Stereophonics @ FlyDSA Arena

More than two decades of being a solid singles band, Welsh band Stereophonics rolled into Sheffield on Friday for the opening gig of their UK tour with a setlist packed full of hits for the sold out crowd.

Not looking a day over 30, frontman Kelly Jones barely breaks a sweat as he fills the arena with his unique voice. Songs from new album Kind get a good airing, albeit to a subdued crowd. The classic tunes though, in particular ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ and ‘Have A Nice Day’ go down a treat, with Jones allowing the audience to belt back the lyrics to the former, creating the night’s first highlight.

The ‘Phonics have never had much of an energetic live show – the band do venture out along the catwalk for a couple of stripped down classics (‘Traffic’, ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’) as well as a few ‘showbiz’ guitar solos from guitarist Adam Zindani. But the capacity crowd isn’t here for pyro and mosh pits, they’re here for the radio-friendly Britpop tunes that the Stereophonics have in spades.

Before the raucous closer of ‘Dakota’, Kelly Jones introduces their famous cover of ‘Handbags and Gladrags’, originally written by Mike d’Abo. The story goes that Mike was building a patio at the time, and the commercial success of the cover allowed him to expand. “Mike rang me to say thanks,” Kelly tells the crowd. “I was building a patio and now I can afford a f*cking conservatory!”

Image from Tramlines 2018. 

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