|Birth name||Jon McClure|
22 December 1981 |
|Instruments||vocals and guitar|
|Labels||Wall of Sound|
|Associated acts||Reverend and The Makers
Jon McClure, known as the Reverend, is lead singer and frontman of Reverend and The Makers and ex-vocalist of 1984 and Judan Suki. He claims that the name "Reverend" became his moniker because "I'm a big mouth and always running on at people".
Jon McClure was born in the Sheffield suburb Grenoside in 1981, and grew up there with his parents and brother Chris. He gained a first class honours degree in history and politics at the University of Sheffield, where he met many musical friends and colleagues, although he has known Ed Cosens since childhood and in Notre Dame High School, Sheffield. He then went on to become a poet, and began blogging on the internet. A close friendship developed with Alex Turner lead singer of Arctic Monkeys, who McClure met on a bus and asked if Turner wanted to join his band at the time Judan Suki. Together the two have co-written songs including He Said He Loved Me, The Machine (both feature on The State of Things) and Old Yellow Bricks (featuring on Favourite Worst Nightmare). McClure cites his key influences as being Bob Marley, Oasis and John Cooper Clarke. One of his favourite books is Nineteen Eighty-Four, a novel by George Orwell and inspiration for the name of his former band 1984.
McClure was part of a collective that set up "Instigate Debate" in August 2008. He shared a flat with frontman of Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner. McClure married Reverend and the Makers band mate Laura Manuel in August 2009.
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McClure's first band was Judan Suki, which featured Ed Cosens and Laura Manuel from the Makers. The name Judan Suki, is Japanese meaning 'being kicked in the weak spot' which McClure believed related directly to the music. Judan Suki was nothing more than a laugh and an experiment by McClure. During its life, Judan Suki had approximately 20 members throughout their time including Alex Turner and Matt Helders who later went on to form Arctic Monkeys with some friends from their school. In 2004 the band downsized from eight members, to five. The band including McClure, Ed Cosens as well as Karl Kelly on bass and Matt Holt, with Laura Manuel still on backing vocals. It was at this time that Judan Suki were playing for decent sized record companies, although he felt that the band were not good enough to be signed, a sentiment he kept to Reverend and The Makers as his perfectionist attitude forced songs from the album to be re-recorded delaying the bands releases. Judan Suki became well known within Sheffield and headlined venues such as the Boardwalk in 2002. The band were notable for their cover of "Brothers on the Slide" by Cymande although a studio version was never recorded by the band. However the song did feature on a recent mixtape compiled by McClure.
McClure's second band was 1984, the band were named after the novel by George Orwell, which McClure recalls, during an interview with the NME in August 2006 as one of the only books he's ever heard of when put on the spot about his favourite, he was too embarrassed to say 'The Dandy', which he later admits in a feature about the Sheffield uprising in "Sandman Magazine" in October 2006. Again, Ed Cosens stuck with Jon, and co-wrote many of 1984's songs as well as all of Reverend and the Makers. The band also included Judan Suki bassist Karl Kelly and drummer David "Chalky" White. The band shared a short life from 2004 to 2005 and McClure's strong views against the Iraq War meant that many of Jon's lyrics, vocals and outlook had an angrier edge to them. There are clear links and continuations with the lyrics and ideas of 1984 to those of Reverend and the Makers and 'God Is In The TV' which is one of the b-sides on the forthcoming single, was originally a 1984 song. 1984 came to an end when McClure decided he was ready to start getting "serious" as he did not want to be "just another guitar band" or part of a Yorkshire Music Scene which NME catogorised the band shortly before the band split in 2005.
The lyric "dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984" from the Arctic Monkeys song "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor", is a reference to Jon's band, 1984. Maintaining Alex Turner's close link with McClure, who provided much of Turner's inspiration in his early songwriting days.
Prior to Reverend and the Makers being signed McClure hosted a monthly clubnight on the first Saturday of every month named "Reverend Soundsystem" at The Plug in Sheffield, and has also hosted one event at Manchester's Po Na Na. The Soundsystem, which ran for a year from October 2007 and has featured a number of guest DJs such as Mani (The Stone Roses/Primal Scream), Peter Hook (New Order), the late Tony Wilson (Factory Records), Andy Nicholson (ex-Arctic Monkeys), Chris McClure (face of the Arctic Monkeys debut album cover (Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not) and brother of Jon), Terry Hall (The Specials), Milburn, Bez and Arctic Monkeys as well as live performances from The Sunshine Underground, Gas Club, Stoney, The 747s, The Hosts, White Rose Movement and Starlings (FKA Kelham Crisis). The event no longer takes place at The Plug.
In 2010, McClure took Reverend SoundSystem on tour. The band includes Jon, Matic Mouth, Laura McClure and Jimmy Welsh (who replaced Jagz Kooner).
McClures new project that features band members; Lowkey (UK Hip-Hop Artist), Andy Nicholson (Ex-Arctic Monkeys Bassist), Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys Drummer), Drew McConnell (Babyshambles Bassist), Joe Moskow (Reverend and The Makers), Jagz Kooner
McClure married fellow Reverend and The Makers member Laura Manuel in the summer of 2009, after an on-off relationship that McClure said in an interview was "proving tough". Throughout 2009, McClure also received death threats from the British National Party as a result of his outspoken criticism against the party and their leaders. Previously to marrying Manuel, McClure dated an Iraqi girl and he said in an interview in 2010 that he had strong views on the war in Iraq because "its not nice lying in bed with someone who's crying at their country being bombed". On 5 March 2010, McClure was arrested in Inverness after possession of cannabis, but was given a caution.
As well as being an outspoken artist in the music press, McClure has also featured four times on Soccer AM, scoring two out of four in the carpark challenge. McClure was jokingly offered a 'Jon McClure Trophy' if he managed to score his third attempt by the Soccer AM crew, but he missed. As well as appearing on Soccer AM, he has appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks twice to promote the band's albums. He is a lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan.
McClure is also renowned for his frequent use of social networking site Twitter, and the fact that he takes time to read his fans' tweets to him and reply. McClure's main hobby is smoking cigarettes in an edition of The Wright Stuff John said he absolutely loves to smoke.
Jon McClure is known to be an avid player of Football Manager, the Sports Interactive and Sega-made football managing simulation. On September 1, 2009, McClure became the first non-Sega or Sports Interactive employee to play Football Manager 2010, the latest edition to the franchise.
- Metropolis - Reverend and The Makers
- Reverend and the Makers : Interviews
- "Why 'Reverend' Jon McClure can't be satisfied". The Independent (London). 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- Interview: Reverend And The Makers | MTV UK
- Reverend And The Makers - Biography - Virgin Radio
- Youngs, Ian (2007-10-09). "Reverend preaches the power of pop". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- "The Rev to wed". The Sun (London). 2009-07-09.
- Reverend And The Makers - The State Of Things (Wall of Sound) - Album reviews - Music - Entertainment - Manchester Evening News