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Doctor’s Orders: The Sherlocks' Kiaran Crook prescribes 9 of his favourite records

With The Sherlocks already set to embark on an independent venue tour to help out with the recovery of beleaguered local music houses, they ensured that they would be even busier this coming autumn and winter by announcing a brand-new album on top of it. Their latest record, World I Understand, is due out on November the 19th, with their new single ‘City Lights’ landing this morning. And as Kiaran Crook informed me when we caught up earlier this summer, it’s an album that might hold a few surprises in it. 

While the album no doubt is set to deliver the same blistering indie rock energy for which they have become known, the eclectic mix of records that Kiaran Crook has championed as nine of his favourites below, have all had their say on the band’s evolving sound. The frontman told us why he loves them and what they mean to him as part of our recurring Doctor’s Orders feature.

Continuing with our Mental Health Awareness campaign, Far Out Magazine has teamed up with the suicide prevention charity CALM to help connect you with your favourite artists and hear how music has helped them during their darker times and day to day life.

The organisation, with the full working title of ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably’, offer a free, confidential and anonymous helpline for those most in need of mental health support. At a time when millions of people have been forced to stay home during strict lockdown measures, CALM has seen a huge spike in their workload.

We at Far Out believe in music’s ability to heal. It could be the moment that the needle drops on your favourite album and provides respite from a chaotic world or, conversely, it might be the fanatic conversation you have with friends about which guitarist was the greatest. Music, it’s safe to say, has always allowed us to connect with one another and ourselves.

In support of CALM, we’re asking a selection of our favourite people to share nine records that they would prescribe for anyone they met and the stories behind their importance. Doctor’s Orders will be an ongoing feature that will see some of our favourite musicians, actors, authors comedians and more, offer up the most important records, which they deem essential for living well.

If you’re able, and if you can afford to, please consider a small donation to help the CALM cause. £8 can answer one potentially life-saving call.

Kiaran Crook takes on the challenge of prescribing nine albums for living well and his stellar selections offer not only a perfect playlist but a distilled snapshot of his life so far. Illuminating the ever-present boon and shaping influence that music has been in it. His record choices offer an eclectic mix all sharing the same inherent vibrancy that he has put into his own music.

The Sherlock’s Kiaran Crook’s nine favourite records:

DMA’s – Hills End

For Kiaran Crook’s first choice, he opted for the Australian Britpop band’s debut album. As he explains: “This is one of my favourite albums ever. There are very few records where you’ll love every tune on it, and for me, Hills End every tune, I just get them. I know I can put it on any time and just listen all the way through.”

“And it just takes me back because I can remember our Brandon got me into them years and years ago when they first came over and were playing tiny venues. Brandon put them on a jukebox in a pub somewhere, and I just remember listening to ‘Lay Down’ and thinking this is a great tune.”

Concluding: “There’s just a lot of tunes that you get a lot of attachments to, and I don’t really know why other than from memories of seeing them in these little venues and stuff. But songs like ‘Melbourne’ just still stand out to me.”

Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

Oasis have had such a large bearing on British indie music and, in turn, The Sherlocks, that it was simply a question of which record for Kiaran: “For me, with Oasis it came down to Definitely Maybe or What’s the Story and I picked this one because I think the songs are better and it just reminds me of ages ago when we’d listen to Oasis all the time.” 

“I remember first starting our band when we were 14 and just discovering loads of bands from there and Oasis were one of them. I mean, I was listening to them beforehand, but not consciously because me and Brandon used to just sit watching the music channel, and that was just the best thing ever. I still remember like the ‘Live Forever’ video popping up, and later on thinking this is great.”

Radiohead – The Bends

As a latecomer to Radiohead, their second and perhaps most accessible record came as somewhat of a surprise to Kiaran, as he tells me: “It’s only recently that I got into this album. To be honest, this is like a moment in time. We did our album in July last year with Dave Eringa, and I can’t remember how we even got chatting about Radiohead, but he told me to listen to The Bends.” 

“And we were up drinking most nights when we were making the record, I had always thought they were a band with really sad songs, but one day I thought I’d listen to it. That night I fell asleep with the album on in my in-ear headphones and just listened to that album on repeat, and I just had trippy dreams while the album kept playing.”

