Reverend and the Makers

Reverend and the Makers @ O2 Institute 2, 9th February 2023

To sum up this show in the words of Jon McClure, A.K.A ‘The Reverend’ and Reverend and the Makers frontman, it was “banger after banger after banger!”.

Reverend and the Makers burst back onto the music scene last year with chilled out single ‘Heatwave In The Cold North.’ This was after a break from releasing any new music since 2017 (aside from their greatest hits double album in 2019). Jon’s song writing has always been quality, bringing us hits like ‘The State Of Things’, with which the band opened tonight’s performance, but these new offerings are drawing in hordes of new fans both young and old.

The crowd was buzzing from start to finish, and the noise level was equally banging, with one woman heard repeatedly shouting afterwards “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear again”. The quality of the sound was good though – not just loud.

The two other (remaining) founding members of the band, guitarist Ed Cosens and Laura McClure (keyboard, synth and trumpet) provide strong backing vocals, and also took the lead in a few places. Bass player Antonia was twinning in style with Laura as they joked on social media “On Thursdays we wear jumpsuits”.

Playing over 20 songs, the band worked their way through some of their greatest ‘bangers’, as well as a few ballads and some tunes from their forthcoming album. If you’ve not seen Reverend and the Makers before, you should know that the shows are all about bouncing. The Reverend bounces (so much in fact that I don’t know how he still manages to sing!) and so does everyone in the crowd. You also get to chant “Rev Army” which brings a community vibe to proceedings (being reminiscent of all rooting for the same team at the football). Given the bouncing, there was a good amount of encouragement for everyone to look after each other and stay safe.

Audience highlights included best-selling single ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The World’, ‘Shine The Light’ and the electronic ‘Bassline’. Ska-esque track ‘Miss Brown’ was fittingly dedicated to the late Terry Hall of The Specials.

Frontman Steve Bird from support band The Ramona Flowers returned to the stage to guest vocal on The Makers’ latest single ‘Problems’. It’s a great tune for anyone who is fed up with that person who complains all the time – “I’ve got problems, so I don’t wanna hear your problems”.

The show closed with epic tunes ‘He Said He Loved Me’ and ‘Silence Is Talking’ – where everyone chants the trumpet line. Afterwards, as is traditional, The Reverend continued the show in the street. I did miss that, but it was because I managed to bump into Laura, who was happy to chat and pose for a selfie.

The UK tour continues through next week, ending with a home show in Sheffield.


The State of Things
Heatwave in the Cold North
Mr Glassalfempty
Open Your Window
Shine The Light
Hate it When You Lie
Heavyweight Champion of the World
Miss Brown
Hard Time for Dreamers
Auld Reekie Blues
What the Milkman Saw
No Soap in a Dirty War
Out of the Shadows
He Said He Loved Me
Silence Is Talking


Review: Chrissie Duxson

Photograph courtesy of PR


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