Reverend Jon wages holy war

Published: 30 Nov 2012 10:30

Dunfermline Live - The ever-outspoken Jon McClure talks to Gary Fitzpatrick ahead of Reverend and the Makers' Dunfermline Live gig.

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Reverend and the Makers leader Jon McClure is waging war on Radio One's "bland and banal" play-list and is backing people power to win the day.

Jon's band have enjoyed a highly successful 2012 with sell-out UK gigs and their new album reaching number 16 in the charts.

They also supported Noel Gallagher this year, following on from appearing with Oasis at Wembley on their final tour. They know this area well having previously played Velocity, are coming up for the Edinburgh Hogmanay concert and were at T in the Park in the summer .

"It was great. Nicki Minaj was miming so everyone came to see us and the tent was rammed," said Jon.

Despite earlier chart success with the single 'Heavyweight Champion of the World', Jon knows there is currently no chance of his band being played on Radio One and recently took on the station's head George Ergtoudis in a heated Twitter debate.

Their third album '@Reverend_Makers' was less political than earlier material and Jon, one-time mentor to the Arctic Monkeys, feels it's time for fun to lift the economic gloom.

Ahead of their gig at 'Dunfermline Live', the charismatic Sheffield front-man told the Press, "The spirit of our gigs are right celebratory and party-like again.

"We feel like a band that are going somewhere, still have records to make and still have a role to play, rather than on our second album when we felt like a band that were defeated and finished.

"There's a lot of rubbish music around at the minute. People look to bands like us and are thinking 'Actually you make really good music - much better than all this s*** in the charts'.

"I saw Calvin Harris and Tinie Tempah on the Jonathan Ross show and he's stood behind a trestle table f****** pretending to DJ. People want proper bands.

"So people are going to return to things like us and others like The View. Bands who write songs about people's lives.

"I had a massive debate for about two hours with the head of Radio One. The guy that runs the whole thing and I stuck him right back in his box.

"They're going to have to start listening to what we're saying eventually because we've got the people on our side. The people of this country think the music scene's rubbish and Radio One's got a big part to play in that.

"They're force-feeding people bland, banal bollocks basically and anyone who has got anything to say, who writes their own songs or has any personality at all is pushed to the margins.

"It's not sustainable so you're starting to see already a public mood of 'This is bollocks, can we have some proper music back' and I think we've benefited from that."

"It's a right f****** sink, man. Radio One's target audience figures are set by the BBC Trust. Who runs BBC Trust? Chris Patten, Tory. Who donates to the Tory Party? Simon Cowell and Gary Barlow. They all p*** in the same pot and people are starting to ask questions now.

"They rely on graphs to decide what to play on radio. Facebook stats and YouTube stats but 71 per cent of Lady Gaga's Facebook friends are fake accounts.

"You've basically got a lot of middle-managers deciding what music to play - it's bollocks man.

"They don't want to play my band because I'm too much of a risk. But they'll eventually have to play my band because we're going up. More people are getting into what we do.

"It's not just us. They don't play The View, they don't play The Courteeners. They just abandon all great British bands after the first album but it's not sustainable.

"That's why there's nobody can head music festivals. They're having to pay David Guetta £250,000 to stand there and play somebody else's song on a CD.

"They don't want people like Kyle (Falconer, The View) who they can't control and put in a box. They want people who will go on radio and say 'Oh yeah, Jessie Jae's amazing!'

"Kyle's never going to do that, neither am I because we don't think Jessie Jae's amazing. We think she's s***.

"It's like they want this bland generation. That kid from Radio One, he's caused himself a s***-storm. People like him in London, they think people like me are rough, alpha male but I wasn't aggressive at all. I was just totally articulate. He s*** himself. He didn't have any answers at all.

"They think people like me, Kyle and Liam Fray are stupid. That we're just lads, that we're like primates.

"Radio DJs play records, they don't make them so why are they the stars?

"The thing is that since the internet and Twitter you don't really need them. The music industry's changing. We've had so much success this year just purely off our own endeavours and word of mouth."

Jon is a big football fan and still goes to Sheffield Wednesday matches. He played on the Hillsborough Justice Group's new Christmas charity single, 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother', alongside Robbie Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Paloma Faith and Shane MacGowan.

"It's a great cause. I grew up a mile from Hillsborough and I was outside the ground that day. It's obviously something that touches a lot of us. There's a lot of injustices and it's good to do something that's for love rather than for cynical commercial reasons.

"We were kids playing in a quarry not far from Hillsborough that day and the first thing we heard was that a wall had collapsed. We ran down to the ground and saw them all coming out.

"It was very upsetting and people in Sheffield knew there had been a cover-up. Things like that don't just happen. I know loads of scousers and they're very good people. It was unfathomable to think there were people rifling through pockets. That's a bit evil, it never happened at all.

"There was a cover-up and there was a cover-up over the Battle of Orgreave (miners' strike), which was the same police force. That's why Thatcher backed them. She owed them one for Orgreave. It's all coming out now.

"It takes a long time for the truth to come through and all credit to the people of Liverpool. They just kept going when they were being told to shut up and eventually people had to listen to them. I think that's quite empowering."

* Reverend and the Makers play PJ Molloys on Friday 7th December as part of 'Dunfermline Live'.

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