A ‘90‘s band, announced in 2009 that they would reform for a 2010 UK tour. Reef, Gary, Kenwyn, Jack and Dominic, have been actively involved in various musical projects in the six years since they last toured together. After a successful reception this summer on the festival circuit Reef have since been adding live dates to their calendar.
If you weren’t repeatedly exposed to the infectious riff intro or Place Your Hands back in ’97, a few thousand times, I’m not sure where you could have been hiding. Though the one song seemed most affluent in the mainstream, Reef rested on four solid albums in their years together. Their set consisted of material from each of these works, from Mellow to Getaway, presented in front of a seemingly modest backdrop, later illuminated and embellished by a punctuational light show, the band delivered with tight instrumentation and a solid stage presence.
Their fans are devoted, beaming back songs word for word in almost every instant and even the mild insinuation of a heavier song prompted the surge of hands and light moshing from the crowd. Though the venue was far from packed, the notoriously rubbish sound of the Pyramids let up for the occasion and we were lucky to have a well balanced set. Between the tracks, frontman Gary was not a massive conversationalist, simply expressing his gratitude for the reception.
Given that I was initially slightly dubious of the motives of a comeback, with no new material and Jack Bessant – the Wookiee-esque bassist – apparently the only band member to have aged, the music that carried them for over a decade sounded as fresh as the ’90’s Brit Pop Top of the Pops that brought them into the mainstream.
Even if for gimmicky, publicity and jumping on the ‘comback’ bandwagon, Reef showed the Portsmouth Pyramids the effect of quality songwriting and a diligent performance ethic.