again, AGAIN!

If you ask me how or why again
I might make you blub and cry again
There's no need for hissy fits again
Everything again, again, AGAIN!

Someone's in the bloody news again
Saying how they'll save the world again
I don't think the sun will rise again
Everything again, again, AGAIN!

Dog is barking down the road again
Talking heads all making gas again
Never found my special place again
Everything again, again, AGAIN!

Scrawling bollocks I can shout again
Over-thought and over-done again
Far too many steps to climb again
Everything again, again, AGAIN!

Other peoples' boring lives again
Endless tales of shitty wit again
Shakespeare turning in his grave again
Everything again, again, AGAIN!

Shooting strangers in the head again
Toxic warpath to the shops again
Karma looks the other way again
Everything again, again, AGAIN!
Track Name: Strangled
Every dog has its day unless there is no day for the dog
It tries so hard but never finds a way to scramble through the trees
Strangled by the never ending rope that tightens round its throat
And it's a shame that's no way you should end up if you are a dog.

If you run before you walk you might just trip and hurt yourself
Or end up with the path behind you and no sign to show the way
Stop and smell the roses while the garden has some flowers in
You never know when rain falls dark the smelling might not be so good.

Sing if you can sing or shout if you can really, really shout
Leap around and make as if you have a clue what it's about
No-one here gets out alive unless they live life in reverse
And crawl back to the womb if they can find a way that's not perverse.

Every dog has its day unless there is no day for the dog…
Track Name: Jelly and ice cream
Equivocating, prevaricating, fence sitting…not
Postulating, oscillating, undulating…not
Undecided, un-de-cided…
Indeterminate, ambiguous, obscured…not
Ambivalent, evasive, vascillating…not
Undecided, un-de-cided, undecided
Postulating, oscillating, undulating…not
Indeterminate, ambiguous, obscured…not
Undecided, un-de-ci-ded……………….not

Timmy is having a party. Everyone is in the garden.

The space spies hide in the bushes.
The superheroes hide in the bushes too.

“One, two, three,” counts Timmy.
“One, two,” and three superheroes, “One, two, three.”

“I’m a space spy.” says Alan. “I’m a space spy too,” says Paul. “And me!” says Nicky.

“Wow, space spies!” say all the children.

Alan, Paul & Nicky have name badges on their space suits like real astronauts. Timmy never knew their real names before. He thinks that Alan Harwood, Nicky Wojciechowski and Paul Bagley are funny names!

“The space spies win first prize for their costumes!” says The Judge.
It’s time to open the presents.

“Wow! There are lots of boxes.” Says Timmy
There was a toy mouse that sang hymns, coloured pencils that squeaked and a bright red jacket with tassels. Timmy loved tassels.
At last he came to the final gift, which was very big and felt squishy.
He read the tag on the present, it was from The Judge. His name was Phil Cook. Timmy never knew that.

He unwrapped it carefully. It was a huge furry eel that The Judge had bought from the antiques shop down the road. It’s previous owner had stuffed him into the washing machine one day by mistake and in the right light he looked a bit scary, even to Timmy. It smelled a bit funny too, and its eyes pointed the wrong way, but Timmy loved it.

"Can I keep him Mum? Can I? Can I? Can I? "I'm not sure Timmy," replied his Mum. "You already have a wooden hamster and three pink fish"

The Judge looked sternly at Timmy’s Mum, and she forgot what she was saying. “Time for a game of hide and seek” she said.

The Judge took all the children in the house, and Timmy went and hid behind the shed. All his friends stayed in the house with The Judge watching strange films, and poor Timmy fell asleep waiting to be found. It turned out to be a very long game.

When Timmy woke up he was very hungry. Time for party food!

