West Country rockers Reef made a return to Dublin on Thursday night (31st May 2018), for an intimate performance at the city’s Academy Green Room. The show came as the band prepared for a heading appearance at the Harmony Live ’18 festival in Holywood, Co.Down, on Friday 1st June.
With summer in bloom in the Irish capital, the four-piece soundtracked the recent good weather, bringing with them the grooves, soul and gospel as they made their way through their catalogue.
Kicking off the evening with the song that kick-started their career, it was with the instantly recognisable guitar riff to ‘Naked’ that announced Reef’s arrival on stage in the tiny Dublin club.
Going straight into the heavy funk of ‘I Would Have Left You’, the Glastonbury natives set the scene for what was to follow; a night of dirty rock and soul.
Greeting the crowd, singer Gary Stringer declared; “It’s a fucking good day to be in Dublin”, before dedicating ‘Provide’ – the first of a smattering of tracks from the recently released ‘Revelation’ - to the front row of hard core fans who’d been requesting the song.
It wasn’t to be the last time that the singer would get close to his fans either. Leaving the stage to get in amongst the action during the trippy mid-section of ‘Do You Like It?’, Stringer confessed; “It’s nice to go off-grid once in a while”.
With a set leaning heavily on their top five 1997 album ‘Glow’, the inevitable ‘Place Your Hands’ caused predictable euphoria, while a sublime ‘Consideration’ showed off the band’s gentler side.
Elsewhere, a focus on this years’ ‘Revelation’ album – their first to feature the perma-grinning, occasional fists-in-the-air enthusiast Jesse Wood on guitar – showed off the driving title track, as well as Sheryl Crow-featuring ‘My Sweet Lord’. “On the record Sheryl Crow sings on this one”, said Stringer, introducing the latter; “She’s not here, so I’ve got to sing it by myself”.
Bringing the night to a close in understated fashion, ‘Rides’ single ‘I’ve Got Something To Say’ proved once an inspired choice, offering further proof that Stringer possesses one of the most versatile voices in rock.
Reef play a number of festival slots across the U.K. before heading to Australia for shows with The Wildhearts and Terrorvision on the ‘Britrock Must Be Destroyed‘ tour this summer. For a full list of dates visit the official Reef site.
eonmusic spoke to Reef guitarist Jesse Wood ahead of the band's Dublin show. Check back for publication soon!
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