Reef, Matthew P

Emma Murphy 22/04/2010

1996 was a sad year for me; something happened in which left me forever more with an embarrassing and awkward twitch. What happened was that Reef released their biggest selling single, 'Place Your Hands' onto every jukebox across the land, at every house party and 'Place Your Hands' was played on every radio station. It got played to such an extent that, now, every time I hear the song it brings on that nervous twitch. So, I find myself over ten years on at O2 Academy in Bristol, surrounded by people who have an average age of about 30, and I have to question myself and ask “what on earth am I doing?”. Lead singer Gary Stringer still has an amazingly strong voice and gels well with the rest of the band despite taking a long break back in 2004. Reef deliver hits such as 'Come Back Brighter' and 'Naked' and inevitably 'Place Your Hands' is played to a sea of grateful fans. Musically I was surprised to see Kenwyn House using a more stripped-down, simplistic approach on the guitar (having listened to Reef back in my younger days I would have thought it was quite an expansive chord range being played but seeing them live but a stop to that belief). Reef sound great live and clearly enjoy the support they are getting from the devoted fans but it has to be asked if this was a bit of a 'We-haven't-got-any-money-left Tour' kind of reunion. In short, Reef are a fond memory, a great nostalgia rush, but hopefully with their slot coming up at Glastonbury it may set the scene for new material to come to light.