Reverend & The Makers / The Ting Tings - 53 Degrees Preston - 9.10.07
Imagine a stripped down Go Team or a hip hop White Stripes as Mancunian duo The Ting Tings electro pop funk has just drums, occassional guitar and a feisty singer with energy to spare. The coals are a touch American and the synths, sequencers and bleeps are all on backing tape but the performance is electric. Singer Katie White has charisma, bonds with the crowd and certainly is no dumb blonde...she also knows how to give the cow bells a real good hammering. The set is short and slick with "That's Not My Name", the catchiest song of the night. The Ting Tings certainly have star qualiy as tonight demonstrates. Expect big things!!!
Reverend & The Makers frontman Jon McClure is many things to many people like best friends and mentor to Alec Turner who returned the favour by co-writing and playing guitar on Reverend And The Makers debut album. That seedy looking bloke on the Arctic Monkeys debut album is Jon's brother Chris who on this tour can be seen selling t-shirts at the merch stall.
53 Degrees is just a few tickets short of having a sell out as slowly but surely Reverend & The Makers have gained a loyal following. The problem with the band is Reverend himself, Jon McClure who overshadows the Makers with his massive ego. Not content with just being a singer in an above average electro indie band, he indulges in some poetry in the style of a bargain basement John Cooper Clarke or berating the crowd for not being energetic enough. His politics while passionate and heartfelt are lost on an audience mainly consisting of horny pissed up students.
When The Rev tells everyone what a brilliant songwriter he is, you ponder who he's trying to convince, him or us? This is a shame as The Makers are really talented musicians with a disco funk sound who dont get the credit they deserve. Rising star Laura Manuel who brings a much needed injection of glamour into the bands dynamic is not just a gifted keyboard player. Her vocal opening with Reverend on "He Said He Loved Me" is gutsy and very special indeed. Other tracks worth mentioning tonight are "The State Of Things" and "Sex With The Ex" which the first two rows know word for word.
"Heavyweight Champion Of The World" is easily the bands finest moment where the cocksure swagger of Jon McClure is utilised to startling effect and while the bands no encore policy may seem revolutionary they're not the first to do so. Elvis and The Wedding Present had the idea first although obviously decades apart
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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