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Reverend And The Makers - Biography
|last update : 27-05-2010 19:04|
|Reverend and The Makers are an Indie rock band based in Sheffield, England and signed to Wall of Sound. The band is fronted by Jon McClure, nicknamed "The Reverend".
In late 2005, McClure once again collected musicians together for his new project: Reverend and The Makers. like previous bands included co-songwriter Ed Cosens, this time playing (bass). The rest of the makers consisted of Tom Rowley Formerly of milburn (Guitar) Dave Sanderson (guitars), Joe Moskow (keyboards), Richy Westley (drums, ex-Hoggboy) and Laura Manuel (vocals), and occasionally Simon Stafford on trombone. Sanderson was dismissed in July 2006 after the band completed their first headline UK tour and replaced by Gledhill guitarist Tom Jarvis. At this time a percussionist, Stuart, was also added to the band's line-up. Stuart is the cousin of Eddie the Kid. Early 2009, It was announced that Tom Jarvis has left the band, and has been replaced by Tom Rowley (ex-Milburn), Rowely was already a good friend of McClure, and contributed to the first album by co-writing the tracks "Bandits" and "Miss Brown".
McClure was in the media spotlight for his personal views in July 2009, after an interview in which he commented on Jade Goody's death earlier in the year; "it's sad she died and it's good more girls are getting smear tests but let's not forget she was a talentless racist". He has also been in the media recently speaking out about the UK's involvement in the Iraq war, requesting that fellow musicians, particularly the Artic Monkeys, his contemporaries from Sheffield, focus on real issues and to "not write songs about girls at bus stops any more like me and Monkeys used to do, let's start talking about what's happening man as otherwise you know where we gonna go, we're going down the toilet aren't we?".
Reverend and The Makers released a 9-track demo in 2006, entitled "Ten Songs." The artwork included a tracklist with ten songs, track 10 being "Paris at Night". However this song was not made available for download; it only surfaced on the Internet in August 2007. The demos were recorded at 2Fly Studios, and produced by Alan Smyth, McClure acknowledges the work Smyth put into the demos by accrediting the debut single; "Heavyweight Champion of The World" as McClure/Cosens/Smyth. Reverend and the Makers' music is a mix of indie guitar pop, electronica and a touch of Madchester-esque funk. Some of the internet demos feature members of other notable Sheffield bands such as Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Tim Hampton (Bromheads Jacket) and Mike Hughes (Little Ze). One of Reverend's inspirations is Manchester performance poet John Cooper Clarke and Reverend often performs his own poems, of a similar style, in between songs during his live sets. One of the B-sides to the debut single "Heavyweight Champion of the World" is a poem entitled "Last Resort" in which John Cooper Clarke and McClure read alternate stanzas. This poem was also duetted live when the band played live at Shoreditch's Spread Eagle in the first tour in May 2006.
Reverend's down-to-earth, cynical and observant outlook on modern-day life are captured in verses and delivered in a Yorkshire accent.
In April 2006, Reverend and the Makers were support to the Arctic Monkeys on their sell-out UK tour (same management), exposing the band to larger audiences and bigger venues. This was followed by their own first UK tour in May and June, selling-out dates in Shoreditch, London and The Plug in home-town Sheffield on the final night. A second tour followed in October 2006, showing great progression as a band. The sound was much tighter and far more advanced than on their previous tour. Jarvis had given a lot more strength to the guitar element and was certainly a catalyst in the progression of the band.
Reverend hosted a monthly clubnight on the first Saturday of every month named "Reverend Soundsystem" at The Plug in Sheffield, and has also hosted one event at Manchester's Po Na Na. The Soundsystem has featured a number of guest DJs such as Mani (Stone Roses/Primal Scream), Peter Hook (New Order), the late Tony Wilson (Factory Records), Andy Nicholson (ex-Arctic Monkeys), Chris McClure (face of the Arctic Monkeys debut album cover (Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not) and brother of Jon), Terry Hall (The Specials), Milburn, Bez and Arctic Monkeys as well as live performances from The Sunshine Underground, Gas Club, Stoney, 747s, The Hosts and White Rose Movement. The event no longer takes place at The Plug.
