By Desh Kapur
VENUE CYMRU, NORTH WALES
Formed in 1992 in the village of Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, Stereophonics consist of Kelly Jones, Richard Jones, Adam Zindani and James Morrison. They have released 10 studio albums, which include 6 UK number ones. These guys are not just Welsh music legends, but British music legends and what better place to see them than in their home country of Wales?
As you can imagine, Venue Cymru was sold out and packed to the rafters well before the band took to the stage. This was billed as an intimate gig for the Phonics, I know 1,500 people in the venue does not seem very intimate, but for a band who sell out stadiums, this is as intimate as it gets these days. With that said, the cheers and shouts were definitely “stadium-sized” when the band walked onto the stage!!!
The Stereophonics then launched into a set of what can only be called Indie rock classics; music that spans 27 years. Starting off with newer tracks “Cest La Vie”, “Caught By The Wind”, “I Wanna Get Lost With You”. The newer material does a job but I think it’s the hits from the band's first five records that the 1,500 people gathered here tonight are waiting for. And they are not disappointed as the band roll them out one after another “Step On My Old Size Nines”, “Have A Nice Day”, “Maybe Tomorrow”, “A Thousand Trees” “Local Boy In A Photograph” and “The Bartender and The Thief” to name a few.
The Stereophonics are a great band; they have written some of the greatest Indie Rock tunes of the last 30 years, and Kelly Jones’ voice is unrivalled. When performing live, they are tight and on point at all times. Kelly Jones has an effortless charm that just sucks you in. When you add that and the size of the venue, mixed with the love from the adoring crowd, you can see how they were able to create a feeling of intimacy between the band and their fans - a very beautiful thing to behold.
The night seemed to fly by, sometimes the crowd’s singing drowns out Kelly Jones and the band looked at each other with smiles beaming.