Turns out I was a dab hand at the surfing business. It was not that hard when you think about it, it is just standing up after all whilst the world around you tips and yaws wildly. Not unlike navigating my way home after a night out on the Bombay Sapphire in the more exclusive bars of Soho. Without the violent need to vomit at the same time.

Anyway, I had no desire to find myself back on Echo Beach someday. So instead, given half the chance I managed to steer my purloined surfboard a bit further out to sea. There seem to be a cluster of dwellings parked on the sea itself which, with a bit of skilful navigation I made it too.

A remarkable place I had found myself in. An exclusive hotel parked in the middle of an ocean. My initial thought was that it must be some form of cruise liner, a latter day Titanic, hopefully without the Celine Dion theme tune. Was she rubbing it in telling me that her heart will go on? Not if I have anything to do with it.

?The Grand Oceanic Hotel? was the name of this unique venture, and I could not see how it was moored. It was no cruise liner, that much I could see. I was initially crestfallen, cruise liners mean down on their luck eighties bands that I could mock. However I soon realised that a hotel meant one thing. HOTEL BAR. I ran straight down to the bizarre bar. Underwater, there were massive port-holes where the sealife teamed around some sort of nobbly stuff ? clearly these were the foundations of the hotel. I quickly ordered a triple G&T and got chatting with barman with a lop-sided face.

?Pray tell me why this hotel is out in the Ocean life this.?
?You mean you don?t know??
?I?m here for the bouze.?
?Ah most people come here for the Reef.?
He managed to say Great Barrier before I went screaming from the bar. A fucking huge barrier is what I would need if Reef were about.


What did we do to deserve Reef? Straggly haired Cornish types playing some sort of foghorn blues. We had dispatched Free twenty years before, when the British public had come to their senses and realised that it was not All Right Now. So why on earth would the GBP want what was to all intents and purposes a Free Tribute Band, so much so that their name was an anagram.

Place Your Hands: a song so dire than it made me want to place my hands, in a throttling grip, around their necks. Sophistication, charm, debonair bon vivant flair, these are all concepts which are so alien to the members of Reef that it would be more likely to see a single celled organism displaying them than a member of Reef. They surfed too, you know. British surfers, is there anything worse. Oh yes: British surfers who are in Reef.

To bring up the Chris Evans connection would be unfair to Reef, and certainly it does not do any more to prove their utter wretchedness. Suffice to say that hear ?Its Your Letters? bellowed out by the band every week should have been humiliation enough for them. It would if the words ?Its Your Letters? were not a startling improvement on the lyrics they had penned themselves.

I am not sure where Reef are now, and hope the have disbanded and are now running poorly stocked surf shacks on beaches without waves. Nevertheless I always thought it was apt that the most unpleasant of the alcopops was named after them. Aurally they were very much the equivalent of a Kiwi Fruit and Cranberry Cooler.