Sheffield revelers Reverend and the Makers returned to Manchester Academy on Thursday evening, storming on stage to the theme from Rocky which willed the enthusiastic crowd into further frenzy.

The audience was a mixed bag, from the very young to the more mature gig goer, proving that the Reverend (John McClure) and his makers appeal to the masses.

Taking heed from his moniker, McClure greeted the Manchester audience and launched into a welcoming speech (which is a nod to his love of spoken word artists).

The band started with ‘The State of Things’ which covers a number of tough issues of domestic violence and alcohol consumption, which contrasts with the upbeat, high octane dance moves performed by McClure.

The band followed up with another track from their first album, ’18-30′ which would certainly please long time fans of the band.

The band played their latest song, ‘Heatwave in the Cold North’ which is also the name of the new album released in December. The album is the band’s first since 2017’s ‘The Death of a King’. The younger fans were in for a treat during this song as McClure invited some of his smaller listeners onto the stage, perhaps concerned for their safety, suffice to say they were buzzing as they were led through the pit.

McClure knows how to treat an audience and his in-between song interaction is well renowned by hardcore fans who lapped it up. Astute, witty, and hot on current affairs (which is notable in his songwriting) he really is an all-round entertainer.

The band played some of their more notable tracks which went down treat. ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ is of course one of their most famous sets, but the band included it mid way through the setlist, and chose to close on a cover of Dandy Livingstone’s ‘A Message to You, Rudy’.

The band continues the Northern leg of their tour in their native Sheffield on Saturday and are also playing at a number of UK festivals this summer, including Kendal Calling, Neighbourhood Weekender and Tramlines.