The Sherlocks interview: Liam's just like a bloke you'd bump into in the pub

We caught up with the indie outfit's Kiaran ... to talk about meeting their heroes, the madness of the Far East and turning up to play gigs in people's back gardens.

Henry Lewis

Last updated: 7th Oct 2019

The release of their sophomore record Under Your Sky sees Yorkshire outfit The Sherlocks cement themselves in the indie scene, with a more mature collection of tracks and a different producer this time round it's the sound of a band who have stepped up their game and are capitalising on their surging popularity

With their live shows gaining more and more notoriety for being extremely lively affairs, and with the crowds increasing in size dramatically, the band have flipped things on their head completely and via an idea born on Twitter, have stripped things back to play a host of small, impromptu shows in back gardens and breweries across the country.

Ahead of a run of UK tour dates, and off the back of a tour of the Far East, Skiddle caught up with lead singer Kiaran Crook.

You must be getting quite excited now, with the new album coming out?

I can't wait mate, we just got back from South Korea last night in the early hours so, I'm a bit jet-lagged but alright.

Usually when British bands go to the Far East, they come back raving about how good of an experience it is - is that the same for you boys?

Yeah it's mad the whole thing is just bizarre to be honest, the fact that we're even that far from home and people know your songs it's weird, even when you're meting fans they're just totally different to the U.K. fans.

It's hard to explain they're not fulled on beer either which is weird, if you play a Saturday night in Liverpool or Glasgow or something you'd expect people to be really drunk and coming up to you.

They're still being friendly but in a different being a bit more boisterous and that, but you go over there and they don't really drink. All the time we were over there five or six days and we were going out on a night, and you didn't see any of that you didn't see a group of lads falling about or being really drunk it's just totally different. 

The fans are a lot more don't want to say obsessive but like making the effort to follow you to the airport and we'd finish a gig and get back to the hotel and there would be fans waiting at the hotel giving you gifts and necklaces and food, it's mental.

Does that mean they're more reserved during the gigs themselves then? Or are they still going for it?

Yeah they're going for it, especially that second gig we played they were proper bouncing and having it and being like cheering us on but it's weird when you're playing they're not just there to get hammered and the music comes with it, they've turned up for the music so they'll listen but at the same time when you've finished a song they will make some noise for you it's proper different.

If we play in Manchester we get the cheer in between songs but in the middle of songs people are doing like moshpits and doing a roly-poly in the middle and doing stupid stuff but in South Korea and Japan a while back thats a similar crowd you can tell they're listening.

Do you still have to pinch yourselves that you are part of a full functioning indie rock and roll band? 

The whole thing is weird to think the second album is coming out in a few days and we're still touring and making a living.

We never really got into a bad for that reason anyway, we just literally - Josh and Andy moved near to where me and Brandon live, like a stones throw away, and became mates and then cos me and Brandon were playing our instruments in the conservatory. 

We found out josh played guitar and then Andy like picked up the boss just for something to do so we actually had a band sort of thing, and its took us to South Korea, its just weird. we never really took it too serious we just started gigging then started doing us own shows and writing us own songs and just built it and the whole time not taking it too serious just having a laugh with it.

 Do you ever think that it could all be over in say, a year / 18 months time?

What will be will will be all I can try and do is write the best tunes. I don't really think about that kind of thing, if I were thinking about that kind of thing all the time I'd probably not be able to write a song cos I'd think this has to fit in with the radio and this has to be like this.

I always just try and start it the same was I how I started writing songs for the first album when the first album wasn't even a priority and we were just doing it for fun. I just sit down and whatever the song is I just let the song be how it is the second album was approached the same way as the first I didn't put any pressure on myself thinking this is the dreaded second album, I just half of the tunes were probably wrote before the first.

It's just an ongoing thing I just keep writing. Theres at least 2 or 3 where I know for a fact they were wrote before the first album were wrote . We just stored them away cos they wouldn't have fitted on this first album. Once a song's wrote you know its not going anywhere unless for some strange reason someone writes the exact same song as you which isn't going to happen so we when it came to the second album had a look what we had in the vault.

Listening to your the title track of the record, was that one of the older ones? It definitely has a different feel, a but more moody in comparison to the straight up indie you normally put out...

Id probably say it's one of the last tunes we did. There's a song called 'Time to Go' and a song called 'Step Inside' they were both wrote first before the first was done. Under Your Sky that was one of the last.

Take a band like Catfish and the Bottlemen, they have released similar sounding music but have stepped it up to make it more suitable for arena rock surroundings - do The Sherlocks plan to do something similar?

