I am a huge fan of the Stereophonics. Or at least, I was. Seeing them support Skunk Anansie at the Barrowlands back in 1997 before their debut Word Gets Around. When the three-piece “pop-rock” band were young and had real fire in their belly it would be hard not to become a fan.
Since then I’ve seen them on every album tour, from debut album tiny venues, headlining Festivals on Performance & Cocktails, the Kelly Jones ‘JEEP’ acoustic tour and everything after. Pull The Pin was OK but The Greatest Hits tour of 2008 was fantastic. Then came Keep Calm and Carry On.
I couldn’t keep calm, and I certainly couldn’t carry on. The album limped along, was dull and boring, and the resulting arena shows were equally lacklustre. Even the infamous Glasgow-crowd couldn’t improve on these shows. I swore I’d never see them again, and if they hadn’t announced a series of “intimate” shows this Christmas I’d have stuck to that.
The thing is, when they’re on fire the Stereophonics are great live. When they’re great live in a small venue then the roof is well and truly raised. So it was worth taking the risk. You know, just in case. Continue reading