Reef's Gary Stringer talks to Bobbysix.com about the band's box-set and their upcoming tour of Australia:
UPDATE, THE BAND HAS CANCELLED THEIR AUSTRALIAN TOUR. DETAILS HERE.
Here's the interview anyway:
I don't know about our exact last trip but I can remember beaches and sun and pies and surfing and hot gigs and space and orange sand and friendly folk and Daryl Somers.
What are you most looking forward to about coming back?
All of the above, maybe bar Daryl.....
How has your touring dynamic changed since last time you were here? Are things a bit less crazy on the road nowadays?
Sure. I sleep more and drink and smoke less, but it still feels like a party. I've been doing an acoustic band with Jack these last two years (http://stringerbessant.com/), so the contrast is massive between the two. Last year we played with Reef in front of 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium to open the football season here and ended up that same night playing with stringerbessant to 500 folk on a beach in Cornwall as the sun went down. That's what i'm talking about! Yeah man!
Does is still excite you to step on a stage, all these years on?
Yep, for sure. I love singing more than ever .
The tour coincides with an all-encompassing box-set of your work. Can people expect a greatest hits set-list at your shows?
You got it! We did two shows in London last month to promote the box-set launch here and we played plenty of b-sides and rarities and all the hits too, but I would say we'd be primarily sticking to the hits for the Australian jaunt.
When your box-set was being put together, were there any songs from your back-catalogue that you had forgotten about, or that you didn't often play live, that have since found a new lease of life?
Plenty. It was fun rediscovering songs that we had forgotten about and songs that weren't released first time around. Then we picked our favourites and played 'em live. The b-sides were like Reef with the shackles off, no commercial awareness needed, just sing and play, you know?
Conversely, are there any songs that you listen to now and think, 'ooh, I wish we had done that differently'?
Of course. I should like to make some small changes to some of the lyrics on Rides! And there was no need for those huge choruses on Wandering and Solid. In fact, I may do a couple of edits of those songs when I get five minutes. Ha!
What does the future hold for Reef? New albums? More shows?
No new album planned as yet, but never say never. Me and Jack have a ton of new songs for the second stringerbessant album which we hope to record this autumn/winter and we're talking Dom into playing drums on it. Maybe next time if we get Ken involved it'll be a new Reef record. ha!
Tell us something that we would be surprised to learn about Reef...
We won the 1996 soccer six cup? We had the biggest selling front cover of NME in 1997? Kenwyn has five fingers on his left hand?
Interview by Bobby Townsend. Photo courtesy of Steve Gullick. Check their Australian tour dates here.