Preview: Rock/newcomers: Doing the boy band walk

Reef

Plymouth Pavillions

Tonight

What does a band wanting to break into mainstream consciousness do? Look no further than for the answer - take their musical influence, the sixties band Free, and make an amalgam, do an advertisement soundtrack for the largest music company, a weekly slot in Chris Evans' TFI Friday, support gigs for those middle-of-the-mainstream masters Paul Weller and The Rolling Stones and a rockumentary spoof for Carlton's The Beat. Easy.

Having jostled into the sing-a-long bracket via the force of sublime marketing, the difficulty for is proving that they are a genuine article. Easy - combine long and lank hair, jeans and T-shirt, blasting vocals and musical influences from Led Zeppelin guitars to AC/DC attitude and conjure up an image a world away from slick. The real challenge, however, is how four Westcountry boys have managed sophisticated tweaking of media and hype but kept themselves independent from the products they have been tied too - so much so that have two chart-busting albums and a string of hits to their name but are still obscure enough to drop as a cool music reference.

"One minute we were playing to 80 people at the Kings Head in Fulham, the next we were appearing in front of thousands at the Royal Albert Hall," says Gary Stringer, lead singer. appear to have done the boy band walk to fame with a peculiar twist of talent which has given them a different fate. In 1994 a demo tape sent to Sony's S2 label prompted two top video directors to be dispatched down to the house they shared near Osterley Park. The Sony call had them recording some material on the early television commercials for Sony's Minidisc player.

Next on the agenda was a tongue-in-cheek "rockumentary" with DJ and presenter Gary Crowley, support on Paul Weller's Wildwood tour and The Rolling Stone's secret jaunt at The Albert Hall. Their debut album Replenish garnered a No 9 chart position and bookings at Glastonbury, Reading, Phoenix and T in the Park. They again followed down well trodden paths, enrolling the legendary producer George Drakoulias and the Abbey Road studios to produce Glow which went straight to No 1 and Gold status.

To see live is like putting yourself in the middle of lots of top- of-the-range speakers (Sony of course), an energetic stage presence that would make Chris Evans look small and a strut that defies anyone to murmur the words - riding on the back of a marketing machine. Previous misdemeanours, like stuffing CDs down fans' chests, catching pneumonia from jumping in Scottish lochs and illegal fly posting over Take That posters suggest the real will be more interesting than the hype they have momentarily generated.

At Plymouth Pavillions, Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3LF (01752 229922).

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

    £26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

    QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

    £35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

    Property Finance Partner

    Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

    Agile Tester

    £28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

    Day In a Page

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on