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Reverend and the Makers review: from indie rock to acid house with varying degrees of success

PUBLISHED: 11:43 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 15 October 2019

Reverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Reverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Archant

Seeing a band which began in the mid-00s can sometimes seem a little odd, too new to give off a retro vibe, yet too old to be current.

Reverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-FiskeReverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

While groups such as The Libertines, The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys have either managed to keep themselves relevant, or have been lifted to legendary status, other bands such as tonight's act Reverend and the Makers almost occupy a void between current act and nostalgia fest.

That's not to say they're a bad band, you have to admire their audacity to flitter from indie rock, through ska, to acid house and everything in-between during their set at Norwich's Epic Studios, with varying degrees of success.

The band specialises in variety, and for that they should be applauded with so many of their mid-00s indie peers churning out soulless Britpop imitations.

The group's most well-known tracks Heavyweight Champion of the World, He Said He Loved Me and Shine the Light still pack a punch, and get the band's passionate 'Rev Army' fanbase bouncing along with singer Jon McClure.

Reverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-FiskeReverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Other high points come during excursions into Bond theme-style crooning from keyboard player Laura McClure on Black Widow and raucous Specials-esque ska on Miss Brown, which sees frontman McClure cheekily bounding around the stage like Blur's Damon Albarn.

Even when McClure opens his poetry book to read a poem about the decline of the British seaside written alongside John Cooper-Clarke, the result has a surprisingly profound effect in contrast to the party atmosphere just a few minutes before.

This evening's congregation could hardly complain they didn't get their money's worth, after the lengthy set McClure will perform a full DJ set, before upping acoustic guitar and taking to the steps of Epic Studios at midnight.

With such variety there is inevitably some misses as well as hits, an odd foray into acid house on MDMAzing and Baseline comes off as forced and synthetic, with the band leaving the stage for a moment leaving McClure to seemingly attempt to drag the audience into the dodgiest club in Ibiza.

Reverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-FiskeReverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Set closer Silence Is Talking finishes the gig with what comes across as a strange mash-up between The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows and War's Low Rider, to me it seems cheesy but to hundreds of the band's dedicated followers this is the final party of the night as they bounce in joy.

While undoubtedly flawed, the evening is a festival of light hearted fun with the band giving their all to create a football terrace atmosphere, which is exactly what the punters came for.

- For more Norwich music check out our dedicated page every Thursday in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News or follow Enjoy Music More on Facebook and Twitter

Reverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-FiskeReverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Reverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-FiskeReverend and the Makers play Epic Studios in Norwich. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

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