Stealing Sheep

One Wednesday in August I went to the Barfly in Camden to see Alessi’s Ark. I knew nothing at all about the support acts for the night. The first act on were called Stealing Sheep. The first song they played was this one. It’s called “I Am The Rain”

Less than two minutes later I had a new favourite band[1].

Did you listen to it? Isn’t it one of the best things you’ve heard all year? The only criticism that I have is that it’s too short. It could easily be twice as long.

When I got home that night I bought all three of their EPs from Amazon and starting scouring Songkick for news of forthcoming gigs.

In the last three or four months I’ve seen them four times. And I’ve missed at least two London gigs in that time. They’re pretty easy to find in London. Most recently I saw them at The Old Blue Last on Tuesday night. They’re currently playing small venues, but that will change soon. I’d love to see them somewhere like the Union Chapel.

Their music is hard to describe. There’s certainly a modern folky vibe to it (which explains why they were supporting Alessi, I suppose) but there are wider influences than that. The first night I saw them I remember thinking of The Beta Band and The Velvet Underground. There are interesting rhythms, quirky melodies and, oh, pretty much everything I look for in my favourite music. One thing is for sure. It’s hard to dance to. You can easily pick out a rhythm to dance to, but thirty seconds later it will change completely and you’ll find yourself tripping up.

There are three women in the band. Going from left to right (as they always seem to arrange themselves on stage)…

Emily plays guitar. And she just adds to my theory that there is nothing sexier than a pretty woman in a cocktail dress who knows how to thrash an electric guitar (see also St Vincent).

Lucy plays the drums. And I think she must be responsible for the VU influences that I noticed the first time I saw them as, at times, she seems to be channelling Moe Tucker.

And Becky plays keyboards. They all sing (both together and individually) but last time I saw them I noticed that Becky’s voice can sound an awful lot like Stina Nordenstam – this is a good thing.

Those comparisons might make them sound derivative. They’re really not. I’m just trying to describe something that it’s hard to put into words. Look, just go and listen to “I Am The Rain” again.

They’ve got an extended EP[2] out now called “Noah and the Paper Moon“. I recommend that you buy it. There’s full-length album due in the spring. They also have a YouTube channel, but they haven’t put anything new there for a couple of months – they’ve probably been too busy gigging.

The only upcoming gig that Songkick know about is at Kings College London on Feb 24th, supporting Field Music but I’d be surprised if they didn’t play more shows before them.

They’ve recently signed to Heavenly Records and they’re getting a lot of promotion. So I’m sure you’ll year about them soon.

But I recommend that you check them out now. Beat the rush.

Now go and listen to “I Am The Rain” again. You know you want to.

[1] Obviously, I’m using that term in the John Peel sense – where it’s perfectly acceptable to have dozens of favourite bands at the same time.
[2] “Extended EP” – a tautological neologism.

3 thoughts on “Stealing Sheep

      1. I saw them in Cardiff supporting Emmy the Great. After a strange thirty second a capella start where I thought “what on Earth is this?” I was blown away. After the set I bought the two CD’s they had and it has been playing non-stop for weeks. My six year old boy loves it also. I suggest you go to the Kazimier website and check out the drummer’s band “Sing for Your Supper” Listen to Jonah and you won’t be sorry.

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