With tickets selling out in under 2 minutes(!), I was one of 200 people to have attended the first ever SDS Live Show, which took place at Rich Mix, London on Weds, 26 July 2023.
Now, I have been a fan of the SDS boys quite literally from their very first episode, but I’m going to do my best today to provide a complete, impartial review of the live show. If I do end up sounding biased at times, then I ask you to mind your own business and be okay with it. So…
What is the SDS Live Show?
It’s quite simple really – a live show… of The SDS Podcast.
Run by ‘Sharky‘ – a YouTuber with over 1,000,000 subscribers of his own, business owner with indie fashion label ‘Primo‘ and integral part of the quintet ‘Beta Squad‘ YouTube group, the podcast is an eponymous representation of the founder’s love for sport.
The letters stand for ‘Sharky Does Sports‘, and earlier episodes show an interest in a variety of different games. But over times, his passion for football took the show down a more singular direction.
That being said, SDS can take pride in the variety it provides for the user in the different series idea which sandwich the regular podcast-style content. Its success has culminated in more than 220,000 subscribers and a passionate fan base of their own.
Hence the appetite to take the production outside of the studio and into the ‘real world‘.
Thus, the SDS Live Show was born – a three-hour extravaganza of banter, jokes and punditry. Punters were given a basic idea of what to expect. But the surprises kept on coming on the SDS Live Show.
The Guest Entrances
Sharky himself kicked things off as he presented the idea of the show to the crowd, while also laying bear some of the thoughts and revelations behind the story of the podcast’s growth and success.
Soon, he moved onto the guests who have made the podcast what it is today, and welcomed each of them onto the stage. One-by-one, in a WWE-style system, they flooded the stage.
Forgive me for not remembering all of them, but a few do spring to mind, such as: Fuad Cadani‘s near-injury-inducing rendition of Shawn Michaels’ ‘sexy boy’ introduction.
Faysal kept the wrestling vibes going with a Triple H-style spit at the front row of the crowd. Chunkz got soaked, bless him! Then Mastermind winner Lyes Bouzidi displayed his trophy to all of us – with Faysal hiding behind Stars in the background. That really did set the tone.
A Live Version of the Podcast
We all expected this from the marketing posters, but it can always be a hit-and-miss experience.
I remember watching episodes of well-known podcasts trying to go live and the flow of the conversation tends to struggle when there’s a live crowd to throw them off their game.
Thankfully, this wasn’t one of those times. If anything, it enhanced their performance.
Fu Izzy‘s usual quick-witted responses suited the stage perfectly, and Faysal in particular seemed to relish the jibes and jeers of the crowd as his views were made. Mastermind champion Lyes got the nicer reception most of the time, and the audience responded well to it all.
Watching shows like ‘The Overlap‘, the crowd are integral components to its success. But with seasoned presenters and experienced panellists like Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher alongside Gary Neville, they deal with it well and use it to their advantage. I come to expect this from players who have been in a dressing room for decades, and was surprised at how well the SDS team dealt with that.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best football series on YouTube.
Pitting the guests against one-another to assess their ball-knowledge in a number of different trivia games, I was half-excited and reticent to hear that they were doing a live version at the show.
Up until this point, the SDS live show was littered with input from the crowd – but it was all welcomed and taken in stride. This time, with pride on the line and answers limited, I was watching in hope that nobody in the crowd would ruin the game for either of the contestants.
I’m not going to ruin the surprise – as I imagine the team will want to make the announcement themselves – but I’m glad to say that the crowd played their part and stayed quiet.
Meanwhile the guests in the front row were in particularly loud voice throughout the game.
Special Guest Appearances
The doors had opened at 6pm, and my friend and I sauntered over to Rich Mix by around 5:50 – expecting there to be a line and that the seating would be on a ‘first-come-first-serve’ basis.
Indeed, it was. Only there were two rows near the foot of the stage which were reserved. We could’ve gotten there earlier, but we realised that the Classic Football Shirts store was nearby, and couldn’t help but go there before we went to watch it. Check out our article on CFS London here.
As the minutes ticked by and we got closer to 7pm in the evening, we saw a number of household names arrive to attend the SDS Live Show.
Chunkz nearly tripped off the stage – he couldn’t get backstage fast enough! Then Harry Pinero, James Lawrence Allcott, AJ Shabeel and Niko Omilana to name but a few.
I lost my little mind when I saw Darkest Man, also – I love that guy.
But what I loved most is how vocal and supportive this row was right throughout the night. They added a new dimension to the event, and it was heartwarming to see their genuine pride for Sharky ring through in their pride and adoration for what he and the SDS boys had achieved.
Room for Improvement?
I really am clutching at straws here, but nothing is perfect, I guess?
Personally, I liked the intimacy of the venue and felt the type of event suited it very well. Ideally, I wouldn’t have to dodge a few supportive plinths for a good view, but they can’t control that.
Everything could be seen and heard easily – and the team did well to sort out an early issue with the microphones, which showed how reactive and determined they were to make it a good night.
Shout out to Mursal, Haseeb and the rest of the BTS team btw – they are the GOATs.
I would say that the scheduling of the event was strong, but could’ve been slightly better had it continued with the positive trajectory for the adrenaline in the crowd. For example, we were all knew that the Mastermind was coming – and the night appeared to warm up to that point.
Once it came, it was electric. The game, the reaction, the celebration – it was brilliant. Then afterwards, we jumped back into a podcast-style sit-down with the remaining cast members. And for myself, I found it difficult to stay engaged with that part with my blood pressure still high from before.
If I were to make a suggestion, I would have foregone the chat after Mastermind and instead pick two audience members to play against one-another. This could’ve been random, or with the special guests in the front row. Either way, it would’ve made the night feel more seamless and continuous.
Like I say, I really feel like I’m splitting hairs with any ‘criticisms’ of the event.
I’m just so proud of Sharky and the rest of the SDS family.
Having met him personally, the man’s ambition is startling and he’s built a team that is geared for success in the most holistic and organic way possible.
None of their chemistry is forced, nor is their ability to consistently put our content for their audience. And all of this came through on the SDS Live show. And I hope that there are more.
Price: £ | Hobby FC Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | Production: 🤩 | Vibes: 👌🏼