The Sherlocks: The down-to-earth band flying the flag for normal people with knockout tunes and fan power behind them
Their success — two top 10 albums so far and high hopes for a third this summer — has been built on hard graft and knockout tunes which go down a storm when played live.
Drummer Brandon Crook insists The Sherlocks have never been fashionable – the golden boys of the industry — but their profile is certainly growing, as demonstrated by Radio 1 giving new single Sirens “record the of week” status.
Nevertheless, Brandon, who founded the band with singer- songwriter brother Kiaran and fellow Bolton on Dearne brothers Andy and Josh Davidson while still at school, is adamant it is fan power that has taken them this far and will carry them forward.
“We feel like we are flying the flag for the normal person,” he says.
“The fans connect with us because we are a band of the people.
“Some bands like to think they’re superstars but we are the most down-to-earth band — I don’t think we could be any more down-to-earth.
“I would say we are the Tyson Fury of music — he’s not fashionable, he’s real and he says it how it is. He’s just real and good at boxing.”
He adds: “We just make good honest music and never feel we are one of those bands that are golden boys.
“We are not the mainstream and we are not necessarily a band that people have heard of.
“It feels like a bit of a gang mentality — it’s cool to be into us because we’ve never been pushed in your face.”
It’s more than a decade on from The Sherlocks starting out playing the Dearne Valley’s pubs and clubs and three years since the Davidsons decided to quit to pursue a different path.
Onto their second album with bassist Trent Jackson and guitarist Alex Procter, the revised line-up doesn’t feel so new anymore, but it still came up in a TV interview recently.
“It feels a bit like old news to us as we've been together so long now, it feels really organic,” says Brandon.
“It just works really well and everybody has their own role.
“It’s so much more rewarding to do it for yourselves.
“If we get another top ten album, it will mean so much as we have done it for ourselves.
“It will all be down to fan power, which is what this band has been based on from the start.”
The hard work and attention to detail extends to designing an attractive vinyl package for fans to cherish.
While debut Live for the Moment had a mostly black theme, follow-up Under Your Sky an ice-cool look and World I Understand a clock motif, forthcoming LP People Like Me & You will be all about a stark yellow and black combination.
The tone was set by Sirens, with its intriguing artwork.
“It looks like two people walking but also you can see a handprint,” Brandon says. “People can take what they want from it.
“We do a lot of work to make the artwork the best it can be.
“We go through hundreds of photos and put them all in a WhatsApp group.
“In this case, we found this drawing online.
“We just emailed the artist and said: ‘We love your drawing and we’d like to put it on our album.’
“It fits with the theme of People Like Me & You.
“The whole theme of the album is about our fans and seeing how far we can take it together.”
Speaking of the fans, Brandon says he and his bandmates are always happy to have a chat and a photo.
“We sometimes go out for a pint before a gig and normally everyone is really chilled,” he adds.
“People realise we are just normal lads.
“We’ve met some characters over the years but 999 out of 1,000 are spot on – I can’t remember the last time we had any trouble.
“Quite often, what I get is someone just saying: ‘I’ve heard the new tune — it’s a banger.’”
Brandon and Kiaran are regulars at Hillsborough and Brandon says he does sometimes gets star-spotted — on one notable occasion, a fan filmed him celebrating a goal and then posted it on Instagram and on another, a supporter sat next to him for the entire game before speaking up.
The brothers’ Sheffield Wednesday immortalisation came when they were asked to model the new kit.
Brandon recalls: “The weirdest moment was when I went into the toilets and I was having a wee and there was me and Kieran on a poster on the wall. That was a surreal moment.
“It still does not seem right, things like that. You see yourself on the TV and that’s also weird.
“And when we played this festival in Spain, the crowd was chanting ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire’ at us!”
They may never get used to being in the public eye, but the Crooks have been around the block a bit — “We’re not spring chickens in this game,” Brandon admits.
They’ve seen all sides of musicians, from the self-involved and diva-esque to the surprisingly normal.
Liam Gallagher is one of their favourites so far — the ex-Oasis frontman signed The Sherlocks up to support his UK tour and proved to be “really normal, dead sound”, while Richard Ashcroft came across as “a total gent”.
Brandon adds: “He was quite happy to talk to us and was still chatting about in-ear monitors at one gig as his band was starting to play his opening song – he wasn’t bothered.”
Feeling comfortable in such company without ever feeling part of the furniture is maybe what’s carried The Sherlocks so far — and could see them emulate fellow South Yorkshire indies The Reytons in taking the No 1 spot when the album emerges in August.
Brandon concludes: “If we do have a chance to get to number one we are obviously going for it, but as long as we keep putting out good music, I’m happy.”
Sirens is out now and People Like Me & You is available to pre-order.