Kenwood stage set as The Sherlocks return with new album
- Credit: Rhona Murphy
South Yorkshire band The Sherlocks say they will have beaten the odds when they release their third album in November.
The four-piece play Heritage Live at Kenwood House next Friday (August 20), but admit problems were stacked against them in March last year when gigs were cancelled due to Coronavirus and two original members left the band.
“At that point, there was no guarantee that we would be able to carry on,” frontman Kiaran Crook told me.
“Big stadium acts can afford to sit out for a year, but bands like us need to be on the road gigging to earn a living,” he added.
Instead, the band used their time to recruit new lead guitarist Alex Procter and bassist Trent Jackson and to record their new 11-track record World I Understand.
Kiaran said: “We didn’t mess about, but restrictions meant we only had two face to face sessions before going into the recording studio. We had to practise on WhatsApp. When you look back, it was a nuts way of doing things, but it worked.”
Drummer Brandon, who is Kiaran’s brother, said: “There won’t be many other bands that were as productive as us during lockdown. We have a mentality of getting on with things.”
Now they will join Feeder, Maximo Park, The Snuts, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and headliners James at Kenwood House.
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Their third record, a successor to their top-six debut Live for The Moment and Top 20 hit Under Your Sky, saw the band team up with Manic Street Preachers producer Dave Eringa, who they first worked with on their single Will You Be There? in 2016.
Together, they retreated to Rockfield Studios for three weeks last summer, a period which songwriter Kiaran described as a “defining time” for The Sherlocks.
“Once we started, everyone stepped up their game. This record has captured the excitement of our debut record again. I believe we have made our best album yet,” he said.
Brandon and Kiaran say the four years since they first worked with Dave Eringa has been the “equivalent of a lifetime in music” for them.
“Dave is used to working with acts like The Who and The Proclaimers who know what to do with song structures,” said Brandon.
“Back in 2016, we didn’t have a clue what we were doing in the studio, but since then we have learnt and grown as band and this time we knew that we could bring plenty to the table with two albums under our belts,” he added.
The brothers emphasise a return to their rock roots, but Kiaran says new tunes, like grunge-themed Plastic Heart, high-tempo Sorry and latest single City Lights are “completely different to anything we’ve done before”.
Another song, Falling, was used by BBC and ITV Sport during Euro 2020 and was a Radio X record of the week.
The Sherlocks have now recorded two albums at Rockfield, the studio on the farm which has seen acts like The Stone Roses, Oasis and Queen make iconic music.
“The Ward family, who own Rockfield, said our time there was like being back in the 1990s when bands stayed for as long as needed to complete an album before leaving,” said Brandon.
“Not many acts pack a suitcase for three weeks, leave home and don’t come back,” added Kiaran. “I love doing it this way. Rockfield is a special place, it is rough and ready and that suits our band.”
2021 marks 10 years of The Sherlocks, but Brandon says the best is yet to come: “We’re in this for the long haul. We look to acts like Kings of Leon who sold more copies of their fourth album than their previous three combined.”
The lads are no strangers to north London, having twice sold out the Electric Ballroom in Camden and supported Liam Gallagher in Finsbury Park in 2018. Their first gig in the capital was at The 100 Club to a handful of fans in 2015.
In the autumn, they will tour some of the country’s under-threat small music venues.
“We want to help put the live music industry back on its feet,” said Brandon. “Our band was built on playing smaller pubs and clubs, including in and around London. Without them we would be nothing.”
The Sherlocks play Heritage Live at Kenwood House on Friday 20 August. Tickets at heritagelive.net