Late 2005, fellow Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys released their debut single, and McClure was hounded by major record labels, reportedly offering him sums of up to £150,000 to make an album like Arctic Monkeys. Although McClure was on the dole at this time, he resisted the temptation, and decided to do everything his own way, managing to sell out the 1,000 capacity Plug in Sheffield twice, while still unsigned. It was not until the following year that McClure met Mark Jones in a club in London when he asked him for a lighter. The two got talking and Mark Jones came to see Reverend and the Makers at the next show. Jones reportedly proclaimed the band as the "best band in the world" and signed them to his label Wall of Sound Records.
Reverend and the Makers undertook nationwide tour and date for their first release. The tour included dates in Wakefield, Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool, Sunderland, Birmingham, Bristol, London, Brighton, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Leicester, Sheffield, Hull, Manchester, Newcastle, Barnsley and a second date in London respectively. The band are also set to play more dates in July and many festivals over the summer period including Glastonbury Festival, Carling Weekend, T in the Park and T4 on the Beach as well as supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Hampden Park, Glasgow A tour to Australia is also scheduled for January or February 2008.
Their first release was the single "Heavyweight Champion Of The World" on May 28, 2007 and featured the B-Sides "18-30" and "The Last Resort" featuring John Cooper Clarke. The single takes its name from a line in "A Kestrel for a Knave" a novel by Barry Hines and another favourite book of McClure. The single is available on both CD and 7" vinyl formats, including a limited edition "White Vinyl." The single was released on download on the May 6, and reached #38 in the UK single chart on download only. The album, entitled "The State Of Things", was recorded over the Christmas period and was released on Wall of Sound on September 17, 2007. The album features songs co-written and performed with Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys and one track co-written and with guest vocals from Tim Hampton of Bromheads Jacket, other tracks include the vocal talents of Steve Edwards in fact the whole album is steeped in the creativity of the Sheffield music scene.
On April 30, 2007 Reverend and the Makers performed "Heavyweight Champion Of The World" and a cover of Kelis's "Trick Me" on Radio 1's Live Lounge with Jo Whiley.
In October 2007, supported by The Ting Tings, they made a tour of Universities in the UK. Former Arctic Monkeys's bassist Andy Nicholson made guest appearances to play bass for a couple of songs, because of McLure's longstanding friendship with the Arctic Monkeys.
On December 8, 2007 they supported Ian Brown on the final leg of his tour, and supported The Verve on December 11 and 13. They also supported in Dublin on October 28 in the Big Top venue in the Phoenix Park.
On February 12, 2008 they performed on British singer Lily Allen's chat show Lily Allen and Friends.
In March 2008 the band released an EP consisting of three remixes of "Sundown On The Empire", three for the track "18-30" and one for "The Machine" for a total of seven tracks.
On July 26, 2009, they played in their home city of Sheffield, closing the Tramlines festival with an 80 minute gig.
In summer 2009 they will be supporting Oasis on the biggest ever Stadium Tour in the UK & Ireland.
At the Leadmill venue in Sheffield on May 27, 2007, approximately 200 CDs entitled And Whilst the World Was Asleep We Were Listening To... were handed out to the fans. It is reported that more copies will be available later in the year in independent record shops. The cover featured a poem by McClure on the back "Just Like His Dad" which is a b-side to the single "He Said He Loved Me". The mixtape features songs from Cymande, Pixeltan, The Clash and Love. The CD opens with an alternative version of "The Last Resort" which only features McClure's verses and has a synth backing.
In June 2008, drummer Richy Westley left the group and in August 2008, frontman Jon McClure said he would quit music after their next album, although a month later he changed his mind. The inconsistency of McClure's actions has led many critics in the music press to report negatively towards the move. Welsh band Future Of The Left joked of their delight at the band's split at live shows on their tour at the time, as can be heard on their live album Last Night I Saved Her From Vampires. McClure has a new project, Mongrel, with a single "Hit From the Morning Sun" due to be released in February 2009.
Jon McClure puts on an acoustic gig in the car park of most venues. These sets normally last between 30-45 minutes and this is the type of thing that McClure is becoming synonymous with amongst his fans. He also invited fans to a "backing singer evening" to help record vocals on an upcoming single. He is heavily involved in the Instigate Debate group, and offers to carry out private gigs in fans homes to anyone who contributes. On May 13, 2009, it was revealed that McClure was going to be one of the curators of the new Tramlines festival in Sheffield along with Matt Helders from Arctic Monkeys and Toddla T.