Interview: The Sherlocks

Finlay Holden interviews The Sherlocks before their Newcastle gig

Finlay Holden
8th March 2020
Before they play to their biggest crowd in Newcastle yet, the 4 Yorkshire lads that make-up indie-rock band The Sherlocks chat to Finlay Holden in their dressing room at Boiler Shop.

Kieran Crook fronts the band on vocals and lead guitar, with his brother Brandon on drums behind him. Brothers Andy and Josh take the wings as bass and rhythm respectively.

Where have you played in Newcastle when you’ve been here before?

Kieran: We headlined Riverside last time, and have played Think Tank before that.

Andy: We even did O2 Academy 2 back in the day, we’ve been around the block up here.

Do you think playing independent venues makes a big difference to the show?

Kieran: It does, sometimes it makes it really good when you’re in an independent venue that’s rate quirky, you could have the best gig ever and it looks mint, but on the flip side it could be a terrible venue with shocking electrics.

Andy: Aye, we have had some shocking acoustics, but an academy is always a good space.

Kieran: Independents can be grand when they’re actually good though.

Do you think touring has had a big impact on songwriting or your lives in general?

Josh: *gestures at Kieran* It’s turned him into an arsehole

Andy: I mean when he wrote the whole first album he was like 15, and he’s written all this second one lately while in his 20s, so the writing is different, we all are.

You’ve toured with some icons, like Liam Gallagher; were they always with lots of security?

Andy: Liam just had one big bloke with him, probably gets paid the wage of four guys though.

Kieran: Just the one but he’s extra hard.

Josh: I interviewed for that job but they told me I was too big

‘NYC (Sing it Loud)’ obviously came from touring the first album, were there any other experiences that directly impacted songs?

Kieran: They probably do come from experiences but I don’t usually write songs specifically about places I’ve been. There was another called ‘I Want It All’ which is about places I’ve been and memories and stuff, it comes from a lot of places.

I heard you have several albums worth of material - where did these latest songs come from?

Kieran: The second album has a lot of songs on it that were actually written for the first album, like a song called ‘Step Inside’, our latest single ‘One Day’, and another ‘Time To Go’.

For the first album, you recorded it all together live in a room - what was different this time?

Kieran: You’ve done your homework! We’d all get in a room together with our cans on and you might do it once or it might take six goes. Recently we’ve been in the studio recording a new song and we ended up keeping the very first take of drums. Guitars and stuff we tend to rerecord on top of that

Josh: For the second album we would rehearse each song for like an hour together until we’d nailed the arrangement, then move onto drums and layer it up from there.

Did it get a bit boring treating the studio as a 9-5 job?

Brandon: We were actually in the studio less that way.

Andy: For the first record you’d have no idea how long you’d be in there, it was unpredictable. 

Kieran: Time just doesn’t exist when you’re in the studio, one minute it’s 10 pm then next it’s 6 am.

Josh: It does go quick

What about touring, does that go quick as well?

Kieran: It does go quick - you get here, you do soundcheck, might do a couple of interviews then get some food and already there’s only an hour left until stage.

Andy: Always time to squeeze a few beers in though.

One of my favourite things you’ve done is the version of ‘Blue’ that came out of a Maida Vale session in 2015 - do you often try to rework old material and rearrange it?

Kieran: We’ll do stuff like that now and again, we did the piano version of ‘NYC’ recently. Certainly, when it comes to playing live we just like to give the fans what they want to hear and stick to the original recording. Too many bands just play whatever they want to play and change it ‘cause they’re bored.

What’s the vibe of the new music going forward?

Kieran: To me, personally, it sounds more reminiscent to the first album.

Andy: Rock ‘n’ roll baby.

Kieran: Yeah, there are certainly some fast tunes, we’ve been playing one we just recorded on this tour so you’ll hear that later.

Does material off the records sound similar live?

Andy: The new stuff is pretty similar to the old stuff for sure.

Brandon: I reckon the second album sounds rockier live, you wouldn’t notice much difference if you didn’t know the records. It might have been tamed down a little bit in the studio but when we’re on stage it’s the same. There’s a load of guitars on it so it’ll be more thrashy. The chilled-out ones do give my arms a nice breather sometimes.

What are the supports like for these shows?

Kieran: Tonight is locals Social Room and Ivory Wave from Birmingham.

Josh: We were with Ivory Wave last night and they were really good to be fair.

Kieran: I’ve not actually seen that Social Room yet, they’re meant to be decent though, or so I’ve heard.

Andy: I heard they’re like a dance version of Kasabian

Josh: We like to give smaller local bands a chance to open our shows

What other Geordie acts do you know of then?

Josh: Sam Fender.

Kieran: Bondy out of Catfish and the Bottlemen is from here.

Brandon: There’s that band The Pale White too.

Do you all listen to different stuff?

Andy: The stuff we all listen to isn’t too far off each other. We listen to all the rock classics but do try to get around to some of the newer stuff. I’ve listened to Sam Fender so much now that I’m a bit bored with him. He put a couple of new tunes out though so I’m back into him.

Josh: I liked The Strokes’ new couple of tunes.

Kieran: The first one didn’t grab me, the second one is good though.

What is it like being two sets of brothers, does it drive you crazy sometimes?

Andy: I’ve had every bit of banter that anyone can throw at me, I think we all have, we can handle anything now.

Kieran: Apart from your ale...

Are there often moments on tour where you’re was blown away at how far you’ve come for a group of Yorkshire lads?

Andy: Yeah, we’ve deffo got some stories to tell the kids.

Kieran: Certainly not tonight, we’re only like 2 and a half hours from home. Glasgow’s probably the furthest we’re going on this tour.

You guys are doing some US shows very soon though?

Josh: We’re going to Texas pretty much straight after this, and then a bit of the west coast.

Kieran: We’ll try some nice ale and a few steakhouses, I reckon.

Andy: Those are definitely the best parts, the west coast was gorgeous last time when it was sunny every day.

How were the European shows?

Andy: Mint! We had a blast in Germany, sold-out shows with a few hundred people, got a great reception over there. They love their rock ‘n’ roll, show up in a leather jacket and you’re laughing

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