Last night, can you remember? If you’re a fan of The Sherlocks you’ll understand that joke, and realise that I’m really not funny. However, in answer to my own question, yes, I definitely remember last night. I was lucky enough to get tickets to The Sherlocks at the Wedgwood Rooms; a sold out show for 500 people, and went with a couple of mates from college. We had seen them before which was probably the main reason we wanted to go-we were expecting big things after the last time.
So the night started in normal fashion: the silver Vauxhall Corsa pulled up outside my house around 17:30. I got in as this was my lift and I didn’t fancy getting the bus, and we headed off to pick up our other mate. Once he was in the car, my Spotify was in full swing; belter after belter, not to blow my own trumpet. At this point we were pretty hyped for the gig, but being parked up by sixish meant we had two hours to kill. So like any teenage lads would, we went for a Nandos.
A couple of hours later, with our stomachs full and our bodies ready to be battered by multitudes of moshing blokes, we walked back down to the Wedge. The queue to get in was that of which you’d expect to see in your local Tesco: about 8 people, varying in age. That’s not a complaint, it was nice to be moved inside quickly because it was bloody freezing!
So we were in. Always a good start. At this point the venue was very empty with the odd person ordering at the bar and others popping in and out of the toilet. There was bucket loads of personal space, but I knew that wasn’t something to get used to.
By 20 past 8 the first warm up made their way up onto the stage. Unexpectedly, a group came on. According to The Sherlocks latest post on Twitter it seemed a solo artist was set to ponder on first with his acoustic, hoping to be the next Ed Sheeran. But it turned out this guy couldn’t make it down to the Pompey night (or didn’t want to-who can blame him.) Instead, us music-goers in the crowd were blessed with a local band named Purple SMOKE. No, that’s not a typo, the lads just like to aggressively shout the word ‘smoke,’ yet merely say ‘purple.’ It’s indie, right?
Now as someone who often discovers new music through warm up acts at gigs, I was very excited when the band began playing what can only be described as Rage-Against-the-Machinesque tunes. With exciting sound, attitude and overall atmosphere control, Purple SMOKE absolutely killed the 20 minute slot that they were gifted. They certainly impressed me, and various comments that I heard from the growing spectators around confirmed that I wasn’t the only one. Pumped to listen to them later in the car, when they left the stage I decided I was going to download all of their songs on Spotify. But they’re not on there. I think it’s time to get recording boys, listen to the amateur 17 year old blogger, he definitely knows what he is talking about…
After being a tad depressed that Purple SMOKE seemed to be gone from my life forever, the time came for the next warm up band to emerge. Now I knew about these as their name featured on The Sherlocks’ tour posters. Neon Waltz. I wasn’t overly fussed when listening to them the few days before, but my god I didn’t expect what was to come. Never before that night had I experienced such intense feelings of, well, boredom. The singer droned on like someone was stood on his genitals and not a single song seemed to have a drop. A few- and I really mean just a select few- people in the room seemed to enjoy their agonisingly tedious songs, but they really weren’t for me. All I can say is good luck Neon Waltz, because you’re seriously going to need it.
Finally having recovered from having my ears lightly tortured, the lights dimmed and I knew it was time. The Sheffield-born band, formed by two sets of brothers, entered the stage in the same fashion they did the last time I saw them: looking modest as ever with their renowned, reworded football chant playing in the background. “Dun dun dundun, SHERLOCK ARMY!” If you know, you know. They opened with ‘Last Night,’ the song I miserably attempted to joke about earlier, and from there on they had the crowd under their thumb. From heavy moshing to the majority of their debut album, to waving phone torches in the air with the rhythm of their beautiful song ‘Candlelight,’ it truly became a night to remember. Kiaran Crook, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, played my favourite song of theirs, Motions, on an acoustic guitar to start with, but was then joined by the rest of the lads to finish the song in a uniquely stunning way. I think that was what really helped the night reach its peak.
With this fantastic band unlikely to tour on such a small scale again, last night was a fantastic opportunity. The Sherlocks are about to go Supersonic, supporting Liam Gallagher on his European tour later this year. And I say all the best to them. A brilliant group of lads with creativity and talent with enough potential to impact the world. I stand by it when I say they are the next ‘Arctic Monkeys.’