Gig review: Reverend and the Makers have fans buoyantly bouncing at the O2 Academy, Sheffield

Sheffield five-piece Reverend and the Makers had fans buoyantly bouncing and even took to the streets on a double-decker bus to do so.
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Sheffield is a city that is certainly not bereft of musical talent. One such band, Reverend and the Makers, have certainly been there, done that and got the proverbial T-shirt. Their relationship with the ‘Steel City’ is one that spans close to two decades, but they still play with the same energy and vigour that they did when gracing the stages of the likes of The Leadmill and The Plug in their early days.

Two superb support acts in The Ramona Flowers and former Supergrass frontman Danny Goffey and his band set the tone perfectly for what would become a superb evening. Both bands were warmly received by the appreciative sold-out Sheffield crowd.

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With the lights lowered, the main attraction made their entrance on to the stage to the Rocky theme song, an apt choice as front man Jon McClure walks out greeted by a raucous applause from his fans, affectionately known as the ‘Rev Army’with arms aloft like he had just beaten Kell Brook.

Reverend and the Makers invited fans on to their tour bus for an intimate set after their triumphant gig at the O2 Academy, Sheffield. Photo: Scott AntcliffeReverend and the Makers invited fans on to their tour bus for an intimate set after their triumphant gig at the O2 Academy, Sheffield. Photo: Scott Antcliffe
Reverend and the Makers invited fans on to their tour bus for an intimate set after their triumphant gig at the O2 Academy, Sheffield. Photo: Scott Antcliffe

The Sheffield quintet came out swinging and kicked things off with the title track from their 2007 debut album The State of Things which reached number five in the UK album charts. They swiftly followed this up with 18-30, another song from the iconic 2007 album- an ode to carefree times in the mid-noughties when life seemed a lot more simple.

Rev then switched things up a little as they played their first single from the new album, Heatwave In The Cold North, a song that has garnered plenty of radio time and rave reviews. You could certainly see why – the Sheffield crowd embraced it just as much as one of the familiar classics.

The band delved into their expansive back catalogue and treated the crowd to Bandits, High, Open Your Window and Hate It When You Lie before they flexed their muscles with the iconic

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Heavyweight Champion of the World ensuring the bumper crowd were at fever pitch.

Reverend and the Makers at the O2 Academy, Sheffield. Photo: Scott AntcliffeReverend and the Makers at the O2 Academy, Sheffield. Photo: Scott Antcliffe
Reverend and the Makers at the O2 Academy, Sheffield. Photo: Scott Antcliffe

The gig took a mellower turn briefly when they played Hard Times and Auld Reekie Blues featuring the superb vocals of lead guitarist Ed Cosens, who has recently embarked on his own solo journey.

The intensity was then turned up a notch or three for Bassline, Problems and He Said He Loved Me – three songs that demonstrate that the quintet aren’t just an indie band and they have plenty in their arsenal – innovatively growing and changing artistically over the last two decades.

The band ended the inside leg of the show with the extremely catchy Silence Is Talking, with members of Rev’s Army taking to the streets chanting the song in unison after Jon gave an open invite to revellers to come and join him on his personalised Sheffield bus for an intimate, acoustic set playing a selection of his songs. A superb end to cap off a truly memorable evening.

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