hmv.com reviews… Stereophonics @ Cardiff Great Hall
Stereophonics celebrated their return with new album Scream Above The Sounds with a small (by their standards) show in Cardiff last week and we were there to see it happen...
Local Welsh heroes Stereophonics performing an intimate comeback gig after releasing their 10th album Scream Above The Sounds last week.
In Cardiff University’s Great Hall, housing just over 1,000 lucky fans tonight.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
With it being so intimate and the venue being so small for them, the gig sold out almost immediately and the Welsh crowd are in full voice throughout the whole gig tonight.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
Whilst it might be a smaller venue than they are used to, there is no skimping out on the set which spans their whole career and lasts for a good two hours. It opens with new songs 'Caught By The Wind' and 'Taken A Tumble' which already have a lot of devoted fans singing every word.
'The Bartender And The Thief' starts a run of many of their greatest hits including 'I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio' and 'Maybe Tomorrow' which are ripe for the crowd to just throw their arms in the air and sing along.
'Before Anyone Knew Our Name' sees Kelly Jones at his most fragile, with just himself and a piano singing about their late drummer Stuart Cable. Once finished it prompts chants in his name and is a special moment which is embraced by the band. Out of their new material 'Chances Are' stands as one of the highlights, showcasing their heavier with guitar solos aplenty.
Both 'Indian Summer' and 'Graffiti On The Train' from the album of the same name are great additions to the set tonight and represent material from one of their best records in recent years. Even at 20+ songs in, the atmosphere never dips; if anything, it goes up another notch with 'A Thousand Trees', 'More Life In A Tramps Vest' and 'Local Boy In The Photograph' just before the encore.
They triumphantly return to the stage to 'C’est La Vie' the opener from their previous number one album 'Keep The Village Alive'. It can only finish in one way with their only number one single to date 'Dakota'. Even in such a small venue for them, it still sounds and feels as though they are playing a massive stadium as the chorus rings out.
Did they put on much of a show?
Some have criticised the Phonics in the past for being too pedestrian with their output; however, the show tonight proves that this isn’t the case. There’s a perfect balance of new material and fan favourites which shift through all the gears and Jones’ vocals are pitch perfect over every one of their 26 songs.
What was the highlight of the set?
Whilst they have accumulated countless hits from their two decades worth of material, over time it feels that 'Mr Writer' has matured even more with age. It feels haunting with Jones’ signature husk still sounding great ever since it was initially released.
Where can I catch them next?
Early next year they embark on a UK arena tour with several dates already sold out. Later in the summer, they’ll be playing two massive homecoming shows in Wrexham’s Racehorse Ground and Cardiff City’s Stadium which are set to be huge events.