WREN AT WORK

Reni's new band The Rub play in Macclesfield...

ALAN ‘RENI’ WREN made his live comeback last night, with the first ever performance by his new band THE RUB and NME.COM were there to bring you the first report.

The band warmed up for their forthcoming UK tour at the 400-capacity Bar:Cuba in Macclesfield, in which Reni’s former colleague Mani owns a stake.

The Rub’s line-up is Reni on lead vocals and guitar, Neil Nisbet on bass and vocals, Casey Longden on guitar and vocals and Mick Grant on drums. NME.COM understands that the band has only been together in its current form for a matter of weeks, although Reni has been working on material intermittently ever since quitting as Stone Roses drummer in 1995.

The band came onstage at 10.30pm, and, after a shaky start when a song appeared to be abandoned midway through, played for just over an hour. The music was bass-heavy and beat-led like The Stone Roses, but with a more melodic, psychedelic tone, at some points showing American influences. Of all the former Stone Roses’ solo projects, it sounds closest to Ian Brown’s debut album, ‘Unfinished Monkey Business’. Reni, Longden and Nisbet shared vocal duties, singing three-part harmonies on some tracks.

Reni kept a low profile around the show. He arrived at the venue minutes before going onstage and left quickly afterwards. He did not speak, except to introduce songs, including ‘Kaleida’, ‘Clay’ and ‘Wild Straw Gun’.

The Rub’s appearance at Bar:Cuba confirms reports that Reni and Mani are now on good terms. Although Mani is currently in the US, the show was attended by former Oasis guitarist Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs and Smiths bassist Andy Rourke, who is also involved with Bar:Cuba. Original Stone Roses member Pete Garner, who was replaced by Mani, was on hand, although he is not a member of The Rub. Support came from Mancunian blues outfit Bonebox, who are led by Goldblade guitarist Jay Taylor.

The Rub and Bonebox tour the UK this month:

Leeds Rocket (March 18)

Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (19)

Manchester University (20)

Birmingham Academy (21)

London Underworld (23)

Liverpool Lomax (25)

Newcastle University (29)

Sheffield University (30)