SHEFFIELD indie stars Reverend and the Makers are thrilled to be opening this year’s Isle of Wight festival main stage on Friday.

Incredibly, the five-piece haven’t played Seaclose Park before, but frontman Reverend Jon McClure exclusively told The Daily Echo they’re going to make up for lost time this year.

“It's weird how we’ve missed out on IoW up until now. We did Bestival in 2014 and had a great crowd there, so we’re hoping for the same vibe again this time.”

Famous for their top ten hit Champion of the World, the band have also never been far away from the indie-dance floor with euphoric big beats and choruses on songs like Baseline and Out of the Shadows.

Last year they boldly returned with Mirrors, their best album yet, with its tremendous psychedelic sounds on songs like Stuck on you, Black Widow and Mr Glassalfempty, plus the outstanding acoustic number Last to Know.

With so many big songs, it all adds up to what will be a mad start to the Isle of Wight main stage with Friday also featuring Busted, Stereophonics and Faithless.

“We’ll definitely stick around to soak up the atmosphere” said Jon, who has run into Saturday headliners The Who before.

“We were on Jools Holland’s show and I found out Roger Daltrey has a soft spot for my wife Laura after he told a mate backstage that he’d enjoyed our set and that the girl in the band was really fit!”

“I’ll be in the crowd with everyone else for them. They’ve been such pioneers in rock and roll, their generation are like our modern day Mozart and Beethoven.”

Jon, keyboard-vocalist Laura, guitarists and vocalists Ed Cosens and Joe Carnall, plus drummer Ryan Jenkinson were last in the south in November when they had 400 fans bouncing around a sold out Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth.

“We love it at the Wedge, we always have a great time there” said Jon. “It’s a proper venue. Joe’s other band Milburn are there in September and he can’t wait to return.”

And it may not be too long before Reverend tours again too as they’re already working on new tunes for next year.

“We’ve so many exciting songs that the next album is going to be a double. We’re going to record it in Thailand after speaking with The Libertines” said Jon.

“We had wicked reviews for Mirrors, but I’m always thinking about the next project. Our debut album wasn’t big enough to keep milking forever so we keep producing new stuff which we love.

“We were wrongly written off as ‘landfill indie’ and the only way to fight that is to keep making banging records. You’ve just got to keep grafting; I guess it’s a Sheffield thing, like how we used to bash out steel!”

“Fans are voting with their feet and finding guitar bands even if they’re not on the radio, especially in the north. "Bands like Courteeners are selling tens of thousands of tickets for one off shows, Milburn came back and sold 9,000 tickets in Sheffield and unsigned bands from our patch like The Sherlocks are selling out all over the country because they make good music.”

Jon followed Sheffield Wednesday all the way through the Championship play-offs, although, sadly, the final result means there’ll be no imminent League games against Southampton, who he has a special respect for and some strong views on this week’s manager developments.

“We used to have great trips to the Costa del Solent back in the day! Everton is my second club as my great uncle Joe McClure played there with Dixie Dean in the 1930s, but I still don’t understand why your gaffer Koeman, who I like a lot, would choose to swap clubs.”

Reverend and the Makers play the Main Stage at 4pm tonight. Their latest album Mirrors is out now.