Local lads Bitter Strings supporting Reverend and the Makers - Photo by Sean Wootton
Despite only being together for a relatively short amount of time, Bitter Strings already have some impressive gigs under their belts. This slot supporting Reverend and The Makers at Rescue Rooms was perhaps their biggest to date.
With the main room rapidly filling the lads take to the stage with a touch of confident swagger about them. Unphased by the packed out balcony and busy main room they dive straight into an impressive and entertaining set. Mike Smith commands the bass twang as a powerful backdrop to Ben McConnachie's Northern Soul vocals whilst drummer Luke Pratt plays out of his skin in a Helders-like fashion.
Stand out highlights of the performance include Follow Me and Drenched , the latter a nostalgic master piece that wouldn't sound out of place on the Arctic Monkey's Humbug. Despite easy comparisons being made to Alex Turner's group, don't make the mistake that Bitter Strings ae simply trying to emulate the Monkeys. This three piece obviously take influences from a few miles up the M1 but they have seem to have a bit more class about them, a vintage style of retro Rock n Roll. If the Arctic Monkeys are cheap lager then Bitter Strings are a classic ale. A sound that is mature beyong the band's years but one the young crowd at Rescue Rooms lap up and by the end of the set show their appreciation by erupting with applause and woops of approval.
It has been just over five years since the outspoken and ever-hilarious Reverend and the Makers released their debut album The State of Things in September 2007. Since then, the Sheffield rabble have supported mega-giants Oasis on their last ever tour (including dates at Wembley Stadium) as well as releasing two more albums. Sure enough, with this behind them it is easy to understand why this gig sold out weeks ago.
The Reverend bounds on stage with The Makers just behind him and the beer in the room hits the roof as the rowdy crowd immediately start bouncing to the bass heavy tunes. Lyrically, this lot are as witty and down-to-earth as they come, with Single The State of Things a prime example: “The football fans fight cos United's at home, as futile as bald men fighting for a bone. Adam gives Keeley what Donna give him, Keeley shags Richard then gives it to Jim.”
Reverend and The Makers have already got a collection of potential peak points to the bands career. Strangely though it seems as though being included on the latest FIFA soundtrack is the proudest achievement. The Rev takes a moment between songs to challenge the crowd to a match online: “Who here likes FIFA? Hit me up on Twitter and we'll have a game, I'm dead serious about it.” The indie mavericks then launch into the song featured on the FIFA 13 game, Shine The Light and it is clear to see that many people in the room already have a considerable amount of FIFA hours under their belts as the words are roared back.
The biggest hit of the night however is the catchier-than-syphillis track Heavyweight Champion of the World. Every word of the anthem is roared back by the Rescue Rooms faithful as the room shakes to the core with the bouncing mosh pits opening up all over the floor. Reverend and The Makers are one of these groups that champion “Real” music, down with the Biebers and other cringeworthy sugar coated irritants of this world and up with this sort of stuff. Reverend, we salute you.
Reverend and The Makers played Rescue Rooms on Wednesday the 17th October.