REVIEW: The Sherlocks at O2 Ritz, Manchester

[First published on Quays News]

SHEFFIELD’S latest up and coming indie rockers, The Sherlocks, hit the stage, with Courteener-esque riffs and a self-proclaimed ‘Army’ of fans on Friday (September 16) evening. Quays News entertainment reporter Rae Coppola was there for us…

The hugely talented quartet, consisting of two pairs of brothers, have chemistry and a great stage presence. They have previously supported the likes of Blossoms and James, ricocheting into the hearts of indie rock fans and became headliners in their own right. In what seems like a matter of minutes, the quartet have progressed from performing at The Kraak Gallery in Manchester to a supposed four people, to selling out the Ritz on a Friday night.

The venue filled up unusually early to the sounds of Hampshire based three-piece, Blaenavon’s transgressive and melancholic sounds. They were the only support act to warm up the crowd, which was fitting as the eager audience could barely contain their excitement for The Sherlocks and were chanting for them from the get go. Regardless, it was clear to see that the trio were over the moon to be on stage, even before the modest frontman said, “Thank you Manchester, this is ******* awesome!”

Ben Gregory, the vocalist turn guitarist, performed with his staple wavy psychedelic moves in tow. Whilst drummer, Harris McMillan went tribal, with rapid hits of the snare and high hat to compliment the jazz like basslines and give a Red Hot Chilli Peppers vibe. There was a very fine line that balanced the calm vocals and the instrumentals, which broke away during the choruses to give the crowd something to open up a mosh-pit to.

Having successfully warmed up the crowd, the stage emptied, and indie anthems played through the speakers, instantly turning the venue into 42nd Street Nightclub. The tunes essentially acted as a variety of pre-recorded support acts, which ensured the jumping continued well into the arrival of The Sherlocks.

Despite bassist, Andy Davidson intermittently facing technical difficulties in the first few songs, the band played it off well by blasting chords from a well-known football chant, ensuring that only eagle eyed fans actually noticed that there was a problem.

Luckily, there were no issues during ‘Escapade,’ where the crowd separated into three small circle pits, ready to crash together at the climax. The uncannily relatable lyrics, about a drink fuelled night out after work, were contagious and had everything singing along. The crowd were screaming, “You spend half your wage before you get paid,” and, “Why is everyone so in love?” at the top of their lungs, and even drowning out vocalist, Kiaran Crook at points. The track, with Brandon Crook’s punchy drum beats, stood out as an anthem and was the highlight of the setlist.

From then on, The Sherlocks did not disappoint. They performed their biggest singles: ‘Will You Be There?’ and ‘Heart of Gold,’ as if their lives depended on it. The atmosphere in the venue was remarkable, and it was near impossible to spot anyone that was not dancing and feeding of the energy in the room. Living for the moment themselves, Kiaran even took a breath and let the audience sing choruses of, “Please don’t try and run before you can walk and don’t jump the gun.”

Not only did Kiaran’s lyrical storytelling surpass itself in new song, ‘Candle Light,’ but the harmonies were also impressive. The brothers’ voices complimented each other’s in such a way that is only possible when people are utterly in tune with each other. It really was a special affair, and the crowd took a step back to appreciate it, before dancing themselves into a frenzy for the rest of the evening.

As expected, Chasing Shadows was the final track of the night before the curfew put a downer on everything. It meant that their set had to begin earlier and finish earlier, but like the technical difficulties, this was out of the band’s control.

The quartet are destined to become big, as they made the crowd go wild with a mere five singles and new unknown material. Since the tour has been received so well, a new album must be on the cards, and with it, they will undoubtedly rise from the shadows and edge closer to getting signed.


RATING: 9/10

By Rae Coppola

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