REVIEW: The Sherlocks, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

THE SHERLOCKS returned to Portsmouth for their third time in less than a year and said it was the best show they’d played in the city so far.

Frontman Kiaran Crook, his brother and drummer Brandon, lead guitarist Josh Davidson and his brother and bassist Andy sold out a riotous Wedgewood Rooms 24 hours after packing out their first headline show in Bournemouth.

Southampton fans travelled to both venues to see a band who’ve made such an impression in the south since their first show at The Joiners three years ago.

High energy second number Escapade saw the young crowd let loose down the front. It didn’t stop until the stunning acoustic-led Turn The Clock and rockabilly number Motions gave everyone a breather.

Top 6 album title track Live For The Moment was raucous while Heart of Gold and ambitious Nobody Knows were set to a stunning illuminations by lighting boss Craig Greenhalgh.

Next week the lads will play to more than 3,500 fans at Manchester’s huge Victoria warehouse, a venue so big that it’s rarely used for single headline shows.

“Everyone on the tour bus is buzzing for that one, it could be career highlight so far for all of us” Brandon told The Daily Echo.

One of their permanent crew is former Wedgewood Rooms sound engineer Joe Simpson, who now travels the world as one of the band’s trusted technicians who they’ve stuck with since the early days.

Next for the gang are European arena shows with Liam Gallagher. “We grew up with Oasis and even today you hear them everywhere, in pubs, on juke boxes; they’re still a big part of everyone’s lives” says Kiaran.

“People get them because of where they’ve came from. It’s the same for us and our fans. We’re four ordinary working class lads who get a buzz from putting on a good night. Oasis achieved everything we want to do too.”

While in Bournemouth the band gained notoriety after having some fun with photo-shopping as Brandon explained.

“We saw the poster for Y Not Festival and thought we should be higher up the bill, so we cheekily bumped ourselves up by swapping our place with The Amazons’ position. We posted it on social media and forgot about it, but overnight the story exploded. Some people took it the wrong way, though most saw the funny side.”

Within hours Brandon was explaining all on Newsbeat on Radio 1, while other bands, including Southampton favourites Jordan Allen, were soon ribbing the lads with more spoof line-ups. The Sherlocks joked back with a vintage Glastonbury mock-up with them as headliners, creating priceless publicity for festival organisers and other bands.

Meanwhile, after recent setbacks, Kiaran says his snooker rivalry with his brother will resume when they return to Bolton upon Dearne. “Brandon had the upper hand before this tour, but he knows it’ll be different when I’m back on top of my game.”

The frontman also revealed the band already has 20 new songs as contenders for a second album. “We’re now on a label who’re investing money in us, so I could drive myself nuts about having to write new tunes, but I don’t feel any pressure” he added.

“But I keep him on his toes” laughed Andy.

Earlier in the evening, hotly-tipped Sheffield band Oddity Road and Scotland’s Neon Waltz, whose debut album tour comes to Heartbreakers, Southampton on February 25, drew big early crowds. The headliners’ reputation for bringing the best new bands on tour with them continues.

Albums Live For The Moment by The Sherlocks and Strange Hymns by Neon Waltz, are out now. Both bands are touring the UK with Neon Waltz at Heartbreakers Southampton on February 25. More at &

By Richard Derbyshire