Jon McClure, the Reverend from the Reverend and the Makers, made good on his on-stage promise to take his guitar and play on Victoria Street, outside Edinburgh’s Liquid Room. So after The Reverend and the Makers sell-out gig he performed an impromptu busker style acoustic set perched on a window ledge. A gathering of around 60 fans were treated to acoustic renditions of Oasis’ ‘Whatever’, Bob Marley’s ‘Jammin’ and many more. What a great way to end the gig - Jon McClure was last seen whipping his top off and asking “where’s Princes St”, as the tour bus laid in wait for the wayward talisman outside the Liquid Room.
The Ting Tings were the warm up act before the Reverend and his Makers entered the stage just after 9pm. A little hard to judge the Ting Tings - they seem to be just one drummer and the female lead vocalist. However it was a fairly enjoyable energetic set, even if the crowd kept their distance from the stage. McClure and the six others soon got things going, opening up with ‘The State of Things’. The intimacy of the Liquid Room worked well, with ‘Bandits’ provoking a big crowd reaction before ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The World’ got the night’s biggest cheer. The slower songs fitted in pretty well and ‘Sundown on the Empire’ worked better live than it does on their album. A rousing rendition of ‘Machine’ brought McClures comment that his dream is to play the track to his ex-boss.
The Reverend and the Makers website is excellent and McClure suggested their second album would be available for free on their website today. It hasn’t happened yet, but he’s probably still recovering from last night.
Jon McClure cuts an animated figure as he boxes his way around the stage; sometimes breaking into robotic-esque movements. His stage manner exudes confidence, perhaps bordering on arrogance - not a terrible quality for a front-man. His audience banter was continuous, even if it wasn’t always to everyone’s taste i.e. poetic recitals in between tracks. The Reverend is also an outspoken critic, as some of the blog postings on his website testify - last night he slipped in the Glasgow airport bombing wouldn’t have happened if the Government hadn’t invaded Iraq for no reason. The end of his set, and a jumpy rendition of ‘He Said He Loved Me’ brought high fives with the audience and McClure testifying to the Edinburgh crowd that it’s ‘Alrate up here in Scotland’. I like a front-man who has an edge, who splits opinion and The Reverend is that man - he has something about him, something to remember.
Inevitably many critics have the knives out for the Reverend and the Makers, with the ‘inferior Arctic Monkeys’ comments, etc. I think that’s a little unfair as McClure has tried to mix the debut album ‘The State Of Things’ into something different, a tactic which has proved successful with many tracks but perhaps leaves the selection a little too eclectic. Still I like them, especially live. Very good gig - helped a lot by the intimacy of the Liquid Room venue where you’re allowed to touch the stage.
Long live the Reverend and the free music he promised last night!
More photos from The Reverend & Makers Liquid Room, Edinburgh gig are available.