Back when For Folk’s Sake was still in short trousers, there was a review of O by Tilly and The Wall on the front page for a while. It was clear then that the folk in the For Folk’s Sake was more of a hint than a rule – which is great because otherwise it might have been ages before I’d have seen REVERE live. How you and I got this far without them in our lives I’ll never know.
Taking the basic 2 guitars, bass and drums recipe, but with more invention and conviction than usual, then adding violin, cello, keyboard and a three piece brass section, REVERE create a sound that’s as brilliant as it is hard to describe.
Stirring, passionate, and loud are all good words but can’t quite get it across. Interpol and Arcade Fire might be good comparisons at times but (as always) it’s much more complicated than that. 6Music legend Tom Robinson described one REVERE song as an “extraordinary widescreen, technicolor epic”.
You’ll just have to get out there and experience it yourselves. Certainly a committed core already do: crowd-pleasers from 2010 album Hey! Selim like ‘We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow’ were greeted with loud cheers at Hoxton bar and Kitchen.
Complementing the solid wall of sound was the best backdrop projection for a band I’ve seen. It was absolutely stunning during the crackly, distorted-vocal introduction, and felt to me like visuals for each song had been thought about carefully, rather than just looking like a media-player screen-saver.
Laura Marling often tells audiences: “If you don’t like encores this is the final song. If you do, this is the penultimate one”. Stephen Ellis, REVERE lead singer and all-round nice guy, acknowledged there wasn’t room to go off and on but called the final track the encore anyway.
One triumphant, raucous, spine-tingling rendition of ‘The Escape Artist’ later and we all filed out, smiling and slightly more deaf than when we’d gone in.
Support came from Jess Bryant and Little Night Terrors. Bryant provided a pleasant line in floaty folk, all long chords and plinky keyboards.
But. Now: Mum always said if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything and writing a bad review of a support act isn’t big or clever. But Little Night Terrors were AWFUL. I don’t think they’ve listened to any music (even Magic FM) since about 1998. They sounded like a bad Stereophonics covers band at a wedding. I could go on for thousands of words about how unimaginative and cliché-ridden their set was, but I’ll stop now before I feel grubby. Sorry Mum. They’ll be huge – expect to see them at T4 on the Beach 2014.
Playing a one-off gig to launch cracking new single ‘Keep This Channel Open’, your next chance to see REVERE will be when they tour their up-coming (crowd funded) album.
By the way, give O by Tilly and the Wall a listen if you haven’t already. It’s really good.