Adding: “When I woke up the next morning, I just knew every song too. Now, when I listen to that album, as soon as it kicks in, it takes me straight back to Rockfield Studios and making our record.”

The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

“This album reminds me of driving to Whitby when it’s pretty cold,” Kairan recalls as a pretty specific memory. “This is an album that James Skelly from Coral told me about, and I just dove straight into the album and got into it.”

Then nostalgically, he recalled: “I first listened to it at an apartment opposite Parr Street studios, I think, and I remember really liking it straight away. Then a couple of days later, we were listening as we drove through Whitby, and I just really remember that scene like it’s engrained with the tunes. Great driving songs too.”

Paul Weller – Stanley Road

Kiaran tells me that Paul Weller’s continuing pursuit of excellence has proved a huge inspiration, but as he explains, one record stands out from the rest: “For me, Stanley Road is Paul Weller’s best record. I know he’s prolific, and they’re all great, but Stanley Road is just like a record that I could pop on and sit in the backyard. It’s just one of the best records of all time for me.”

“It’s an album I always go back to and always listen to. Just a summers day, Weller’s voice and then it just comes down to the songs. With things like ‘Woodcutter’s Son’ it’s like any time that ever comes on I love it each time.”

The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses self-titled is a classic that Kiaran describes as: “This album, I mean what can you say about it? Every tune is pure class! You can make a case for ‘Elizabeth My Dear’ being a skip, but that’s about it.”

With the Stone Roses, I just always feel like putting them on when it’s sunny. They’ve just got sort of a joyous sound, so when the weather’s blazing, I just chuck them on. The songs are not too obscure; they’re just classic go-to stuff. And I find myself being the DJ quite a lot. So, they’re a safe bet.

“For me, it’s an absolute classic.”

Cloud Control – Dream Cave

Another Australian band and another one that Kiaran’s brother and bandmate Brandon Crook introduced him to. As he explains: “Brandon got me into Cloud Control, and I have a funny feeling that he played me these the same day that he put on ‘Lay Down’ by the DMA’s. Same again, it was a song that I just instantly loved them as well.”

Adding: “Weirdly, this is another song that reminds me of going to Whitby too! I love going there, so it just brings back good memories like that War on Drugs record. I remember this record just swells at the end too with this cave sound, and it just brings mad backstories with it.”

Chemical Brothers – No Geography

Chemical Brothers’ 2019 record No Geography introduced him to the band and has since become a weekend staple for Kiaran: “I’d always heard about Chemical Brothers for years and years without ever really getting into them. Then not so long ago, they played Glastonbury, and they played an absolute beast of a set, and because I wasn’t into them, I wasn’t really sure of the back catalogue, but for that set, they played most of the No Geography album. I didn’t even know they were their new tunes, but that set is beast!”

“I still stick it on now on a weekend every now and again, and every time it gets me. All my family members said the same too, so I can always kill an hour with that every Saturday or something. So, when I stick the album on, it just reminds me of that class live set.”

Before explaining the influence the album has had creatively: “The bass and stuff just bring up all the visuals and lasers and cartoons, they all come back. And we’ve sort of tried to incorporate that into our songs; I think like Alex is really into them, so his hooks on this new album have been elevated by it. With this sort of record, it’s kind of made it so that there’s not even a discussion now about whether we should throw a synth in.”

The Libertines – Up The Bracket

As his fellow Sheffield native Alex Turner once said: “There is always that one band that comes along when you are 14 or 15-years-old that manages to hit you in just the right way and changes your whole perception on things.”

For Kiaran, that wallop was delivered by The Libertines: “I’ve always had a soft spot for The Libertines. I remember in sixth form they were like a huge band for me back then, along with Babyshambles. Like at one stage, when I was first getting into music, The Libertines were my favourite band.”

Adding: “I just love their energy and that sort of punkish thing, because they’re influenced heavily by stuff like The Clash, and I started listening to them too through listening to Libertines. So, they just introduced me to loads of stuff like that too.”

Before concluding: “We’ve been lucky to support them a few times, which was great. I think watching them also kind of typifies this sort of small venue tour we’re going on, too, because I could just imagine Pete just diving into the crowd and stuff. They’re just a really great band!”

For more details on the new album, World I Understand, and how to preorder, you can click here.

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