Yeah I think so as a band we wanna keep on pushing ourselves, I know every band says it but not a lot of bands do it, they keep regurgitating the same album but I think our band definitely do. Even from the first to the second, we could have played it safe and gone with the same producer but we just flipped it on its head. The first album was done realistically in a field in the middle of nowhere down in Rockfield in Wales.

There are distractions like the nearest shop is like a couple of miles away in a little village and it wouldn't be worth going there cos its so small. he first album was just working every day working from 10 in the morning til you drop almost. We were tracking guitars at like 2 in the morning plenty of nights and that was pretty intense and that was done with Gav Monigan in Wales, in one big block pretty much up until Christmas. This was done in the city in Liverpool with a different producer, James Skelly, the time was different how we worked.

Start at 11 o'clock, finish at 6 we'd probably be in the pub by 7, like it weren't as intense but the time we were in the studio we were working and hard and getting the best part of a song done a day.

It was a totally different and even though were' only two albums in I quite enjoyed changing the producer changing location and it having a different feel, and inevitably the album will sound different because you're using a different producer even for the third album its nowt against James Skelly or nowt against Gav even for the third we'll probably change again and doing it somewhere else maybe even abroad.

You've done plenty of gigs this year, including shows in people's back gardens - talk us through that...

I think the main reason leading up to the album as a band we've seen people do that sort of thing but we've never actually done it ourselves and  I think you can get carried away with yourself so doing stuff like that is just a good chance and if you're a fan of the band and you're up for us turning up its a just a good night. 

 Its hard to get across sometimes how you are over social media and stuff so just rocking up at someone's house with a couple of guitars and a couple of speakers, and then just plugging in and playing a few tunes for them it just brings it all back down to earth for them and for us as well. It's been good we've enjoyed it.

I don't think we've over killed it we've just done the right amount. We've played some different places, w'eve played a couple of breweries they were a good laugh, played a back garden in Nottingham somewhere, we played a kids football club sort of thing. We've had some good nights for it. 

People seem to get this perception that you might be doing well that you're not like everyone else. 

We enjoy meeting them as much as they probably enjoy meeting us we still find it mad that people even want to meet us and they're shocked when they do meet us, we're just four normal lads from south Yorkshire that's it. Doing them little house gigs and little garden parties you can go round and chat to every single person who's there and give them a bit of your time and not be be too corporate about it. Just stand and have a beer with them and just have a laugh.

Speaking of meeting your heroes, which musicians you looked up to as kids have you met along the way and they didn't disappoint?

Liam Gallagher. I wasn't really shocked when I met him. People say he's putting on an act or exaggerating but what you see of him on stage everyone does that, as far as taking to him he's just your typical..he's like someone you'd find, just a bloke who you bump into in the pub and you can stand taking to him for an hour, he's just sound.

I'd say he's one of them where we met him and we thought he's a lot different, he's exactly as you'd expect him to be but he's sound and he's pretty funny.

The first time we met him was at Reading who manages him and looks after his press also does our press so the connection was pretty easy that way really. We did our set at reading and he did his he same day and his girlfriend Debbie just said Liam's about now at the festival if you want to come and meet him so we were like yeah definitely. 

He was playing one of the stages at reading and just said come and watch me if you want so we were side stage and watched him, had a drink with him after and a couple of days later saying that we could support him on a full European tour so we supported him all around Europe and then supported him at Finsbury Park.

Peter Crouch did a festival Crouchfest, and he rocked up to that as well. We were meant to play it ourselves but ended up just doing an interview we did of a DJ set , it was an easy nights work for us. 

On the subject of football, some of you are Wednesday fans aren't you? It must have been weird then playing at Leeds' Elland Road with kaiser Chiefs?

Brandon is a Wednesday fan, Andy is a Liverpool fan, I'm, not sure who Josh is, he's a neutral fan but he might as will be a Liverpool fan. 

It was class. The whole day was mint. We played somewhere the night before and w overdid it a bit with the drink and I remember waking up on the bus outside Elland Road and it took me ages  get p and I felt a bit rough, we got up that morning even that was weird, getting a shower . When we got directed to the toilets and showers to get ready for the gig  it was the football team's showers. It was properly good day. I bumped into the singer Ricky after we were playing. Even the line up was sick, it was us, Vaccines and Kaiser chiefs so a good line up. 

We watched the Vaccines and a I saw that Ricky backstage, but it was just a a place that had been cornered off. Ricky was sound as well, I'd met him at shed seven gig. That was probably one of the best ones gigs we've done you know, we were all in high spirits we played well and then we could just chill and get in the stands and watch the Vaccines and Kaiser Chiefs . It was one of the best gigs to be fair. 

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The Sherlocks Liverpool tickets - The Olympia, Thursday 31st October

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