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Reverend and the Makers @ Pyramids Centre, 4th November

Reverend & The Makers’ visit to Portsmouth in support of their second studio album was both highly anticipated and widely unnoticed. Considering the radical views of frontman Jon McClure, it is not a surprise that mainstream media chooses to focus more on any hint of controversy around the band instead of their songs. However, as soon as the opening tones of ‘Silence Is Talking’ started playing, it became apparent that this was definitely not the case with the audience that filled the Pyramids Centre.

Reverend and the Makers. Photo by Dan Smyth.

The gig carried on with a mix of songs from their two releases, high tempo poetry squeezed in between the occasional political appeal. At the end of ‘People Shapers’, a track aimed specifically at chauvinistic attitudes, the Reverend did not miss the chance to make his explicit feelings towards the BNP known to everyone.

All six band members seemed pretty comfortable on the stage, which was looking a bit too small to fit the two sets of synthesizers but cosy at the same time; a perception amplified by the smoke coming from some incense sticks. As the end of the main part of the set was approaching, McClure teased the crowd by announcing that the band was going to play their final song for the night. This turned out to be just a gimmick though and he did it three more times with a large smile on his face. Eventually, after hit single ‘He Said He Loved Me’ and ‘Miss Brown’, Reverend & The Makers gave their fans the chance to call them back for an encore.

Still, the true treat of the night was to follow. After the very last song McClure suggested that the gig should proceed in front of the entrance and, without too much delay, walked across the venue with only his acoustic guitar in hand. Then – to the audience’s delight, and the surprise of the odd walkers-by – he continued playing and signing autographs in the cold evening air without any bouncers or barriers to separate him from the crowd. About 20 minutes later, amid promises that he will come back to Portsmouth in February, the charismatic Reverend finally called it a night..

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