Named after a comic book from the cult 2000AD series, REVERE have a sound that is a monument to the backgrounds and musical loves of its members – who originate from across the UK; from London, and Liverpool, to as far afield as the Orkney Isles. Decidedly British, yet determined not to be placed in time.
With their firmly open-door policy as regards their influences, REVERE bind together a back-bone of drums and guitars with an unlikely approach to the violin, cello, and piano. Elsewhere the line-up is complimented by colliery-style brass set against layers of fractured vocal samples and distorted synths. Having gained grass-roots notoriety for their self-released debut album ‘Hey! Selim’ (2010), the band went on to grab the attention of writers and broadcasters with their dynamic, intense, and visually ambitious live shows.
Their second album ‘My Mirror/ Your Target’ was released early 2014. Pulling towards a more frantic, grittier, and immediate sound the edgy new-wave guitars of Magazine are merged
with the industrial clatter of Joy Division and Battles; the expansive soundscapes have morphed into euphoric flashes that would vie with the most uplifting elements of Everything Everything or the Maccabees. Angular stabs of synths surge up out of waves of strings – all the while the sure sounding
voice sails through the mêlée – best to imagine Ian Curtis singing Scott Walker, set against the varied skylines of England’s industrial docklands.
Now, with another line-up change they shift their sound up a gear with the forthcoming release of 6-track EP 'Man of Atom' with hints of 90s dance music, electronic synth pop, heavily effected violin and syncopated guitar stabs. Their trademark euphoric wall of noise and intense, strong melodies are still evident,as is Stephen Ellis's powerful baritone vocals.
Critical response to the self-released debut LP 'Hey!Selim' was largely positive, with The Times, Guardian and Telegraph putting their approval in print. The Fly commended the band’s “heartfelt songs” and “infectious energy”, while BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson called them “extraordinarily widescreen” and “a stunning band”. No faint praise – and such a swell of support led to greater visibility in the mainstream, with Revere performing sessions for 6 Music and Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 show, and an invitation to perform at Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD festival (which they rightly accepted, alongside slots at Glastonbury, Latitude and Green Man). Not bad for a band doing everything under their own steam, without the weight of an established label behind them.
And they’ve gone far beyond the simple ‘write, release, support’ cycle for their first album, setting something of a precedent for what comes next. A number of tracks from ‘Hey! Selim’ were reworked by members of such acts as Metronomy, Florence + The Machine and Biffy Clyro, resulting in four well-received remix EPs. You can expect numbers from ‘My Mirror / Your Target’ to be treated likewise in the coming months. The band’s music’s been heard on the cinema screen, in Antonio Campos’ 2012 indie hit Simon Killer, and they’ve even starred in a movie, too – the band makes an appearance, playing during several scenes, in artist Oliver Guy-Watkins’debut feature, Always in the Present.
Elsewhere in the press, Revere has been compared to bands like Canadian baroque-rs Arcade Fire and their sound summarised as “chamber folk meets Radiohead” (The Herald, Scotland). Such parallels with household names is a good thing regarding the reaching of new listeners – “If they help people discover us, these comparisons are okay,” says Ellis – but these are ultimately reductive pigeonholes for a band keener to break down walls than construct any around its palpable passion for progress. It’s no prevarication to state that this is a band in perpetual growth – ‘My Mirror / Your Target’ might be the current project on the slate, but, says Ellis: “We’re already writing new material. It’s a constant process for us. And we’re always thinking about the next live shows.”
Which have, so far, included an amazing collaboration between the band and Malian legend Toumani Diabaté, on a cover of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ (the Manchester band comprising a key influence on the band), and always feature a special aesthetic side to the experience. The band’s eighth member is artist Ryan Pearce, who works with Revere to produce visual backdrops to lift their performances above the expected, above the norm. On record and in the flesh, everything about Revere is about going further, stretching themselves and communicating to their audience in, says Ellis, “the most complete way we can”.
Complete expression, ambition crystallised: with ‘My Mirror / Your Target’ Revere has produced its most definitive statement yet. What comes next is still diaphanous, but the here and now represents something distinct from any release rubbing its shoulders.
Biog written by Mike Diver (extract)
"Revere […] combine the fiery melodrama of Muse with the rousing chamber-pop of Arcade Fire. They could, and should, be huge" STEPHEN DALTON, THE TIMES
“How you and I got this far without them in
our lives I’ll never know; Triumphant, raucous and spine-tingling” – FORFOLKSAKE
“Revere...so stirring that they could
have roused an army of hippies to war!” POLARI MAGAZINE
"The most underrated band in Britain at the moment, everything they produce is of the highest quality" THE BEAT SURRENDER
"An extraordinary widescreen technicolor epic of a song...a stunning single by a stunning band..." TOM ROBINSON, BBC6
“Epic widescreen melancholia” NEIL McCORMICK, TELEGRAPH
Stephen Ellis: vocals, guitar
Ellie Wilson: violin, vocals
Nicholas Hirst: keyboards, vocals
Ruban Byrne: guitar, vocals
Jay Chakravorty: bass, keyboards
Ian Cotterhill: drums
Kathleen McKie: cello
Photos 1,3,4 by Saul
5,7,8,9 by Gem Hall
2,6,10-15 by REVERE
Click on an image above to expand