It’s a case of bless this house for fans of Sheffield indie chart stars Reverend and the Makers - front man Jon McClure is performing in fans’ homes, writes Graham Walker.
Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Beatles fans can only dream what it would have been like for those legends to turn up and perform in their living room.
But Sheffield chart stars Reverend and the Makers are answering the prayers of their lucky fans.
Just pre-order Thirty Two, their forthcoming album – using a special pledgemusic.com web site, details below – and lead singer Jon could be turning up on your doorstep.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our exclusive video report.
He’s more used to performing to thousands of fans, headlining festivals like Tramlines or the band’s gig last month in front of 3,500 people at Doncaster Dome. Their 2014 UK tour, including Sheffield O2 Academy on March 7, is selling out.
But chart-star Jon is asking fans to tweet or Facebook him their pre-order receipt, to prove they are real fans, before entering them into a draw for a chance to win a show in their room.
And while they are at it, fans can also pledge for special album extras, ranging from Reverend And The Makers beer mats, posters, T-shirts and album cover screen prints, to signed albums.
Prices are from £7 to £56, for something amazingly unique, including hand-written lyric sheets.
It’s the way the music industry is going. Gone are the days when a record company signed bands and they didn’t have to think about anything other than performing and making records.
Now, smart artistes, like Reverend and the Makers, working closely with their record label Cooking Vinyl, are helping to spread the word themselves – using everything from social network favourites, like Twitter and Facebook, to pledge sites
Sheffield singer songwriter Philippa Hanna, who recently toured with Lionel Richie and is on the road with Wet Wet Wet, got fan pledges to help make her latest album.
Jon, or the Reverend as fans know him, is blessing his brethren with acoustic house concerts after pal Carl Barât, co-frontman with Peter Doherty of The Libertines, told him they had done some.
The Rev has played fans’ homes in Liverpool, Newcastle, Scunthrope, Nottingham and other places. He’s hoping for a winner in his native South Yorkshire – so he can get back home for Match Of The Day, he laughs.
Jon and band guitarist Ed Cosens are turning up, but drummer Ryan Jenkinson, bassist Joe Carnall and Jon’s keyboard wizard wife, Laura might also play.
Fans get a sneak peak of new tracks from the album – out February 24 – plus greatest hits such as Bassline, Heavyweight Champion of the World, Silence Is Talking and Shine The Light, the public choice for this year’s FA Cup anthem
In an exclusive chat with The Star – watch online at thestar.co.uk/video – he said: “I’ve always had a bit of a vibe playing outside after gigs but playing in people’s homes is something else.
“We went to Hull and ended up with 50 people in a bedroom. The floor was collapsing. We’ve had 200 people in a terraced house in Liverpool. In Scunthorpe I’m the top boy.
“A fan saw me play to 20 people in a house and then to 3,500 people at Donny Dome, in the space of three days.
“I love doing both and I feel blessed.
“There’s so much blandness in music these days, things are a bit boring. I just think it’s proper old school rock and roll. I come away sweaty and it’s all been a bit of a riot and totally random, smoking in doors and all that kind of thing. And people just love it.”
Of the pledge site he added: “ It’s the future, if you like, of the way the music industry is going and a chance to interact with your fans on a great level.
“We still live in Sheffield and I still go to Barnsley market now and again with my dad. The local area is important to us so we are hoping to do a house concert in South Yorkshire.
“I can be home in time for my supper with our lass, can’t I? You know what I mean? It’s all good.”
Who would Jon have wanted to play at his house?
The question makes him realise how exciting the prospect is. He said: “The young me would have probably wanted The Stone Roses. But now I’m a bit older I would probably resurrect Bob Marley or Sly And The Family Stone. Bob Dylan would be cool wouldn’t he. Him and his guitar.”
Jon explained the album title, Thirty Two, refers to his age – he celebrates the birthday on December 22.
He said: “’I’m totally at ease with being a Sheffield lad at 32. The lyrics are about my life and people I know around Sheffield.
“Adele called two of her albums after her age, 19 and 21. So by the time she gets to 32, she’s no chance – I’ve got there first love, all right!”
He said of the new album: “Our manager says it’s the best we’ve made. We are totally made up. We feel like we’ve done a really good job.
“It felt easy to make. The songs were just flowing and we had a good laugh making it.
“I don’t know if we are ever going to be a singles band. But there are tracks we’ve played live that people love, including Your Girl. It reminds them of The Prodigy.
Pre-order the album and you get that immediately.
“They go crackers for Play Me and I Spy, a song we did with Steve Edwards, who is a Sheffield lad, very successful – he’s had three US number ones.
“But to be honest, without trying to be arrogant about it, it’s banger all the way through. There isn’t really a weak track and we’re sure fans who liked our first and last album will love it.”