Interview: Reverend and the Makers

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Written for the Evening Times newspaper (Glasgow)

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/entertainment/music/sheffield-rockers-up-for-city-gig-149972n.23239397

Date: 29/1/14

IT’S not the most conventional way to promote an album, but Reverend and The Makers literally brought their music to the comfort of fans’ homes.

And one lucky Glasgow music lover was among 32 people treated to an acoustic set as part of the Sheffield band’s tour of 32 houses to promote the upcoming release of their album, ThirtyTwo.

Jon McClure, or ‘The Rev’ as he is known, surprised Shaun Williams, 33, from Croftfoot, in Glasgow’s South Side, after he won a visit from the front-man as part of an initiative by Pledge Music.

Shaun said: “I found out that I had won on the Tuesday before the gig.

“I met up with Jon on the Saturday and he came to the Celtic v Motherwell match with me!

“He had the place rocking with some old Reverend and the Makers’ hits. We almost took the roof off when we joined in with covers of Bob Marley and The Rolling Stones.

“It really was unbelievable to have him here and I can’t thank him enough.”

Until February 16, McClure will travel the country in a camper-van to arrive at fan’s front doors across the UK.

McClure said: “I just want to make that connection with my fans. In this day and age, you have to do things that are interesting and make people talk and think.”

By making the effort to interact with his followers, the passionate front-man aims to revive the spirt and adventure of music that he believes has been lost with a music industry that has become “dead corporate.”

“We’re having a laugh while we’re doing it,” he says. “We’re going out, getting mashed up, playing an acoustic guitar in the front room, with police turning up, people crowd-surfing with their tops off.

“It feels like rock ‘n’ roll, what music should be about.”

The album, the fourth by the indie-electro rockers, will be released on February 24.

‘ThirtyTwo’ was created alongside producers Youth (Depeche Mode, Primal Scream) and James Welsh. It marks the follow up to their 2012 release, @ReverendMakers, which illustrated the importance of social media to the band’s loyal following.

“I think Twitter saved our band,” says 32-year-old McLure.

“People forget that word of mouth is the most powerful thing in the world still, and Twitter sped that up.”

The band, whose previous hits include ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’, are constantly developing their style to adapt with the times.

McClure describes the new album as “classic Sheffield electro, mixed with great band music”.

“It’s funny,” he says. “I’m from Sheffield, so when I go to Glasgow, I feel a great affinity – they get what I’m talking about more than when I go to London.

“We always have a really good time in Scotland. You can’t fool Scottish audiences, they know their music.”

The acoustic journey builds up to the band’s UK tour, with a night scheduled at Glasgow’s 02 ABC on March 4.

McClure says that fans at the Glasgow show can expect to dance to a “load of bangers.”

“They can then stand in Sauchiehall Street with me after while I play some more songs on the acoustic guitar.”

He plans to play 32 more acoustic gigs from September.

“If any more Glaswegians want me to come to their house, screen-shot the album cover and send it to me on Twitter or Facebook.

“The last Glasgow house party was just amazing. People loved it, everyone was singing along.”

l Reverend and The Makers play the 02 ABC Glasgow on Tuesday, March 4. Tickets £13.30.

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