Sheffield icons, Reverend and The Makers took to London’s Electric Ballroom on the 10th October for the ‘Best Of’ tour. Often, and peculiarly ignored by Radio X and BBC6, they showcased what they had been missing!
They’re not of cultural fabric of the UK in the same way of Primal Scream, but, they do have their adventurous spirit at their core. They push egos to one side and share vocal duty to suit the art. Lead guitarist Ed Cosens delivers 60s pop gem ‘Makin’ Babies’ expertly and, on ‘Black Flowers’, something truly magical happens. Keyboardist Laura McClure’s spellbinding vocals on the Portishead inspired track. As she sings “our love got up walked out of the room”, everyone is under her beguiling spell.
The styles keep on coming, ‘MDMAzing’ and ‘Bassline’ stray into 2am Ibiza territory and set the dancefloor alight. Meanwhile, Cousins’ guitar playing on ‘Black Widow’, finds that expansive rock sound their mates Arctic Monkeys never quite nailed on ‘Humbug’, ‘Suck It and See’ and ‘AM’.
Make no mistakes though, John McClure is the big draw. Literally! It’s no disservice to the band, but his ability to stray from spoken word, to Damon Albarn, to Liam Gallagher and remain true to his Sheffield roots is truly remarkable.
It may be because they never hit truly dizzying heights that they still have the early days feel of “one of us”. More likely, the truth lies in Frank Turner’s ‘Try This At Home’:
“Cause there's no such thing as rockstars
There's just people who play music
And some of them are just like us
And some of them are dicks”
Here’s to another twelve years.
*Image courtesy of Mike Halcrow