REVIEW: The Sherlocks at Sheffield Leadmill 'most exciting unsigned band in Britain'
After six months away The Sherlocks returned to Sheffield with an astonishing homecoming show at The Leadmill.
Frontman and songwriter Kiaran Crook, his brother and drummer Brandon, guitarist Josh Davidson and his brother and bassist Andy electrified the 900 capacity crowd and showed why they are the most exciting unsigned band in Britain.
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The Leadmill gig had sold out months ago and in the run up to the big day Twitter had been set ablaze with fans searching for last minute tickets.
With a supercharged Friday night atmosphere even the famous illuminated red Leadmill sign seemed to glow even brighter than usual.
The loud chants of Sherlocks’ Army began long before there was any sign of the band and carried on at any opportunity, encouraged by Andy’s bass chords in between songs.
Looking sharp and delighted to be back in town, the lads bounded on stage in front of a huge Sherlocks banner that only just fitted the giant Leadmill back wall and Brandon's drums that were elevated above head height.
They play a lot of tough away fixtures on their tour “that never ends”, so returning as the home team in front of friends, family and dedicated fans at the iconic Leadmill twelve months after they last played there was pretty special for them. The Sherlocks were back. The Sherlocks were home.
Though hugely talented, the band are still four ordinary lads who, if they weren't on stage, could easily be in the crowd having a pint with the rest of us. Instead, they are embarking on what could be an incredible journey.
And how great for them to be on such an exciting adventure with their family and best mates.
There are no gimmicks or distractions. Kiaran writes and the whole band plays outstanding big beat indie-rock numbers that near enough anyone can relate to.
Last Night, an song about going out town, having a drink, getting into scrapes and then wanting to keep your head down the morning after, was a favourite of The Leadmill revellers down the front.
Breakthrough singles Live for the Moment and Escapade, with their fearless drumming and urgent guitar riffs are still big favourites and saw some of the most frenzied moshing down the front.
On Heart of Gold, the band’s first single with Wolverhampton producer Gavin Monaghan, Kiaran’s South Yorkshire tones are instantly recognisable. Along with Andy and Josh’s guitars and Brandon’s outstanding drumming, the hardworking band of brothers create a brilliant wall of sound.
Kiaran’s honest storytelling on songs like Turn the Clock, the epic Blue and new song Candle Light, is hugely moving and when backed up by the sort of harmonies only two brothers can provide, it all adds up to something pretty special.
The lead singer thanked everyone for coming and appreciated how only a Sheffield crowd would know the words to lively rock and roll tune Motions.
Even with so many new sounds there was still only one song to finish the Friday night set. Chasing Shadows has never been a single, but it’s still a Sherlocks anthem and received more than one spontaneous encore and even a couple of flares from the lively Leadmill audience.
The Sherlocks are grafters who know about the hungry years for bands on the road.
They've earned their way through hard work, talent and an old-school determination to gig anywhere and everywhere to build a truly nationwide following.
It's been a long haul since their first show at The Sandhill Tavern, Great Houghton where they got Â£60 and all the drinks they wanted, but for The Sherlocks now is only just the start.
Earlier in the evening Nottingham’s The Tangents and local indie rockers The Time Sellers, who are at Tramlines next week, provided stellar support and drew decent early crowds.