Sheffield, England-based band The Sherlocks are one of the latest indie rock bands to make their way here from the UK, but they’ve already got a bit of history behind them. Consisting of two sets of brothers – Kiaran and Brandon Crook, and Josh and Andy Davidson – the foursome started when they were just teens, playing covers in bars and slowly working on their own material. By 2015, they were playing at the Reading and Leeds Festivals and getting singles aired on BBC Radio 1. Drawing comparisons to their fellow Sheffielders The Arctic Monkeys for their quick rise in fame, and to The Courteeners for their sound, the band has come a long way in a short time. Now they’ve set their sights on America, and on Monday they played to a small but enthusiastic crowd at DC9.
Both good and bad to catching a band so early in their career is that they don’t have a whole lot of material yet. In fact, The Sherlocks have only one album, Live for Tomorrow, which was released last August. On the one hand, this can be a bit limiting – the band literally played that album (though not in the same track order), and nothing else. On the other hand, it’s a chance to catch them now playing even the songs that will be considered “deep cuts” a few years down the road and a few albums in, assuming they make it that far, songs that may no longer be appearing on setlists by that time. Regardless, while there are some obvious standout tracks that will almost certainly be the mainstays in the set in the years to come – notably album opener “Will You Be There,” “Live for the Moment,” and “Chasing Shadows” – there are no truly weak songs on the record.
What’s perhaps most notable for a band so young, that for American audiences at least has seemingly appeared out of nowhere, is the degree of professionalism in their performance. These aren’t kids fooling around on the stage, and despite their still relatively young ages and limited repertoire, it is clear that they know how to put on a show. Their playing is tight, and their sound is large, and even seeing them on the small corner stage of DC9 it’s not hard to imagine why they get big-stage festival bookings in their home country (and, in fact, at the Shaky Knees festival in Atlanta earlier in the past weekend).
Those who were at DC9 on Monday almost certainly left feeling that they’d witnessed something special, the rare chance to catch a band in an intimate setting right before they break through into something bigger. If you missed them, you’d do well to catch them the next time they come through town.
Opening the night was DC’s own indie-pop band bound for greatness, Broke Royals. The band released their self-titled debut album in November, and with their polished sound and after playing several shows at SXSW in March, they appear ready to make a breakthrough themselves. Their next scheduled DC-area appearances will be at the Taste of Arlington festival in Ballston on May 20th, and then at Songbyrd Music House on June 28th.