(out 18 August 2017 through Liberator Music/Infectious Music/BMG)

1.       Will You Be There?
2.       Live For The Moment
3.       Escapade
4.       Chasing Shadows
5.       Blue
6.       Nobody Knows
7.       Was It Really Worth It?
8.       Turn The Clock
9.       Last Night
10.   Heart Of Gold
11.   Motions
12.   Candlelight

The barflies of Bolton upon Dearne’s working men’s clubs saw it first. Before long, the floundering Sheffield rock scene saw it too, then BBC 6 Music, then the massed churning crowds of Reading & Leeds. Now, the whole world is catching onto the wildfire thrill of The Sherlocks’ live shows, every single one a flailing frenzy of youthful delirium, a new generation discovering the adrenalizing rush of rock’n’roll.

“We’re getting a reputation for our gigs going off,” says singer Kiaran Crook, riding a surge of popularity and grassroots excitement that new guitar bands can boast in 2017. “People have started coming to our shows with the intention of bouncing. It’s usually a really young crowd, there’s a lot of girls, and everybody’s turning up wanting a good time. The festival season we did last year, every single festival was a blast. People were turning up to shows really wanting it to go off.”

It’s an ear-to-the-ground buzz that began with ears to a wall. In 2010, after a couple of years bashing aimlessly at guitar and a drum kit together, brothers Kiaran and Brandon Crook were playing a ‘gig’ for their family at their grandparents’ house one Christmas when between songs, they heard someone next door playing electric guitar. They knew a guy called Andy Davidson had recently moved in next door, and they’d previously lured him out to play football with them on the nearby field, but they hadn’t realised his quieter brother Josh played guitar. Before long, the four of them were jamming in the conservatory at the Crooks’ house, buzzing from a shared love of everything from The Flaming Lips to ELO and the indie rock classics.

“We liked exactly the same stuff, pretty much,” Kiaran says. “The Stone Roses, Arctic Monkeys, stuff like that. Arctic Monkeys seemed even more relevant back then, they were just what you listened to. Guitar bands weren’t really a thing but we’d always grown up listening to that, so when we started playing our instruments the go-to tunes we wanted to learn were The Strokes.”

Dubbing themselves The Sherlocks after the classic off-colour phrase they’d often say to Andy whenever he made obvious remarks, the band hit the working men’s clubs playing covers of The Jam every weekend and drinking with the bar sots. Gradually, The Sherlocks began dropping their own songs into their sets and eventually they turned their sights to Sheffield, booking a show at the O2 Academy’s smaller room. Post-Arctic Monkeys, the city’s indie rock scene had dissolved, so the band were amazed to find that word about their onstage fire had already spread there. “We sold it out,” Kiaran laughs. “It was unreal. It felt like Wembley Stadium to us at that point. Now we’re doing two thousand in Manchester and a thousand in Sheffield and we’re up and down all over the country, but if you ask somebody from the village where we live, where you’d think they’d know us best, they probably think we’re not doing as well because they haven’t seen us in the local paper for playing in a working men’s club.”

That gig, in fact, was arguably the start of a new generation in Sheffield rock. “Now it’s almost like Sheffield’s got its music scene back,” Kiaran says, “there seems to be more buzz. We’re obviously not responsible for it all but I definitely think we’ve influenced a few bands to start.”

By 2014, The Sherlocks were ready to start letting the world in on Sheffield’s most salacious secret. Their first track, ‘Live For The Moment’ is a wiry alt-rock blast in the vein of Arctic Monkeys about enjoying life despite all its tangled twists, and it is an anthem which became the band’s rallying cry. “It’s about where we were at that time, and we still are,” Kiaran says. “It means a lot to our band and our fans. It seems to resonate with our fans, it means something to them. That’s definitely our saying.”

Subsequent singles ‘Escapade’ – inspired by Kiaran’s schoolmates exaggerating about their supposedly wild weekends – and ‘Heart Of Gold’ tackled the heartbreak and hedonism of northern youth with driving intensity and melodic might, and by the summer of 2015, with virtually no industry help, The Sherlocks had started making waves. Steve Lamacq had his tunebuds tweaked by their set at Tramlines festival, and the BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 1, Radio X and MTV plays began rolling in. By the time the band made their first appearance at Reading & Leeds in 2015, they were one of the country’s hottest rock sensations, even if they didn’t realise it themselves.

“That was insane,” Kiaran recalls. “We were the first band on at twelve o’clock, we soundchecked before that and I remember the tent being empty and we were sitting backstage, we didn’t have a clue how many people were gonna turn up. Five minutes before we went on somebody took a photo and showed us and the tent was absolutely rammed. We walked on and it was insane. All the hard work we’d been doing gigging up and down the country paid off.”

Over 2016 they set about expanding their sound, and the crowds expanded too – their tour began taking in larger venues, and support slots with acts such as The Libertines gave them a taste of arena life. This June, they were thrilled to support Kings Of Leon on their UK arena tour. “It’s shown us the next level,” Kiaran says. “It’s a few levels in front of where we are but that’s definitely where we want to end up. To play an arena isn’t half as daunting as you might think. When you first walk in you can’t believe you’re playing an arena with a band you’ve grown up listening to. But the actual gigs were really comfortable. When we went onstage it didn’t feel like an arena, it felt natural. Some bands would play it and they’d just be shaking, but it was a breeze for us.”

With their debut album due out 18 August, and support building from Steve Lamacq, Annie Mac, Mistajam and Huw Stephens, this young band have unquenchable ambition and are going from strength-to-strength.

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