Live Review: Reverend & the Makers

King Tuts | 22/11/15

Surrounded by middle-aged fans who had clearly had too much to drink, I was by far one of the youngest people in the crowd at Reverend and the Makers’ recent gig at King Tuts. The night was loud, rowdy and energetic; and I wouldn’t expect anything less from The Reverend and his followers.

The gig begins with support from Norfolk rapper Franko Fraize and his endearingly unenthusiastic band, who give the impression they’ve just wandered in off the street; one member kept his can of Irn Bru in hand throughout the entire set. The second support, Glaswegian band Brown Bear, provide a much more chilled-out, indie/folk soundtrack to the night, but by this point the aforementioned fans are becoming increasingly restless.

Drunken renditions of the infamous ‘Silence is Talking’ trumpet solo reverberated across the venue in between sets, only to be silenced by The Reverend himself, Jon McClure, when he first appears on stage; he immediately has his loyal followers bouncing, clapping and singing to the bands’ ska-infused indie rock at his command, with he himself energetically bounding across the stage throughout.

The set is a well-balanced mix of both new and older tracks, with songs from most recent album Mirrors played alongside classics like ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’, but regardless of age the crowd sing along loyally. The only break in the energetic set comes in the form of a moving rendition of the band’s 2008 song ‘Paris at Night’ as a tribute to the recent attacks in the city, McClure proclaiming that “the music will never die”.

Reverend and the Makers are clearly a well-established band who know how to appease a crowd; the bands’ energy is truly infectious, and McClure’s constant engagement with the crowd means that even the tamest audience members are bouncing along with him by the end of the set. After the gig, the lead singer can be found atop a parked van outside King Tut’s, serenading his adoring followers with a rendition of The Specials’ ‘A Message to You, Rudy’, and it’s clear that this close connection to their fans is what makes this band’s gigs so enjoyable.

[Katie Fannin]

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