Reverend & The Makers - Jabez Clegg Manchester - 1.6.06

The Arctic Monkey's Godfather storms into Manchester well aware that many of here on the recommendation of one Alex Turner, but apart from a sneery Northern accent and a line in street poetry the similarities between Reverend And The Makers and the monkeys end there. "Are we gonna be trendy or are we gonna be Manchester?" The Reverend sneers looking out among his disciples spotting faces in the crowd he knows, the believers that follow him round the country, and looking up and down those strangers trying to work out whether their intentions are honourable.

Older that Turner, The Reverends musical palette is a lot broader encompassing the ska sounds of the Specials and Madness, the funk of the Funk Brothers and Motown and every single great pop moment of the past 40 years. Even the forgotten Sheffield band YY28's get a look in. The Makers aren't afraid of that all important hook and it's that which makes them much more endearing than a few half inched Libertines reference points which much of the contemporary music scene pilfer time and time again.

"The State Of Things" sets things up like a church sermon with the Rev preaching out about wife beating, bullying in the playground, violence of the streets of Sheffield, prostitution, drug abuse. As he says "they didnt teach you in school about the state of things". It's dark stuff, but when the tunes sound like Motown as played by a Human League tribute band with keyboards from cash converters and Liam Gallagher on vocals it takes on a joyous world of its own.

"Heavyweight Champion Of The world" is about coping with the rate race with the hookline "I'm not everybody else" with the baiting response of "be like everybody else". "I wanted to be a cosmonaut, not everyone wants to be a an astronaut" he explains by way of meaning in a Richard Ashcroft stoner philosophy. Elsewhere he's talking about "im miserable now, i've got the Smiths on" over a soundtrack which recalls the synth line from Feeder's "Buck Roger". While the monkeys are kean to embrace the chavs, the sort of crowd that followed Oasis in the early days, Reverend makes his position clear. "Thomas Cook £9 a ticket. Go and beat up someone during the World Cup. That would be good - would it f**k"

Ending on "He said He Loved Me", a synth duet between The Rev and the Rachel Stevens-esque Laura Manuel, they start off the longest crowd surfing sesh ever. Reverend and The Makers have tunes such as "Bandit" (about gambling and leaving your wife at home), "What The Milkman Saw" and "You Get So Alone Sometimes" that speak out to a generation while looking further than The Streets and Arctic Monkeys limited lyrical subject matter.

Reverend And The Makers without doubt will be your new favourite band!!

Alex McCann

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