REVIEW: Reverend and The Makers at O2 Academy Sheffield
One of Sheffield’s finest acts returned for an energetic sold-out hometown gig – complete with the Reverend, Jon McClure, preaching poetry to the masses.
You won’t find many music fans in the city, if any, that haven’t heard of Reverend and The Makers.
Upon the news that their sold-out UK tour would culminate in a hometown gig, you would be hard pushed to find any of these that wouldn’t excitedly anticipate a raucous and energetic affair, especially if this year’s Tramlines set is anything to go by.
And that is what it was.
Grenoside-born Jon said on the night: “I’ve had people I’ve not seen since 1984 asking me for guest list for tonight”.
It was clearly a desirable event – and after only one song, the title track on their UK number five album, ‘The State of Things’, you could see why.
Seamlessly playing through their back catalogue, one of Yorkshire’s finest musical orators fronted a night of pure enjoyment; the verses of some of the songs still ringing out around Arundel Gate after the band had ‘waved goodbye’.
The crowd didn’t hold back, either, with the 22-track gig a real knees-up affair; a constant wave of bouncing and pint-throwing descending in organised pandemonium during most of the offerings, particularly commercially successful track, ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’.
At one point, McClure even broke into acapella spoken word, reading a piece by another esteemed northern wordsmith, John Cooper Clarke.
The Reverend invited former band-member, The Moonlandingz drummer Rich Westley, on to co-vocalise their latest single, ‘Elastic Fantastic’, as featured on their recently released ‘Best Of’.
Coming in under three minutes, the track is a fast-paced and catchy effort that did not look out-of-place preceding popular ‘Out of The Shadows’.
The staged bathed in Owls blue, one of the high-points, of a night full of them, was a passionate rendition of ‘Hard Time For Dreamers’ – but the frontman made it clear it wasn’t a night for citywide footballing divisions, asking the crowd to unite just for one evening, certain lyrics of the track resonating on a more political level than a footballing one.
The highlight, however, was the polished transition from ‘MDMazing’ into ‘Bassline’.
The powerful beat-driven hits bled into eachother so well that it was more reminiscent of a late night DJ set than a live gig from a band that has previously been labelled as a ‘pub group’.
Despite recent sentiments on social media that the mainstream radio stations are ignoring the band by refusing to give them airtime, it is clear they are as relevant now as they ever have been.
And, if the sell-out tour is anything to go by, that is not just here in Sheffield - it is a feeling echoed nationally.