Following the release of their second album A French Kiss In The Chaos, Reverend and his gang appeared to be having a somewhat quiet spell, but this year they have bounced back with a solid third, going in all guns blazing with a more electronic approach. Last night they stoked the Bristol crowd into a bouncing frenzy.
The Dragonflies kicked things off, delivering a selection of chilled out mellow indie tracks. Delicate vocals worked well alongside upbeat guitars which made up for their lack in overall stage presence.
The Virginmarys took on a drastically different approach. With the drummer breaking on average four pairs of sticks each song and the singer looking like he might just kill somebody. This is a band with real attitude, bringing punchy aggressive rock to Bristol on a Thursday evening. Perfect huh? The Virginmarys are without doubt the most exciting band I have seen in a while. I will definitely be picking up their first album when it’s released next year.
9.30 and Reverend and The Makers take to the stage. Pumping straight into new track Bassline, during which the Jon McClure kept beckoning the “Barflys” at the back to step away from the bar and get down onto the dance-floor. After spurring the venue into action things were taken up a notch as the band started skanking around the stage to the classic, Bandits. Still giving the people at the back a hard time, whilst lapping up the energy from the front rows.
After a tight performance of Open Your Window, The Reverend asked the crowd “Who’s got facebook?” as a sea of hands went up, he said “and who looks nothing like their profile picture?” as he did the funny lips face which is a common sight if you glance at the social networking devil. “Fucking unwind a little bit yeah?” this line introduced the opening synth notes from The State Of Things. The slower pace of the track settled things down.
The Reverend was on form with crowd interaction all night, pinching the kid in the front row’s phone and running around stage with it filming himself as he did his legendary comedic dance. Then later offering the crowd a game of fifa, “tweet me, I will play you at fifa, I am serious,” revealing his laddish side, before playing the newer track Shine A Light which features on the game.
Of course we heard all the expected tunes, Heavyweight Champion Of The World, No Soap In A Dirty War and Miss Brown. Which in all fairness are enough to make any night an prodigious one. The hopeful crowd were dropped hints of the gig being continued outside acoustically, similar to the band’s last visit to 02 Bristol.
However it wasn’t until The Reverend jumped off the stage and was escorted by a bouncer through the side doors, we knew the impromptu busk was going ahead. It wasn’t until following a metre behind him that you realised just how pissed he was!
Once he had found a suitable perch near a wall, a nearby bouncer smelt a joint and shouted “Who is smoking!” The Rev shouted “Yeah who is smoking!, cause they better fucking give me some.” He busked his way through a three track encore including Out Of The Shadows followed by covers of The Specials – A Message To You Rudy and The Human Leagues – Electric Dreams.
What a brilliant end to the night. Very special indeed, a storming set, tinged with humour throughout. Hope you can make it to a future show. The latest tour dates are available at http://www.reverendmakers.com/