Sheffield band Reverend and the Makers back on the road with Best Of album

Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure surely has one of the coolest garden sheds in Sheffield.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 12:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 10:40 am
Sheffield-based band Reverend and the Makers

The frontman of the band described in their publicity as “the Sheffield rock’n’roll radicals” was speaking ahead of a headline tour this month that ends with a homecoming show at the O2 Academy on October 25.

The band, who have six Top 20 albums already under their belts, last month released Best of Reverend & The Makers through music label Cooking Vinyl.

The double album spans the band’s career so far and includes singles and fan favourites, ranging from their debut release Heavyweight Champion Of The World to new single, Black Flowers.

Each album is rounded off with a new song. Elastic Fantastic, featuring Rich Westley from The Moonlandingz, is described by Jon as “a fantasy about killing Donald Trump with a bow and arrow”.

The other new track is called Te Quiero Pero.

But back to that garden shed. Jon said: “I’ve been messing around with songs.

“I’ve got a shed out in the back garden where I do quite a bit of that.

“I’m into spaces. My mum’s kitchen used to be a bit of a head space where I could write songs. I feel I can work in certain places.

“I’m just writing songs all the time. We’re about to sign to Fat Possum Records in the US which we’re very excited about.

“The last two albums were done in other countries. I’ve loved hanging out in that area between the Mississippi, Nashville and New Orleans – a lot of music comes from that area. We’ve never really embraced the US.”

Jon said he’s also been “making a crazy machine with the university. I’ll be doing a lot of that next year. I’ve got lots of great plans and I’m always doing stuff.

“I can’t be stood still and rest on on my laurels. I don’t want to trade on past glories.”

Nonetheless, the band are taking a look back at where they’ve come from with the new album.

Jon said: “It’s a Best Of because calling it a ‘Greatest Hits’ would have been absolutely ridiculous.”

The album is split into two parts, called Uppers and Downers, to show the band’s versatility, rather than just musicians who can make people jump up and down at festivals, said Jon.

He added: “That side is a bit deeper and slower. It’s only in the last few years we’ve pushed that more. It’s nice to be able to have both,” said Jon.

The faster songs can bring people together in tough times, however, he points out. “There’s uncertainty and division. Let's leave that at the door and have a dance together.”

The band, comprising Jon, Ed Cosens, Joe Carnall, Laura McClure and Ryan Jenkinson, have been together around 16 years. They released their first single 12 years ago.

Jon said he never thought the band would go on for so long.

“This summer we’ve been playing festivals and a lot of people in the front are little kids. There are people who got into us the first time whose kids are five or six now.

“I looked out at Tramlines and thought ‘I’m 20 years older than you’.”

They have also been working with younger bands such as Sophie and the Giants, another Sheffield-based group who played the Leadmill last week.