Second Shepherds are leading the way

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Burnley indie band Second Shepherds are steeling themselves for an assault on the music mainstream.

After performing on Sean McGinty’s “BBC Introducing” radio show last week, Sheps (as they are affectionately known by their fans) are now looking forward to a live set at the Manchester Academy on Saturday. The teenage four-piece of Chris Lyttle (17), Sam Hunter (19), Stuart Sharples (17) and Jo Simpson (17), are excited about their busy start to 2011.

Lead singer Chris said: “I never thought things would happen so quickly. People liked us right from the start, which meant we jumped to the top of the bill and got to play some great gigs. It’ll be amazing to play at the Academy.”

Last year heralded the birth of Second Shepherds, and it wasn’t long until they had fans flocking to see them. Headlining gigs at Manchester’s Factory and Night & Day venues were highlights, but perhaps the most significant step was recording a six-track EP at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios.

The legendary Genesis lead singer’s Wiltshire residence is renowned for its state-of-the-art equipment, and many famous acts have worked there, including Kanye West, Jay Z, Stereophonics and Kylie Minogue.

Sam, Sheps’ drummer, said that the experience is something he’ll never forget: “It felt really rock ‘n’ roll. We drove down through the night and had to sleep at the side of the road. We went from playing a pub gig in Burnley the night before to recording in a studio that’s at the top of the game. We listened to the tracks the other day and they sound brilliant.”

The band describe themselves as fresh and daring rock ‘n’ roll and count The Beatles as major influences.

“There’s no point being in a band if you can’t take anything from The Beatles,” said Chris. “Lyrically, we’re influenced from growing up in Burnley and our day-to-day experiences.

“We’re evolving and writing new songs all the time. I’d say we have a strong Northern work ethic.”

The opportunity to perform on the “BBC Introducing” show has helped put them in the spotlight, and could lead to a session at the iconic Maida Vale studios where John Peel used to showcase new musical talent.

A slot on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show is in Second Shepherds’ sights and the boys are confident of achieving this according to Chris: “We’re trying to drive it all the time and have had a positive reaction from crowds. People seem to take to our music really quickly. World Domination is the aim.” He looked at the other bandmates, pointed a finger towards me and said: “I’m dreaming a bit here and he’s writing it all down!”

The band’s ambitions are certainly high but given their success over the past year, who knows where they could be by the end of 2011.

You can next see Second Shepherds in Burnley at the George IV pub, Padiham Road, on March 5th.

For more on the band check out www.myspace.com/secondshepherds.