Sheffield heroes Reverend And The Makers returned once again to play Mosborough Music Festival this weekend, and as always failed to disappoint an expectedly rowdy crowd.
Through the day a host of up-and-comers and tribute bands have their chance to play over the two adjacent stages as the fields filled up. Several ska bands go down particularly well, as the crowds moon-stomping on the dry, grassless fields sends out a think dirt cloud, reminiscent of something from a Clint Eastwood blockbuster.
As the headliners take to the stage an already raucous crowd is only hyped further by the announcement of a change to the bands line-up, seeing Joe Carnell and Joe Green of Milburn fame come in on bass and drums respectively to create a sort of Sheffield super-group.
Jon McClure is on top form, and for anyone who as seen them before it is unsurprising as he implores the already energetic alcohol fuelled crowd to “get your knees up higher”. At times the line between energetic and violent becomes blurred seeing some walk out, but again Jon calls for “peace and love” in the crowd, claiming “That’s not what we’re about in Sheff”.
The mix of new and old in a relatively short set is well thought out. Old favourites such as ‘Bandits’ and ‘Miss Brown’ (Which is performed in a style that heightens its already apparent Ska influences) are sandwiched between more recent ones like ‘Black Widow’, which is especially well received. Rifling through tracks from all albums, this short set soon becomes like a “best of” performance, handpicking the crowd favourites from each Rev period. This relentless procession of tried and tested tunes, combined with Jon’s unique stage presence, sees the gig develop the best Reverend performance I have seen in eight attempts.
Unsurprisingly Jon links the music back to the big story of the day. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see, ladies and gentlemen, Mohammed Ali, the greatest. Let’s see you bouncing, ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The World’”. As if the opening bass wouldn’t have been enough to send the crowd into bedlam…
‘Silence Is Talking’ closes not just this set, but the last ever MMF, on its current site at least, and it’s a dignified end. The local legends leave the crowd dispersing with those last trumpet bursts still ringing around the fittingly unglamorous surroundings. Their focus on substance over style is something many of today’s bands could learn a thing or two from. Once again in their home city, Reverend And The Makers have produced something special.