23 years and counting Reef still rocking the UK
Reef, with support from Saint Agnes – Live at the Princess Pavillion, Falmouth, UK
In the late ‘90s I was living in Birmingham and use to make a lot of surfing trips to Devon and Cornwall. In the days before iPods we’d have a collection of tapes & CDs in the car for our journeys and two albums that would play on heavy rotation were Reef’s Replenish and Glow. For us their music was the soundtrack to our summers and went hand in hand with surfing and cider.
Forward to 2016, I’ve been living in Cornwall for 11 years and Reef are playing in my hometown of Falmouth at the Princess Pavillion. They are no strangers to playing in Cornwall and recorded a live album & DVD here last year – Live at St Ives.
Opening the show were London based Saint Agnes. This four piece play some dirty bourbon soaked psychedelic rock n’ roll and have the songs to back it up.
I’d briefly checked out their single Sister Electric before tonight and it sounded just as powerful live.
Tonight’s show was close to a sell out and when Reef hit the stage the Friday night crowd were up for it.
Opening with one of their newer songs “Just Feel Love” and then an old one “Higher Vibration” they ease the crowd in before hitting them with the classic “Come Back Brighter”.
Vocalist Gary Stringer swaggers around the stage and I’d honestly forgotten what a powerful voice he has and how it really is the soul of their songs.
Completing the band are new (ish) guitarist Jesse James Wood, drummer Dominic Greensmith and bassist Jack Bessant. Bessant is an absolute powerhouse of a bass player; barefooted and his bass strung low, the sound is immense.
Long time fan favourite and anthem to many “Place Your Hands” make a mid-set appearance. It probably draws the biggest sing a long of the night but the crowd are then treated to a collection of new and old songs up to a stunning version of “Naked”, the song that pretty much introduced the world to Reef.
They returned for an encore with “I’ve Got Something to Say” which also had Stringer playing guitar. They closed the set with “Yer Old”, cue the mass sing a long and then it was all over.
Tonight showed that Reef lived up to their reputation of being a fantastic live band and you could really tell how much they are enjoying being on stage. There have been many ups and downs but I feel this is an up and I look forward to hearing some new material soon.
Forthcoming tour dates:
See the full album of the night.