News Column

If there's a beach Reef will rock it ; Gary Stringer talks new material as band returns to county

November 6, 2013


AS REEF singer Gary Stringer says, put the band near a Cornish beach and the response is unbelievable.

Not exactly a seaside venue, but the reaction is bound to be similar when the band celebrate their 20th anniversary with a gig at Truro's Hall For Cornwall on Tuesday, November 19.

The concert comes hot on the heels of a triumphant set at Looe Music Festival last month.

In his endearing Somerset twang, Gary said: It torrented down at Looe but everyone loved it - it was genuinely unbelievable, a real winner.

Since forming in 1993, Reef have had three Top Ten albums, including 1997's Glow which stormed the UK charts, hitting No 1 and included the classic single Place Your Hands.

Over their career they've also supported the likes of Rolling Stones, Paul Weller and Soundgarden and cemented themselves as a favourite at some of the UK's best-loved festivals including Glastonbury and Reading.

Probably due to the band's love of surfing and their West Country roots, Reef have always enjoyed huge popularity among Cornish music fans.

Gary added: Doing Glastonbury three times was a definite highlight - playing to 40,000 people in the sun and then getting lost at the festival with a gallon of cider will always stick in my mind.

Playing in Japan and Australia and three times around America was also unforgettable.

We worked with some musical heavyweights too - I'll never forget producer George Drakoulias driving me from LA airport to the recording studio where Rick Rubin and Tom Petty were sat at the mixing desk working on Johnny Cash's American Recordings album.

Reef recorded for the final time in 2002 and played their last shows in 2003 before calling it a day.

However, management and promoters Live Nation persuaded them to get back together for festival shows in 2010.

Now they have been in the studio for the first time in ten years.

We've been asked to provide a song for the soundtrack of a film called Barking At Trees, alongside people like Nick Cave, said Gary. We had a jam in the studio the other day to come up with some ideas. You never know, it might be the start of a process ....

Gary now spends most of his time on the Stringer Bessant project with Reef guitarist Jack Bessant.

It's the perfect opposite - I get to play mellow Neil Young-type stuff with Stringer Bessant and then have a rocking party with Reef.

Their 2013 tour follows the success of their PledgeMusic campaign and last year's all-encompassing box set which included the group's complete recorded works across nine CDs and a DVD featuring demos, B- sides, live tracks, unheard and unreleased material as well as music videos and TV appearances.

So how long will the reunion last? I was 40 this year, added Gary, but as long as I still have the energy then Reef will carry on. If ever a Reef show becomes lacklustre that's the time to knock it on the head.

There's plenty of life in the rockers yet as HFC audiences will see on November 19.

Tickets are on sale now priced Pounds 18.50 from, and See for more details.

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