• James Booton

Reverend And The Makers - Live @ O2 Academy Liverpool


"If you ever attend a Rev’s show, expect to be dripping in sweat, swamped by the bassline and smiling from ear to ear on a wild acid trip."

With clouds building ominously and the dreary night starting to quell the weekend’s excitement, it felt as though the whole city needed a big fat endorphin hit to remind it that it was a Saturday night! Well, there isn’t much of a better remedy for this slump than the thick Indie-dance sounds of Reverend And The Makers compressed into what Jon McClure (lead singer) labelled, himself, as “the hottest room in the fucking country”. After witnessing them perform at numerous summer festivals over the past few years, we were desperate to get down to their own show, where only the true #Revarmy reside. So, when they announced they were playing Liverpool’s O2 Academy, we were writing our email within minutes to be sure that we were in attendance to see the band who gave us our very first interview a few years back.

Although full of anticipation, the night did not start as we had thought. On top of the usual musical support, a poet and stand up comedian/magician both joined the line-up, and we can’t really think of any other reason why than one of the band members owed them both a favour. The “magic” gathered a smattering of applause and a few jibing cheers when his set didn't go to plan (hopefully in a purposely cringey style, but it was hard to tell). However, the crowd completely lost patience when the lights finally died down for the start of the show, and low and behold the magician walks back out for another trick. This second appearance, unsurprisingly, received a united chorus of boo’s and offensive comments despite his performance actually being quite impressive. If only he was good enough to make himself disappear. The poet was talented to give him credit, with a string of tongue & cheek short poems on current affairs that granted a decent amount of laughs from the crowd. Yet, even he seemed incongruous in what was meant to be an evening of high-tempo music.

However, regardless of this staggered, cringe-worthy opening, it wasn’t long before the main event had arrived, and they made everyone forget what they had just seen within the first few beats. Entering their arena to the spiritual soundtrack of ‘Bang Saray’, they left time for the room to settle and the sonic anticipation to build before delivering, as Jon put it, “Banger after banger!”. Sometimes, when a band like Reverend And The Makers have been making music for so long you forget how many quality tunes they have made. Yet, the band themselves certainly haven’t forgotten and proceeded to explore the depths of their back-catalogue, plucking classics out of nowhere.

The Rev’s sound is rich and expansive, filled with colour. A sensation that is only amplified in a live setting. The unique blend between mid 00’s Indie-rock and the thriving Sheffield dance scene that the band helped set the foundations for is electrifying. The insatiable pulse that drove their entire set was infectious and quickly spread outside of the centre to the furthest corners of the room, acting like a whirlpool, sucking every occupant of the sticky floor-space towards the mosh-pit. Their music has targeted a section of the population that is ever-growing with music culture leaning more towards the electronic by the day. So, if you are part of this demographic that loves the sing-a-long no-nonsense spirit of indie, but you also love the club lifestyle then you will be in your element at one of their gigs.

However, they also displayed their more heart-warming side. Tracks like ‘No Soap (In A Dirty War)’, ‘Hard Time For The Dreamers’ & ‘Auld Reekie Blues’ carry an added layer of meaning and character that is becoming increasingly hard to come by in the modern day. When sang out by a room full of like-minded people, they channel a vibe intangible and indescribable, put it is a feeling that confirms without doubt that there is NOWHERE else you would rather be.

The Reverend himself must gather some individual credit. When talking to him in our interview before the last album, it was clear that he is just a man that loves what he does, wants to share that enjoyment with as many people as possible and won’t let bad vibes enter his space for a second. Underneath the bright lights, he seemed lost in a hypnotic state, with the entire Rev Army at his command. His on-stage bravado forces you enter into the world of The Reverend and immerse yourself in the dense textures that crawl around the room. Characterised by the full-throttle ‘MDMAZING’, the gig was one of the most euphoric experiences you can achieve without getting any illegal substances involved. If you ever attend a Rev’s show, expect to be dripping in sweat, swamped by the bassline and smiling from ear to ear on a wild acid trip.

Keep posted on more tour dates as well as Jon's countless Twitter rant's here.

#gig