THEY are one of the most in-demand indie bands on the circuit with the biggest selling debut album of last year and a devout following for their compulsive brand of alternative rock. But, writes Richard Derbyshire, The Sherlocks are not living the rock and roll dream quite yet.

While on tour in America earlier this year, they had to turn their hands to vehicle maintenance after a tyre came off their van midway through their 5,000-mile road trip.

“We were driving back to the venue in Phoenix when we heard a noise from under the van,” says drummer Brandon Crook.

“We stopped and saw that the tread had come off on the inside of one of the tyres. There was so little time to spare that we were still changing the wheel when the support act were playing on stage.”

Before we spoke, Brandon had just driven to Rotherham to pick up some new drum cases.

“We may be in a band, but we still put a shift in,” he laughs.

The band encountered another unexpected test at the Electric Ballroom in London earlier this year when they lost all sound for nearly 15 minutes in front of 1,200 fans.

However, after turning up the stage amps, the band kept everyone singing, first with their own single Chasing Shadows and then with a spontaneous version of Oasis hit Don’t Look Back in Anger.

“Our time performing covers in pubs and clubs in South Yorkshire gave us the experience to handle tricky situations,” says Brandon’s brother, frontman Kiaran.

The South Yorkshire lads will be hoping for an easier time when they roll up at Truck Festival, later this month. the band join an impressive bill at Hill Farm, Steventon, alongside Friendly Fires, George Ezra, Courteeners, De La Soul, Jake Bugg, Editors, Circa Waves, Little Comets, Coasts, Everything Everything, The Amazons, Drenge, Ratboy, Peace, Shy FX, Kurupt and, causing much excitement locally, Wheatley hero – and former Supergrass star – Gaz Coombes.

While this is The Sherlocks’ first Truck, they are no strangers to Oxfordshire, having played early shows at the Bullingdon in Cowley Road, and going on to sell out the O2 Academy, Oxford in February.

Kiaran, Brandon, lead guitarist Josh Davidson and his brother and bassist Andy admit to being excited at playing the main stage at Oxfordshire’s biggest real rock festival – performing tunes from their killer debut Live For The Moment.

Playing all of their music live is paramount for The Sherlocks. They are wary of acts who are over-reliant on backing tracks, especially early in their careers and fear their use is short-changing fans.

“Perhaps, we notice more because we’re musicians,” says Kiaran. “Backing tracks can be a good thing if used sparingly, but it looks daft if something huge is coming out of the speakers and no one is using their instruments.

“People get a buzz from our music because they know everything is live. Anything could happen. We could play our single Escapade a million miles an hour one night and then slow it down the next.”

Josh adds: “We make mistakes too, usually because we’re trying something new. People notice, but we’re happy with that because it’s what makes each gig different.”

The band have just finished travelling around Europe with Liam Gallagher. It was their first time on tour supporting a headline artist.

Brandon says they received some wise words from the former Oasis frontman: “He told us to keep doing what we’re doing, keep things real and honest, don’t go all American, stay with guitars and don’t lose what we already have,” he says.

The Sherlocks plan to do just that – and release their second album soon.

“We’ve 15 songs ready to record and Kiaran has at least another five he’s working on that could make the cut,” Brandon reveals.

“None of us are going to sit back because we’ve had a top 10 record. We are still underdogs, even insurgents, to some in the music business, so we have to keep working. We never stop.”

  • The Sherlocks play Truck Festival main stage on Saturday, July 21. More at thesherlocksmusic.co.uk
  • GO ALONG: Truck Festival takes place at Hill Farm, Steventon, near Didcot,  from July 20-21, with headliners Courteeners, Friendly Fires, George Ezra and Jake Bugg. More at truckfestival.com
  • The Oxford Times:

WIN Truck Festival tickets worth £540

The lovely people at Truck Festival are giving readers of The Guide two pairs of weekend camping tickets to this year’s festival.

Each individual ticket is worth £135 and includes Thursday entry to the festival, when Peace will be headlining.

For a chance to win a pair of tickets, simply tell us the year of the first Truck festival.

Answers to: Truck Competition, Features, Oxford Mail, Newspaper House, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0EJ or email tim.hughes@nqo.com

Entrants must be aged 16 or over. Only one entry per person. Entries must reach us by midday on Friday. You must include your name and postal address. No cash alternative. Usual rules apply and the editor’s decision is final.