Burnley band Second Shepherds ready to conquer Manchester

SOME bands spend years honing a sound, paying their dues in sweaty venues the size of phone boxes before either “making it” or fading into obscurity.

Second Shepherds are wasting no time though in taking the music industry by the scruff of the neck and wrestling their way to the top.

As the band prepare for all out assault on Manchester later this year, they are set to play their biggest home gig to date when they appear at The Kestrel Suite, Cow Lane, on Saturday – a gig not to be missed.

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“It won’t quite be our last gig in Burnley but in August we’re going to be heading to Manchester and focusing on getting things moving over there,” said drummer Sam Hunter, who spoke to us about what has made Second Shepherds one of the most talked about bands in the area.

“We’re going to actually be moving over to Manchester as well so obviously we will not have the opportunity to play as many gigs around here then. It should be a really good night and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Since Second Shepherds formed in April last year – the rest of the band comprises Chris Lyttle (guitar/lead vocals), Stuart Sharples (lead guitar) and Jo Simpson (bass) – it’s been a non-stop rise of epic proportions, culminating in the lads recently laying down 11 tracks at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios.

“As soon as we got together we started doing our own stuff. I had written some material previously and had shown it to Chris and we just decided that we wanted to create our own music rather than do covers.

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“When you’re starting out though, especially in towns, you have to do a few covers to keep people happy so we did. It’s frustrating because we want to play our own music and that is why we thought the Kestrel Suite would be a good idea. It’s seen as a live music venue, so we can be seen as a proper band and, therefore, play our own stuff.

“We have got a good following around Burnley and a lot of people seem to know our songs. As long as people are enjoying it then that’s all that really matters.”

A fresh, rhythmic and upbeat sound is certainly what gives the band a stand-out quality and this, according to Sam, is borne out of a variety of divergent influences stemming from each quarter.

“We do have a distinct sound and I think that is down to the fact that we all have our different influences,” said Sam. “The way we write our stuff is ever changing but it’s a real band effort. We’re all involved with each other’s instruments and we’re always throwing around ideas. It really is a big pool of creative mess.”

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Conquering Manchester (they have already played Night and Day, Factory and Academy 3) and beyond may be on their to-do list but the foundations have definitely been laid.

“We played at The Ruby Lounge, the night after we had been at Real World Studios for the second time. We were the first band on and there were around 30 people in. After we had finished, Chris and Shane, one of the lads who helps us, were called into the promoter’s office. When they came out they said he had told them that while we were playing all the high-up people in their offices were coming out to listen to us and that hasn’t happened for a long time. It’s a good sign and hopefully when get to Manchester a few more doors will open.”

So before Second Shepherds inevitably step through one of these doors, it’s definitely worth seeing them while the’re still on the doorstep.

Lee Chapman and The Strange will be supporting on Saturday.

Wristbands are £4 in advance and £5 on the door. Drinks are £2.50 all night.

Check out www.facebook.com/SecondShepherds for more information.

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