Reverend & The Makers / The Children / The Jakpot - Jabez Clegg - 9.10.06

Northern rapscallions The Jakpot kick off tonight's bill with a rough and ready set on a bill which is more befitting than the Coldplay meets Mcfly aping Airtraffic that they'll go on to open up later this week. It's been a tough couple of months for the band on the cusp of greatness who were forced to cancel about 2 months worth of gigs due to their drummer breaking his
wrist. Back with a new drummer the band are still finding their way, but the songs stand tall as shining examples of the zeitgeist. While the band are much better than bands such as Milburn, Little Man Tate and their ilk there's an sense that if they don't break through in the next few months their time will pass.

After a successful stint at the Carling Weekend The Children return for a Manchester show as conquering heroes. Johnny Brownshoes may be making inroads with his solo acoustic troubadour gigs, but the psychedelic blues of his main band still are a joy to behold. Its no wonder why Clint Boon and Paul Weller call themselves fans and this feels for them like a double headline show rather than a support slot as a large percentage of the crowd are here purely for the Children. It's hard to define what makes the Children such an interesting proposition, but like the Raconteurs they plough familiar fields but turn it into something new and while they're in love with the blues and roots music they have a nifty ear for a pop tune. Building up their audience through constantly gigging over the past 18 months the band aren't fashionable but have forced people to listen due to the fact that every single gig they play sells out whereas uber-trendy bands struggle to bring one man and his dog to their gigs. This year was the one they set things up to take over Manchester in 2007 and if a label doesn't pick up on them soon you feel they release an album independently and wait for the labels to come begging.

Many bands have rode on the Arctic Monkeys coat-tails but Reverend & The Makers aren't one of them. In fact they were the very band that inspired the Monkeys and it shows because if anything the Monkeys are a watered down lyrically inept version of Reverend and The Makers without any of the depth and broad pop knowledge that the Reverend has. From The Specials and Madness through to the earlier boy / girl vocals interplay of former Sheffield Steel City stars The Human League, the Makers form the perfect backing for the lyrical street poetry of the Reverends streams of consciousness.

Tonight the sound may be dodgy and the audience aren't as on fire as they were back in this same venue a few short months ago, but the likes of "He Said He Loved Me", "Heavyweight Champion Of The World", "Bandit" and "What The Milkman Saw" are some of the best songs of the last decade and even a dodgy soundsystem can't stop that shining through.

Who knows what will happen in the future for Reverend and The Makers? It's a sad indictment that this band aren't already in everyone's faces but the simple truth is some of the most important bands don't sell a great deal of records. It's only with time that history can judge them and regardless of whether the next 12 months Reverend & The Makers break through they will be
seen as one of the most important bands of the 21st century.

Alex McCann

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