Reef, from England’s West Country in Somerset, astounded even their staunchest fans in 1997 by attaining the number one position on the British charts with their second album, Glow. This feat was, however, foreshadowed by two back-to-back top ten singles, Place your Hands and Come Together, before the album’s release.
Vocalist Gary Stringer and guitarist Kenwyn House were raised in Somerset, England near Glastonbury. Bassist Jack Bessant and drummer Domenic Greensmith were raised in nearby towns. Stringer and Bessant met while studying at Strode College, where they formed a band that eventually became known as Chief. Chief included future Kula Shaker drummer Paul Winterhart.
When Chief disbanded, Bessant went first to Canada, and then to America. He bought an acoustic guitar and began to write his own material. Stringer took a three-month trip to Morocco and began crafting his own songs, as well. When Stringer and Bessant returned to Somerset they formed a new group. After relocating to London, they met drummer Greensmith, who introduced the duo to House.
The four began playing together in 1993 as Naked, and were soon signed to Sony's S2 label. After hearing the band's demo tape, Paul Weller invited them to join his tour as an opening band.
After changing their name to Reef, the band's second single, Naked, rose to number eleven on the UK chart. Their debut release, Replenish, followed soon after and established a trademark sound for Reef, characterised by tough, solid guitar riffs, relaxed drums, and a soulful, scratchy vocal style.
Their popularity blossomed after non-stop touring, which included high-exposure tour dates with the Rolling Stones and Soundgarden. Replenish, reached the British top ten in 1995 and Reef performed for the first time in the US later that year.
Reef teamed with American producer George Drakoulias in 1996 for their second album, Glow. Spawning the singles Place Your Hands, Come Back Brighter, Consideration and Yer Old, on the week of its release, Glow went straight to number 1 in the UK Albums Chart and pushed Reef squarely into the mainstream.
In April 2014, Kenwyn House announced he would be leaving Reef to concentrate on working with his new band Goldray. On May 7th 2014 Jesse Wood, Guitarist for The Ronnie Wood Band and son of Ronnie Wood was hired to replace Kenwyn House.
In April 2016 Reef were announced as the opening act for two of the Coldplay concerts in June 2016 at Wembley Stadium. At the end of 2021, the band announced they had been working with former Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor on a new album, and that the record would be issued in April 2022 with the name Shoot Me Your Ace.