New for Old
Now I admit I'm quite excited about seeing Reuben tonight, having released one of the albums of the year in 2005 (Very Fast Very Dangerous) and having totally blown everyone away last time they played Manchester. When they hit the stage they get a big reception and it all starts well with a rousing 'Keep It To Yourself'. The sound is a bit rough on the guitars but the vocals are clear and such is the quality of Reuben's songwriting that they would probably still sound good in the most trying of circumstances!
Following up with 'Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em' they have the crowd at the front singing along, Reuben always put on a good show with all three members giving energetic and engaging performances. 'No One Wins The War' precedes the first of two new tracks tonight, the first being 'An Act of Kindness' and on first listen it bodes well for the new album. What really sets Reuben apart from many of their contemporaries is that they manage to combine melody, aggression and harmony with ease and this is no exception.
Crowd favourite 'Freddy Kreuger' was one of the stand out tracks from the first album and sees the audience in fine voice, the catchy riff is a timely reminder of Reuben's ear for melody. The second new song follows and again on first impressions looks set to be a future favourite but it's surprising that it's introduced as the last song of the set, with a half hour slot Reuben only play for just over twenty minutes. With no encore it's disappointing that they didn't play a couple more favourites and to finish on a new song is not the best way to leave a partisan crowd. Subsequently the overall impression is not as good as it could have been. Nevertheless Reuben remain one of the best bands around at the moment and we can only hope that it's not too long before they return with a headline tour to show their full potential.