SAOSIN. Fez Club, Reading. 24.05.07

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Saosin extravaganza,” shouts Cove Reber. And it’s just one more sign that the straggly-haired, skinny singer is a changed man. Last time Saosin hit the UK, Reber was sick, sad, and cripplingly shy. He couldn’t look his audience in the face and he couldn’t hit the high notes without hitting the hospital too. But not anymore. For every second of the hour-long show tonight, Reber is in fantastic form. In fact this whole band have grown; from slick pretty-boys into stubbly men who talk about drinking cobra blood and rocking the fuck out. And the fact that they’re rocking out here, in Reading, to barely 300 people, only a day after playing their biggest ever gig (and downing the snake stuff) in Jakarta, shows just how mature these men are. You can hear it in the songs too. ‘Voices’ roars louder than any music video, ‘You’re Not Alone’ no longer feels like a token ballad but begs to be played to the back walls of arenas and there isn’t one song, no matter how sharp and stirring ‘Seven Years’ is, that dominates the set alone anymore. What holds sway now is Reber; who doesn’t just look people in the eye but hands them the microphone and shakes and shimmies and screams in their faces, the band breaking sweat tenfold beside him, and the thrilling and emotional set that they’ve dan-near perfected.

Tonight- Reading. This time next year- the world. The extravaganza just got extra-special.