King Tut’s, Glasgow
November 22, 2015
There’s a credible case to be made for Jon McClure being indie’s answer to Super Hans, a loveable fantasist with inflated ideas of his own genius, who monkey-walks onstage promising “banger after banger after banger,” and leaves entreating us to “take it to the streets,” with his acoustic guitar and three hundred people in tow. In fairness, however, McClure has been doing rather more than just talking the talk of late – new album ‘Mirrors’ recently scored Reverend & The Makers their fifth consecutive top-twenty LP and tonight’s Jack Rocks-sponsored show took only two and a half hours to sell out. “We really should’ve played more nights or somewhere bigger,” he humblebrags at one point, “so apologise to your friends for us.”
‘Mirrors’ itself was a more diverse and ambitious offering than the Makers’ usual fare, and the album has clearly had a rejuvenating effect on the group – the motor-mouthed, aggressively-chipper McClure visibly revels in ‘Black Widow’’s riff-rock, and even appears happy to put a sock in it and cede the spotlight to bandmates Joe Carnall and Ed Cosens on ‘El Cabrera’ and ‘Last to Know’. The lairy atmosphere is dialled down a notch or two for ‘Paris at Night’, a 2008 B-side revisited tonight as a tribute to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks (“We knew some of the people who got shot at,” McClure reveals), but it doesn’t last: he’s soon back to proselytising about ‘The State of Things’ and proclaiming, in his exaggeratedly-Northern burr, that, “You can’t kill the music! It goes on!”
Indeed it does go on: at the end of ‘Silence is Talking’, he triumphantly leads the crowd downstairs and out the front door, where he clambers atop a parked car for a chaotic encore of ‘A Message to You, Rudy’. McClure may no longer be driven by the youthful, self-aggrandising zeal of ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’, but tonight he makes a pretty convincing case for being the welterweight comeback kid of the year.