After a positive 20th anniversary tour last year, Reef have announced that they are going to do a bunch of live shows; they're not back with a shiny album or anything like that, it's more of a 'let's do a bit of a tour and take it from there' sort of thing. Well, this had to be a date in a diary with it potentially being their last tour. It is just an opportunity not to be missed.
For Reef's Nottingham show at Rescue Rooms, they were set for a good start because the night was a sell-out. Within the space of five minutes, you couldn't move and the venue was buzzing in anticipation for Reef to come on stage. They entered to a rapturous spattering of applause, wolf-whistling and screaming. Gary Stringer was sporting one of the most impressive beards you are likely to see this year, waving to the crowd, seizing their instruments and then, boom, the bass kicked in. The show began with 'Just Feel Love' and as soon as Gary Stringer sang the first few words, his voice sounded stronger than ever and you just knew these guys were totally on it.
It was more like a greatest hits set which the crowd were lapping up; naturally, they played their most commercial track 'Place Your Hands', but it was all about 'Consideration': as soon as the first few chords were played, you sensed the temperature in the venue just drop and every hair on your body just standing on end. There is just something about this song that gives you the goose bumps. Everything on this track is just so pure and beautiful (bet you never thought you would hear that said about a Reef song).
Reef did treat the Nottingham crowd to a couple of new ones, and stated that they are going into the studio and hope to be back on the road again pretty soon. 'Ball and Chain' and 'Lone Rider' were a couple of the highlights, with the latter giving Stringer the opportunity to show off his own guitar playing skills.
The band smashed through an eighteen track set list finishing off with 'Naked' but the Nottingham crowd knew that there was going to be an encore and Reef didn't disappoint. Coming back on stage to do a couple of songs, the nice thing was that they didn't finish with 'Place Your Hands', but instead a good old get up and go mental song in the shape of 'Yer Old'.
Needless to say, a sell-out show, a brilliant set list - could this mean Reef are back? For me, they certainly are!
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