I first heard this band by complete accident when skimming through a secure app on my phone which music labels use to let reviewers hear albums. I was looking for music to sooth my crying 3-week-old lad when I thought “Who the hell are Sheepdogs?”. So I pressed play, the little man seemed to like the soothing vocals and dusty Americana, and so, when I heard they were playing Notts, I thought I’d go along (without child, obviously)
Date: April 2, 2013
Venue: Bodega Social
“Whatever happened to our rock ‘n’ roll”, asked Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club on their debut record 11 years ago, and if they’re still searching, they’ll be advised to check out The Sheepdogs, a band who are proving that it still very much exists.
This Canuck four-piece, whom you may have never heard of, have recently graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. So they ain’t no nobody or wannabe. In fact our Canadian cousins can’t get enough of this hirsute lot from the brilliantly-named town of Saskatoon. Why’s that then? Well maybe it’s because of their gracefully stacked harmonies, smooth layers of melody, and the fact that, in Ewan Currie, they have a front man whose voice is so velvety it’s practically pornographic.
Soothing vocals caress melting guitars, crashing cymbals and pelted drums, forging a magnificent groove-laden, sometimes psychedelic, dusty Americana which appears effortless.
Their schtick is an old-fashioned rock ‘n’roll jamboree, a hippy, hairy parade of pulsating guitar rhythms, dexterous and exquisite jams, with a subtle yet vital organ intervening intermittently , with a desire to play music in a primitive yet rich format seldom heard in this country.
Think The Eagles injected with a shot of some sort of hallucinogenic substance and you’re not even close. Think of The Black Keys with their glam-stomping rock and you’re still way off. Think My Morning Jacket. Think of artful and true rock ‘n’ roll. Think of guitar mastery. Think of greatness. That’s it, you’ve got it. That’s The Sheepdogs.
Below is a two-song medley filmed at the gig. The quality isn’t great. But then tell that to the iPhone 4.