Last night we went to Manchester Academy and it was a blast. We arrived just in time to catch the main support act The Dearly Beloved and they were easily the best support band I’ve seen in a long time. Fronted by Pigeon Detectives singer Matt Bowman, who is just a superstar, they remind me a little of Pulp, catchy and quirky songs and Matt is just a curly haired mass of energy on the stage, throwing water everywhere he goes.0B3A3366-2725-2732

I think they will easily be headlining their own shows in the future. By the way they are not to be confused with the Canadian band Dearly Beloved so always stick a ‘The’ before it. I really can’t wait to hear more songs from these guys.

By the time The Reverend And The Makers emerged on stage the crowd were well and truly warmed up. The set started with The State Of Things from their first, and probably most well known album of the same title from 2007. From the same album came Armchair Detective and What The Milkman Saw, and after seeing the band many times at festivals I finally heard my favourite song, No Soap In A Dirty War, from the 2009 album A French Kiss In The Chaos, and it was fantastic live. Its hard to pin a genre to the band as they do a bit of everything, Ska, Funk, Dance, Techno, Indie Rock and even some psychedelic, Beatles sounding tracks, there really is something for everyone and it all gelled fabulously into last nights ‘Best Of’ set.0B3A3594-2717-2740

Miss brown was played next and singer Jon McClure encouraged the fans to get their knees up to this ska banger, which they obviously did, hands in the air, show him who’s there. He then treated us to one of his poems which was full of the same great humour that transpires into most of their songs. Out Of The Shadows got the crowd raving, a real dance anthem which sounds even better on a sunny day at a festival. Elastic fantastic is a new song from the recently released ‘Best Of’ album and features drummer Rich Westley. Bass player Ed also treated us to a song and has an outstanding voice. I remember hearing the song Open Your Window on the radio when it first came out and to this day its still one of my favourites and sounded fresh as ever last night. During the track Sex With The Ex a young female fan maybe got a little too nostalgic about one of hers, because as she sat on someones shoulders she started to strip off her clothes, bra and all, waving it above her head for the duration. Now planned or not, I think it was the perfect moment for Jon to send his beautiful wife Laura centre stage next to sing the sultry ‘bond style’ song Black Flowers which calmed the crowd down a touch and clothing was slowly put back on. Time to pump it back up next with dance classic Bassline and you could feel the bass under your feet and right through to the stomach. 0B3A3448-2719-2738The crowd went mental, always a favourite. Three more played from the first album were He Said He Loved Me, the brilliant Bandits, where the whole band get involved, and Heavyweight Champion Of The World, which Jon introduced by saying ‘If you don’t bounce to this I’m gonna set my dog on you’…. So Northern 1980’s, needless to say no dogs were set loose. Other tracks played were Shine The Light, Black Widow, Makin Babies, Mdmazing, Mr Glasshalfempty and the night ended with Silence Is Talking or as many people call it ‘The Trumpet Song’ and there’s no way anyone went home last night without that sticking in their heads. Absolutely brilliant night with banger after banger and more bounce than tigger.I0B3A3652-2705-2710 know I’ve probably forgotten to mention a few tracks but I was too busy enjoying myself to take notes anywhere else but in my head. Hope the band keeps doing what they’re doing because it was bloomin’ awesome.


Philip Goddard

Back to top