Stealing Sheep: Buyers Club, Liverpool

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Stealing Sheep

Stealing Sheep

Stealing Sheep played an intimate show at Buyers Club to preview their forthcoming album and Getintothis’ Rick Leach saw the future.

Clear blue skies overhead. The sun had been shining all afternoon and it finally felt like summer.

It seemed very appropriate. Stealing Sheep were back in Liverpool to play a very small show at Buyers Club to showcase their forthcoming album.

There was a distinct buzz in the air; a sense of anticipation. Everybody seemed happy and everybody was smiling.

Something was going to happen, but we weren’t exactly sure what it was going to be.

What we did know-what we all knew before- that Stealing Sheep, all three of them, Rebecca Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer, would undoubtedly come up with something different and something special.

And this is what happened.

Two albums in.  Two great albums; 2012’s Into the Diamond Sun and 2015’s Not Real and now…2017.

What would we get? What will Stealing Sheep do?

We waited.The dry ice swirled around like the mist on an early summers morning as dawn is breaking and the stage lights burned a fuzzy blue.We were off. This was it.

We were enveloped in swathes of sound.

Looking around, those smiles widened. Those smiles turned into grins.

These were new songs and these were great songs. These were really great songs. The blue light turned into a warm and deep red. So deep and warm and comforting it was as if we were cocooned inside a sort of velvet world that Stealing Sheep had conjured up just for us, just for us on that Thursday evening in August.

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Yet this wasn’t some soft and fuzzy felt-like ethereal folkish musings. There was an edge and a bite, a sharpness from Rebecca’s keyboards and an urgency from Lucy’s drums, underpinned and over pinned with a bass from Emily which ran orchestral-like through the whole set. It was difficult to believe that a bass guitar could produce such subtle and complex sounds, but it did.

There were harmonies of course. There would always be harmonies.

Three voices in harmony, reaching forward and kissing the sky. This was what the Beach Boys could have sounded like if they’d been locked in a room with only the complete works of Can for company and inspiration.

At one point, all the lights went down. Everything went dark and we heard the faintest heartbeat. An electronic heartbeat. An echo of Pink Floyd. But this wasn’t a harsh or grim heartbeat. This wasn’t a cynical or knowing heartbeat. This was a heartbeat of optimism and a heartbeat for the future. This instrumental track by Stealing Sheep sounded like Pink Floyd if Pink Floyd had been good.

These new songs by Stealing Sheep-all of them and without exception- showed a band moving ever forward. The progression is startling.

There’s something about them, something about Stealing Sheep that makes you hopeful for the future.

It’s hard to know if it’s the deep European disco influences that run like a thread of quartz through an ancient stone hewn from a mountain or the way that you can close your eyes and imagine perfect white clouds scudding across the bluest sky ever.

It might be the way they can make music that swirls and bounces as the same time. Is that even possible? How do they do that? But they do and they do it so well.

It could be the way that they finish the set and do their encore, dancing in harmony in ribboned tin foil capes, everybody smiling and clapping and cheering and knowing that this is the music for the future.

There are a myriad of reasons why Stealing Sheep are special and it’s hard to know exactly why. It doesn’t really matter. Maybe they know the answers. Maybe they know the questions as well.

The only answer we can come up with, for now anyway, is…yes!

We can’t wait to hear the album and we can’t wait for you to hear it as well.

Pictures by Getintothis’ Francesco Imola

 

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