Everyone ate crisps, jelly, icecream and cherries.
Track Name: It's not over until the bearded lady sings
Too much rhubarb, not enough custard,
Too much hot dog, not enough mustard,
Too much McFly and too much Busted,
This shit should make you all disgusted

Too much oopsie, not enough daisy,
Too much normal, not enough crazy,
Too much of everything making us lazy,
Sense is getting rather hazy

Too much then and not enough now,
Too much zen and not enough POW,
Too much ‘meh’ and not enough WOW,
With all these fools trying to tell us how

Too much face and not enough book,
Too much plan and not enough luck,
Too much blow and too much suck,
And so many who don’t give a fuck

But it’s not over until the bearded lady sings
Every note drawn from that special dusty book she brings
Hidden in plain sight for every one of us to see
As all that is and was shall be, a curious family tree

Too much ying and not enough yang,
Too much pop and not enough bang,
Too much the bearded lady sang,
Step off the chair, it’s time to hang

Too much talk and not enough do,
Too much dumpling and not enough stew,
Too much old and not enough new,
It’s time to take a broader view

Too much paper and not enough weight,
Too much average and not enough great,
Not enough love, far too much hate,
The game is over at this rate

Too much of everything today
Too much, and for it we will pay
Too much for all of us to stay
Get in the rocket ships – AWAY!
Track Name: Malletface
I'll take a mallet to your face if you don't stop those fucking lies
Words drop like turds into the bowl, but still you think you're fucking wise
The hate you spread is bought like fizzy pop, so easy and so cheap
In 20 years we'll see the truth of it, you sow what we shall reap

Another reason to believe, another reason not to doubt
Another reason to dig deep inside your soul and rip it out
An endless stream of vacant flesh, a mindless army soldiers on
Another day is done, and then a year, and then all time is gone.
Track Name: Glimmer
Spark then no spark
Enters room dark
Sound and light creep
Into lake deep

Try to break through
No path for you
Sending signals
Cunt hand struggles

So much inside
Each day time bide
Counting, waiting
Track Name: Rainbow dragon breath
All the things that don't exist are falling in over my head
It makes it hard to breathe sometimes when there is mud all in my mouth
A seven-pointed star with voices screaming how the end might come
With rainbow dragon breath and every waking nightmare seen to be

Join the firmament with dust as dust is where we came, and go
Opinion or belief it makes no odds to stars or galaxies
As all give up the rules that bind the light shines through a piercing shaft
And every last truth blown away to leave one core, the here, the now.

Take your proof and put it over
There is no way I'm buying into
That joke has been done a thousand
Times change, but the path is
Clear truth can be hard to
Find your own and make it
Work like you have never ever
Done deeds good bad who is it can
Say why you think there is
Time left of its own accord
Track Name: Slided
To and fro and up and down and back and forth and come and go
and by and by and by and by and by and by and by and by…

Slided past like slippy eel with gleaming eye and slimy tail
oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why…

There and here and in and out and left and right and far and near
and round and round and round and round and round and round and round and round…..

Never stops to show its face just hiding in its secret place
and down and down and down and down and down and down and down and down...

Start and end and high and low and push and pull and stop and go
Track Name: Robbing the rich
Every year there's more to make you shout it
Takes a certain kind of dumb to doubt it
There's no need for fists though war is near
Only those who should have much to fear

It takes a million or more before there's anything to show
You'll never get there on your own the path is dangerous and slow
But maybe one day or the next or maybe some day after that
The power falls and that will be the end of it and that is that

Take your pick from all the fools on offer
They don't care it's just more in the coffer
Puppet A says he's the one to do it
But of course he's full of shit, you knew it

It takes a million or more before there's anything to show
You'll never get there on your own the path is dangerous and slow
But maybe one day or the next or maybe some day after that
The power falls and that will be the end of it and that is that

Time is near, or nearer than before
Each time someone opens up that door
They can feel their tower start to crumble
Now it's more than just a distant rumble

It takes a million or more before there's anything to show
You'll never get there on your own the path is dangerous and slow
But maybe one day or the next or maybe some day after that
The power falls and that will be the end of it and that is that
Track Name: Fancier
(And I found a place where there were pigeons, and animals of all kinds,
and they were there on the grass – moving – and I saw in their eyes, there was a look of disdain, I didn’t know what to do, so I went around them into the woods, where I found more animals…but these were different…I saw in their eyes, there was a look of acceptance…and I knew…that they would take me with them…)
Track Name: Ugly
You're as ugly as the rest
Couldn't pass that simple test
Shut your mouth it's for the best

Brain is dead in every way
TV coma night and day
You don't know the price you pay

Others suffer, you don't care
You have no idea of fair
Suck the truth up if you dare

Fuck you and your selfish mind
Evil is as evil find
You're the one who's left behind

Ugly is as ugly does...

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