Live Review: Reverend & the Makers // O2 Academy, Sheffield, 25.10.14

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John McClure reckons that the Rev Army could take on the Directioners or Beliebers in a fight.

I reckon we could take both at the same time, given the intensity of Saturday night’s show at Sheffield’s O2 Academy. Many of the audience, myself included, were back for another bouncetastic (that’s totally a word) evening – and boy, did we manage to out-do ourselves!

Of course every audience hears the line “You’re the best audience we’ve ever had!” but Saturday night’s Reverend and the Makers show truly saw the audience earn it. From start to finish everyone was on their toes and ready to bounce the second Jon McClure told them to; mainly thanks to the fact Saturday evening saw the two more upbeat recent records, @Reverend_Makers and Thirty Two, played in full.

These two albums are incontestably catchy with brilliant vocal hooks that raised the roof of the venue. ‘Detonator’ and ‘Bassline’ saw the audience shouting “I’ll take you somewhere / we can hit your detonator” and “all the people want is b-b-bassline” at the top of their lungs; there was far more energy emanating from this set that there was Friday’s which was definitely absorbed by the band, considering the fact they’d hinted at feeling knackered on Twitter after Friday’s set.

Unsurprising, really, given Laura McClure is seven months pregnant and yet managed the following:

Laura, along with the rest of the band, deserves a week of sleep because the two shows have been intense to say the least. McClure joked on Friday that he couldn’t afford to miss a song on the set because playing albums in full meant the audience knew what was up next and he fulfilled his own prophecy on the Saturday, laughing his mistake off as he accredited it to not being able to read “very good”. After a cigarette break the band came back for more – and they gave us ‘more’ ten times over.

Highlights included the brilliant lyrical ‘18–30’ which explores the familiar stereotype of Brits abroad “Dos bier mate, por favour / won’t see the sun ‘til gone four” and ‘Depth Charge’ which saw hands around the venue dropping in time to the dubstep-esque melody. The simplicity of lyrics in ‘The Only One’ and ‘MDMAZING’ allowed anyone and everyone to immerse themselves in a wholly satisfying singsong, making Saturday night’s show infinitely better than the Friday. Looking around the audience it’s fair to say that Saturday’s crowd was younger and therefore far more up for losing their shit.

A slower, more emotionally charged track, ‘Play Me’, had lighters out across the venue which was a more than welcome relief from the Reverend and the Makers induced pandemonium. The gem for me though was ‘Different Trains’; and despite the fact that the audience was younger, that didn’t mean that when Joe Carnall was introduced there weren’t shouts for ‘Roll Out The Barrel’ and Milburn. One can only expect that his Christmas show at Plug will draw in much of the same crowd – and McClure himself promises he’ll be in the audience amongst us.

Embracing the enthusiasm of Saturday’s audience made for an even better show than the night before, with ‘Yorkshire! Yorkshire! Yorkshire!” being chanted throughout. We’re really oh so creative here in the North with our chants, although tonight we got chided for the classic “We all hate Leeds scum!” as Reverend and the Makers were DJing in Leeds after the gig.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlgQxK-HBGk?rel=0&w=740&h=422]

I certainly didn’t miss the carpark sing-a-long that was forfeited as a result. An encore of ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ and ‘Silence Is Talking’ complete with confetti and giant balloons saw the night end on a high for me. A mass game of keepy-uppy and shouting our hearts out to the song that started it all for Reverend & the Makers wins out over the previous night’s lacklustre out-of-tune carpark serenade any day.

It has truly been a joy to share in the celebration of 10 years of Reverend and the Makers. I can only reiterate the sentiment that I expressed in my review of Friday’s show for Gigslutz that I hope there will be many more bouncetastic bonanzas to come!

Words by Beth Kirkbride

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