The Sheepdogs headlined a sold out King Tuts with guitar players (Ewan Currie and Jimmy Bowskill) wearing almost matching sequin suits, matching Les Paul guitars and collectively the band had more hair on display than the aptly named support band Harry and The Hendersons.
Taking inspiration from bands such as Creedance Clearwater, Crosby Stills & Nash and most notably The Allman Brothers the Sheepdogs put their own spin on things by introducing extra elements to their musical array such as a fiddle, a pedal steel guitar played expertly by Jimmy and a trombone courtesy of Shamus (brother of Ewan and keys player) who also joined in with a third guitar later in the evening. The introductions of these instruments were timely and welcomed, as much as I enjoyed the evening the twin guitar harmonies were becoming a little repetitive. If you’re a MASSIVE fan of BBC’s Top Gear theme tune you’ll be fine.
What I loved about this set was the sound. Engineers of course have to take some credit but for the size of the venue The Sheepdogs played at a volume that allowed for every intricate guitar note or vocal harmony to be heard which showed just how talented a band The Sheepdogs are. Having seen them in a smaller venue and much larger venue in the past I know they’re more than capable of turning things up when necessary. Special mention to drummer Sam Corbett for setting the tone accompanied by bassist Ryan Gullen to make up an extremely groovy rhythm section. The Sheepdogs didn’t have too much to say between songs as they let their instruments do the talking with style.
Some highlights for me were ‘Nobody’, the opening track of latest release Changing Colours with it’s simple chords to kick the song off but ending with some Skynyrd inspired guitar playing. The sold out crowd were really into ‘Southern Dream’, a more uplifting song than most of the set, which had everybody clapping along. The vocal performance was excellent here. ‘I’m Gonna Be Myself’ is the opening track from previous album Future Nostalgia which had a subtle uplift in volume. This song showed that the The Sheepdogs know how to form a setlist which was never too slow but if anybody was losing interest this was a much-needed boost of adrenaline. Finally, my absolute favourite Sheepdogs song ‘Bad Lieutenant’. This sounds to me exactly like The Sheepdogs; it has an Eagles vibe to it and the keyboard solo had me thinking about the theme tune to Taxi but those are no bad things.
The Sheepdogs have managed to stand out and sound unique despite at the same time sounding like a lot of other acts. I do feel like in years to come however I’ll be standing listening to a band thinking “they sound a bit like The Sheepdogs” and if that’s not the biggest compliment an artist can have I don’t know what is.
Canada, I don’t know what’s in the water over there, but you keep producing excellent bands. Keep up the excellent work.
Photos: 3rd Mile