A lot of the people criticised here, especially as we’ve entered the upper tier, are placed because they represent something bad beyond their Twitter account. The insularity of the British media classes. The sinister creep of threatened masculinity. The banality of modern alternative culture. Being Grace Dent. @reverend_makers represents none of these. He represents himself. He represents a man who is really, really bad at using Twitter. And then gets him a top 15 berth. Inspirational…
You might expect a detour here in which we mock Reverend and the Maker’s musical career path, in order to fill up space. That isn’t happening. Not out of a desire to make this entry concise, but because I can’t remember a single thing about it. I thought they were that ska band who did that joint where your man mumbles for three minutes then shouts “the ghost-faced killer”, but apparently that was someone else.
Theory that 90 minutes spent reading his account has given me: the industries that attract groupies are the industries staffed by the most insecure people. We’ve talked before about how comedians have a terrible need for reassurance, but Twitter has shown us that musicians can be just as bad. Rappers who shift less than 30k domestic are unfollowable, such is their need to RT every single piece of praise that comes their way.
And where hip-hop goes, the rest of the world follows. @reverend_makers is an account studded with earnest RTs of every person who messages him with something vaguely complementary. Do you have 11 followers? Then congratulations, send something like “you just smashed it in Norwich. #revarmy” or “#BandsYouCantDislike It’s criminal the way @Reverend_Makers have been swept under the carpet by commercial radio stations” to @reverend_makers and get RTd to a crowd of 33,000 loyal followers.
This isn’t “fan interaction”, this isn’t “web interactivity”. This is an indie rock version of Der Untergang, a man locking himself away in a room staffed only with his rabid followers so he can carry on his delusions that the rest of the world is deliberately sabotaging his masterplan.
Reverend and the Makers made, and I quote contemporary press releases here, “indie funk”. That’s not a formula for long-lasting chart success and doing Billy Joel numbers over a 30-year period. That’s a formula for fucking off at exactly the same time that Mumm-Ra and Cajun Dance Party did. And yet this account is full of anger. Anger at the industry for forsaking them. Anger the NME for not writing about them. Anger at Radio 1 for not playing them. RTs of people who say “@Fearnecotton any chance of some @Reverend_Makers, I mean I know there not part of your london mafia but come one, sort it out”. RTs of people who say “@Reverend_Makers because of people like you guys British music will always rule the world. You give so much hope to young song writers.”
There’s very little insight into @reverend_makers as an actual human being here, just generic Yorkshire laddisms, the kind of half-baked football “banter” that you’d more normally associate with followers of @bigjohnterry, and a weird propensity for shortening the word “right” to “r8”, despite that being pronounced “rate”.
It’s just embarrassing though. An embarrassing account from an embarrassing man who is embarrassing his followers by enabling them. People complain about “below the liners”, internet commenters who attack everything put in front of them. But this, a celebration of toadying and ego-boosting from your fanbase, is actually worse. @reverend_makers is a man who needs to listen to the industry that told him to fuck off a little more, and to @ladreverendfan69 a little less.
“Ban Xfactor for crimes against music!!!”
“Out of interest RT if ya under 24 and ya think @bbcr1 is rubbish”
“@calvinharris I’m angry Calvin because this country’s full of talented musicians whilst u get paid to stand there playing CDs of generic pop”