After thousands of miles on the road and packing out some of the country’s most famous venues, frontman Kiaran Crook, his brother and drummer Brandon, lead guitarist Josh Davidson and his brother and bassist Andy are bringing their debut album celebration back to the O2 Academy and more than 2,300 fans.
Kiaran told us “We’re more than ready for this show. You’ll have to wait and see exactly what we have planned, but it’s sold out, it’s in our home city and it’s the last night, so it’s going to be something special.”
“At this stage we’ve one message for our Yorkshire fans” said Josh: “Let’s have it!”
It’s still less than a month since Leeds Festival where the lads learnt that Live For The Moment had smashed into the official album chart at number six, becoming the most successful debut by a group since Blossoms’ self-titled effort more than a year ago.
Since that memorable day, the Bolton upon Dearne band have announced new European and US dates, been play listed on Radio One and have been performing to full houses in places like Newcastle, Nottingham, Glasgow and Bristol.
At Manchester Academy an astonishing 2,600 bouncing fans made it the band’s biggest headline show so far. Support came from Pontefract’s Glass Caves, who are also on tonight’s bill, and Bolton’s Jordan Allen, who headline at The Chapel in Leeds on Friday 8 December.
Kiaran, Brandon, Josh and Andy described it as “the best gig of their lives”, but that was before tonight’s show in Sheffield.
In Southampton a buoyant crowd were still singing the chorus to Chasing Shadows outside on the streets with the band cheering them on from an upstairs window. In Nottingham they were watched by This is England star and good pal Thomas Turgoose.
The Guardian newspaper gave the Newcastle University gig 4 out of 5 stars saying “the traditional indie rock band is alive and well” and concluding that “The Sherlocks are not going to go away.”
Last night the lads played to more than 1,000 at London’s Heaven in the heart of the capital including some of the biggest movers and shakers in the music industry.
“We’ve loved every minute of this tour, but it’s going too quickly” said Kiaran. “We played 35 dates in February and March, but this time there are fewer as it’s all about breaking into bigger venues.
“We’ve had to move to the next level. In Sheffield we’ve previously played The Rocking Chair, Plug, The Leadmill (twice) and The Foundry so The Academy had to be next.
“It’s a big step up, but fortunately our brilliant fans have stayed with us and are stepping up too. We know people who’ll be there tonight who came to our first Sheffield gig.”
This is the first time everyone has been able to hear Live For The Moment played in full since its release as an album. Big singles Escapade, Will You Be There? Heart of Gold and Last Night are as popular as ever, but, as Kiaran revealed, it’s the band’s newest song that’s a surprise hit when played live.
“People everywhere are going mad for Nobody Knows at gigs, a song we were still experimenting with a year ago. It’s already getting the same reaction as more famous singles like Was It Really Worth It?”
Part of the swift popularity of unreleased tracks like the rockabilly Motions and melodic Candlelight are their sweeping harmonies, a feature of most Sherlocks songs, and something that seems to have grown even more since the band has been working with their album producer Gavin Monaghan who they’ve always described as a “genius”.
“Backing vocals and harmonies are a massive part of our music” explained Andy. “We often hear other bands and wonder why they aren’t doing more of them too.”
“It comes from our early days doing covers of The Jam and The Beatles” said Josh. “To do those songs properly you had to learn every part.”
“We’re lucky that we can carry a tune, including Brandon though he doesn’t sing at the moment” said Kiaran. “Harmonies can make a song sound huge, and with Josh and Andy being brothers, it works even better for us.”
This week The Spectator magazine used The Sherlocks as an example of a successful band from the north that they concluded wasn’t getting enough attention from the London music media, but this suggestion is something the group are pretty relaxed about.
“There’s a lot of music out there and, even though we sell out venues in London, we don’t assume everyone there knows us yet” said Kiaran.
“Remember we started as an underground band, building fans through word of mouth and playing live” said Brandon.
“And we’ve done well so far without any hype, so if or when they do jump on board it’s only going to help” added Josh.
The Sherlocks write and perform honest, enduring songs, telling age-old stories that resonate with audiences of all ages. In return they’ve captured an elusive loyalty that saw them selling out huge venues even before releasing an album.
In footballing terms, while a lot of other up-and-coming acts appear to have lots of fans signed on, it’s the Sherlocks’ supporters who always turn up for matches. And after this tour and their first chart success, this band are now big game players in music.
“We know our fans are people who save up, travel long distances and sometimes stay over for our gigs and it means the world to us” says Kiaran. It’s this awareness, plus some absolute banging tunes, that is propelling this close knit band of brothers to the top.
In October the band tour Europe in major cities like Brussels, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Paris. They return to play 2Q festival in Lincoln before the start of 10 dates in Canada and America including New York, Toronto, Montreal and Washington in November and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle in January.
It’s all a long way from the Sandhill Tavern in Great Houghton where Kiaran, Brandon, Josh and Andy played their first gig for £60 and all the drinks they wanted, but no one has worked harder to build a following at home and now across the world.
The Sherlocks play Sheffield’s O2 Academy with support from Glass Caves and The Rosadocs. Their debut album Live For The Moment is out now. More at thesherlocksmusic.co.uk