Rock and pop: A bit puny, but there was plenty of moshing

Reef

Royal Albert Hall, London

Apparently, there's been a bit of a Seventies revival lately. Or was that last month? Whatever, are right there on the crest of an old wave - even if they are four blokes from the West country who were mere infants when men in loons bestrode the world of rock'n'roll.

So the Albert Hall, scene of such historic occasions as Cream's farewell gig and Deep Purple's only public rendition of their Concerto for Group and Orchestra, should have been a fitting venue. That it wasn't was hardly their fault.

On a big screen behind them, the word "" was picked out in letters of raised steel - which for Seventies rockers evoked the cover of Deep Purple's Machine Head. From the opening "Higher Vibration", though, it was clear that it's not the Purple they take after. Or even Free, the group of whom their name is an anagram (unintentional, they say).

They're probably sick of hearing this, but it's Led Zeppelin who provide the template for their four-square rock'n'roll - an impression boosted by the uncanny vocal similarity of Gary Stringer to Robert Plant, with a soupcon of Janis Joplin. There's that same grating squeal, the sound of a dentist's drill attacking a lump of granite.

On record, Stringer is more satisfyingly distinctive, but he strained to fill the Albert Hall's echoey expanses, and it is under duress that the vocal similarities are most marked. The band, too, were ill-at-ease with the puny sound. When a fortysomething executive type comes out of one of the boxes moaning that it wasn't loud enough, then you know it wasn't loud enough.

There were plenty of empty seats, which didn't help, though the sizeable mosh-pit doubled in number for the second song, "Place Your Hands". This is the track made famous by the band's adaptation of it for the letters slot on TFI Friday (Chris Evans declared himself a fan some time ago; it was a blow from which they recovered).

There was even a modicum of wigging-out in the boxes from that point on - which was an indication of the main problem. What on earth were doing at the Albert Hall in the first place? It's perfect for boxing and sumo wrestling, but possesses the acoustics, in rock terms at least, of an old cowshed. Yet still bands persist. The place to see is in a sweaty club with condensation pouring off the ceiling and exotic fungi growing on the walls.

As a showcase for their fine new album, Rides, the gig left something to be desired, though the increased variety of their songwriting shone through. "Sweetie", the next single, uses a synthesiser - again very Seventies with its Who-ish sequencing - while later on, the splashes of acoustic guitar gave the set a bright, sunny feel. Some muscular slide guitar from Kenwyn House, too, added vivid colour to the palette. But given the surroundings, it was all a little quixotic.

: Mayfair, Newcastle (0191 232 3109), Tuesday; Apollo, Manchester (0161 242 2509), Thursday; Shepherd's Bush Empire, W12 (0171 771 2000) Friday. Credit card hotline: 0115 912 9203; or www. ticketweb.co.uk and www. tickets-online.co.uk.

Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot