March 2020 was the month that changed everything, the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the world and with the UK population forced into the first of several lockdowns.
Around the same time, there was also a huge change for Bolton-upon-Dearne rockers The Sherlocks when two of their founding members, brothers Josh and Andy Davidson, decided to move on.
“When people find out two members have left, everyone assumes that you’ve had a massive falling out, which wasn’t the case at all,” explained frontman Kiaran Crook. “They came to us one morning on tour and said that they wanted to move on from doing the band thing and get a normal job, which is understandable, as it’s by no means a normal job.
“They’ve been in a band for 10 years with us, so they just wanted something with a bit more routine to it, which is fair enough.”
The two remaining brothers – Kiaran and older sibling Brandon, 29 – instantly began searching for replacements. They soon found them in the form of guitarist Alex Procter and bassist Trent Jackson.
Having only rehearsed together as a new quartet a handful of times, the band hot-footed it down to Rockfield Studios to work with producer Dave Eringa, who has worked with the likes of Manic Street Preachers, to produce their third album, World I Understand.
The two newcomers were thrown in at the deep end when the band’s first gig as a new-look foursome found them playing the main stage at the Tramlines Festival last year in front of 40,000 fans.
“We haven’t been in a band together with them that long, but it feels like they’ve been here from the beginning - we all work really well together,” added Crook.
The highly-anticipated album will include recently-released tracks: Games You Play, Falling, City Lights and World I Understand.
“We are going to be dropping a new single soon called Sorry,” said Crook. “It is completely different to all the others and will show a different side to us that no one has heard before.
“In all three albums, we’ve never done a song like this. I think people will either love it or hate it, and they may grow to like it. I think it’ll test our audience, but it’s better to do that then play ten of the same songs and play it safe.”
The band had a three-week window to record the album in Monmouthshire and Crooks said that the new additions had “played out of their skin” during the studio sessions. The album follows on from sophomore long player Under Your Sky, which followed their 2017 debut release, Live For The Moment.
In February, they will have ample opportunity to road-test the new songs as they embark on a 14-night tour of the UK, including Leeds, Hull and Sheffield.
“It will be a fun tour and we have some cracking support acts and we have lots of fun ideas planned too,” Crook promises.
World I Understand is out on January 21. The Sherlocks play at O2 Academy Leeds on February 5, Ayslum, Hull on February 19 and O2 Academy Sheffield on February 25. They are also doing a sold-out instore at Vinyl Whistle in Headingley on January 21 at 7pm. www.thesherlocksmusic.co.uk