Yorkshire Radio 1 stars The Sherlocks say supporting Liam Gallagher in London and Europe has been perfect preparation for their main stage Yorkshire homecoming, writes Richard Derbyshire.
The Bolton upon Dearne band drew a huge early crowd in Finsbury Park before the former Oasis singer’s biggest solo show so far in front of 40,000 fans at the weekend.
Two giant TV screens beamed pictures of singer Kiaran Crook, his brother and drummer Brandon, lead guitarist Josh Davidson and his brother and bassist Andy’s performance across the great Victorian park in East London.
Their 45-minute set included Last Night, Blue, Was It Really Worth It? Nobody Knows, Escapade and Chasing Shadows. Wearing his England football shirt, Kiaran also led the crowd in a singalong of World Cup song Vindaloo before the band played single Heart of Gold.
On Thursday, The Sherlocks will play their last European date supporting Liam Gallagher in Cologne. Then it’s Tramlines at Hillsborough Park on Sunday July 22.
“We can’t wait for this year’s Tramlines, especially as this will be our first time on the main stage and our only Sheffield date this year,” said Kiaran. “It’s our one chance to play a homecoming show in 2018.”
The festival has already played an important part in The Sherlocks’ journey. In 2015, BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq watched their rain soaked appearance there before inviting them to record their first Maida Vale studio session the following autumn.
Now the lads have experienced playing alongside Britain’s biggest rock and roll frontman Liam Gallagher, their first time supporting a headline artist on tour.
“Before that we’d only grafted by ourselves, building our own fans at our own shows,” said Brandon. “We’ve had no leg up from anyone else.”
The drummer also revealed that they received some advice from Liam while on the road together.
“He told us to keep doing what we’re doing, keep things real and honest, don’t go all American, stay with guitars and don’t lose what we already have. We all listened to him. Like us, he’s a northern lad who knows what music and hard work is all about.”
While The Sherlocks are still promoting their first record Live For The Moment, which was the biggest selling debut album by any group last year, fans at Tramlines can also look forward to new music.
A new number called Magic Man is in the set, which has quickly become a favourite of both pairs of brothers.
“I’ve never written a song more quickly, it has an old guitar riff, but I wrote the rest of it in no time at all during a practice session in Bolton upon Dearne,” explained Kiaran.
“We all liked it so much that we didn’t hesitate to put it straight into our North American tour set and then to start playing it at festivals when we came home.”
Magic Man had its UK debut in May in Southampton and since then the band have been fine-tuning the track as they try out different producers for their second album.
“It could be our next record’s equivalent of Will You Be There?” said Kiaran.
The band’s talent to take a song from rehearsals to stage within weeks is one of their trademarks. Another is their commitment to playing all of their music live on stage. They are wary of acts who are over-reliant on backing tracks, especially early in their careers, and fear their use is short-changing fans.
“Perhaps, we notice more because we’re musicians, but it looks daft if something huge is coming out of the speakers and it’s not coming from any of the instruments on stage,” said Kiaran.
“People get a buzz from our music because they know everything is live. Anything could happen. We could play our single Escapade a million miles an hour one night and then slow it down the next.”
Josh added, “We make mistakes too, usually because we’re trying something new. People notice, but we’re happy with that because it’s what makes each gig different. Fans come to watch a band play live; if they want to listen to an album they’ll stay home and listen to an album.”
The lads have been working hard towards their second record and Kiaran revealed that they are currently trying out different producers to work with.
“We have songs ready, but I’ll be writing until the day we go into the studio.
“Knowing us, we’ll probably end up putting a tune together when we’re there recording the album. That’s what happened with Motions when we were at Rockfield with Gavin Monaghan the last time.”
In October, The Sherlocks tour the UK again. Joining them on all dates, including Leeds University Stylus, is hotly tipped Welsh band Trampolene, who also played at Finsbury Park with Liam Gallagher. Front man Jack Jones told me of his links to South Yorkshire and that his band were looking forward to the tour.
“My mum is Sheffield through and through. it’s where she grew up before moving to Swansea. My grandfather was a doctor at Abbey Lane surgery in the city and I used to visit every Christmas.
“It’s a stroke of luck for us to be getting involved with The Sherlocks at this time. Maybe they sensed I have Sheffield blood in me. Nowadays, rock and roll bands are at risk of becoming a dying breed, but they are doing amazingly well.”
The Sherlocks play Tramlines Festival main stage at 3:30pm on Sunday July 22. Tramlines takes place July 20-22 at Hillsborough Park, Sheffield with headliners Noel Gallagher, Stereophonics, Jake Bugg and Craig David Presents TS5. Tickets at tramlines.org.uk.
The Sherlocks also play Y Not Festival, Matlock, July 26-29, Bingley Music Live August 31 - September 2, and Stylus at Leeds University on Saturday October 20 2018 as part of their autumn UK tour. Tickets at thesherlocksmusic.co.uk.
The Sherlocks’ debut album Live For The Moment is out now.