• 26 September 2007

Band form


Seven British Bands That Couldn't Crack America

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 11 August 2018

Oasis Paul Weller Sugababes Manic Street Preachers Girls Aloud Take That Stereophonics

Seven British bands who couldn't grasp the Holy Grail of the American market.

The histories of American and British pop music is inextricably linked. Often, the same bands that enjoy success in the States also hit the charts in Old Blighty, and vice versa. Think The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, or Nirvana headlining Reading ’92 – common language and similar culture make the transition easy for many.

However, there are notable exceptions on this front – artists who, however massive they make it in Britain, for whatever reason can’t crack America. Here, we look at seven of the biggest British bands who just couldn’t make it out there.


Continue reading: Seven British Bands That Couldn't Crack America

Stereophonics - First Direct Arena, Leeds 10.03.2018 Live Review

By Alex Lai in Music Reviews on 12 March 2018

With their tenth studio album narrowly missing out on being a chart-topper, Stereophonics are in the midst of another largely sold-out UK arena tour. Their itinerary will then see them head to Australia, before returning to these shores for the festival season and a couple of their own headline stadium shows.

Opening with the brooding 'Chances Are' from their latest release, frontman Kelly Jones wastes no time utilising the ego ramp protruding into the crowd, which will later double up as a 'B stage'. Radio-friendly recent single 'Caught By The Wind' follows and receives crowd approval, while the energy is continued by another of their more recent catalogue, 'C'est La Vie'. A cut from their debut is ecstatically greeted and the nostalgia is upped by 'More Life In A Tramp's Vest' being accompanied with video from the band's pre-fame days. 'Have A Nice Day' and 'Indian Summer' get the audience dancing, while the stomping 'Geronimo' sees a further musician take to the stage to bring the saxophone solo to life. Indeed, with their live incarnation now numbering six, the near production-free set on the ramp is crowded to say the least. It does make for a more intimate feel for the likes of 'Been Caught Cheating' and 'Handbags And Gladrags', before Kelly Jones allows his band mates a rest while he airs 'Boy On A Bike'.

As they flit between cuts new and old - 'Graffiti On The Train', 'Step On My Old Size Nines', 'Just Looking' - it is evident you'd struggle to find a tighter live unit. Also worth remarking on is the power of Jones' voice - 20 years in the business would understandably take a toll, yet in his case, it very much appears as powerful as ever and is particularly demonstrated on 'Traffic'. As a minor gripe the set list is somewhat predictable, but there's bang for your buck with over 25 songs in over two hours on stage. The big hitters are packed to the end - 'Local Boy In The Photograph', 'The Bartender And The Thief', 'Dakota' - but breaking them up is the brilliant 'Mr & Mrs Smith'. Not only a demonstration of Jones still being able to pen a small town tale, it provides Adam Zindani a chance to show off his vocal range, while Jamie Morrison's drum solo should be the show-stopping finale. More moments like this where they let loose could add more spark to their show, but you'd struggle to find much dissatisfaction with what is undoubtedly an accomplished show.

Stereophonics - Scream Above The Sounds Album Review

By Alex Lai in Music Reviews on 15 November 2017

Having spent the summer playing smaller festivals and venues, Stereophonics are now releasing their tenth studio album 'Scream Above The Sounds', 20 years on from their debut record. A handful of American dates lead into the new year when the band take to stages in Europe, followed by a substantial UK and Ireland arena tour.

Powered by an ear-piercing guitar line, 'Caught By The Wind' opens the record with the sort of accessible arena-rock the band has regularly produced for two decades. The quirky new-wave of 'Taken A Tumble' is fun, while 'What's All The Fuss About?' is an interesting turn characterised by horns and trumpets for a sound not usually associated with the band. More familiar is the foot-tapping 'Geronimo', packing in attitude and a dirty sax solo, while 'All In One Night' launched this album campaign with its hypnotic guitar line and Kelly Jones in narrative mood.

One of the stand-out moments of Stereophonics' latest release sees the band abandon all but a piano and Jones' voice. 'Before Anyone Knew Our Name' sees the Welshman address the passing of Stuart Cable, the group's original drummer and childhood friend. Tender and sincere, Jones transmits emotion that can only come from such a loss.

Continue reading: Stereophonics - Scream Above The Sounds Album Review

Kelly Jones Remembers Stuart Cable On New Stereophonics Track

By Clive King in Music / Festivals on 27 October 2017

Stereophonics Kelly Jones Tom Petty

Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones has paid tribute to the band's late drummer Stuart Cable in a song on the band's upcoming album 'Scream Above The Sounds'

Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones has paid tribute to Stuart Cable after reflecting on his late friend in a new song.

The Welsh group's drummer tragically died seven years ago at the age of 40, after he quit the group in 2003, and his former band mate has reflected on their friendship in 'Anyone Knew Our Name', taken from their latest album 'Scream Above The Sounds', which was released on Friday (27.10.17).

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Kelly reflected on his best friend - who he described as his brother - and revealed they had made their peace years before he passed away.

Continue reading: Kelly Jones Remembers Stuart Cable On New Stereophonics Track

Kelly Jones and the rest of Stereophonics perform on stage during BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 10th September 2017

Stereophonics - Bridlington Spa 23.08.17 Live Review

By Alex Lai in Music Reviews on 25 August 2017

The Stereophonics machine has been gradually building up over recent months with festival performances and the announcement of 'Scream Above The Sounds', their tenth album due for release in November. Tonight's event is at a venue smaller than the arena habitat in which the band are usually found in the UK, a rare opportunity to get close and personal.

There's a reliability to Stereophonics which is comforting for their followers and ammunition for their detractors and it applies to their music and shows. So when Kelly Jones takes to the stage by announcing first album 'Word Gets Around' is 20 years old and they open with 'Looks Like Chaplin', it's greeted with glee and near disbelief. Any suspicion of an anniversary show will be dispelled as the night progresses, with staple set numbers 'A Thousand Trees' and 'Local Boy In The Photograph' the other tracks celebrating their twentieth, but that's not to say there aren't a few surprises. New tracks 'Caught By The Wind' and 'All In One Night' get road-tested, the former being the type of radio hit the band have spent two decades regularly turning out and the latter featuring a dynamic outro that should have made the studio version. Also performed are the rarely-heard 'Step On My Old Size Nines' and 'Vegas Two Times' and whilst admittedly neither may be the first choice of many a fan to pull from the archives, it's certainly refreshing to have the unpredictability in the show.

There is of course an obligation to smash out the hits and over the course of nine albums there's plenty to choose from - 'Have A Nice Day', 'Maybe Tomorrow', 'Just Looking' and 'Graffiti On The Train' to name but a few. 'Mr And Mrs Smith' from their last album proved Jones can still pen a classic 'phonics number and on stage it gets the added bonus of a superb solo from drummer Jamie Morrison. It's almost taken for granted that the performance is clinical - there's no bum notes or missed beats here - but it's also appreciated that an arena production has been crammed into a theatre hall. Sure, they're unlikely to start flying drones around the room or have cascading waterfalls, but it would have been easy to scale things down in this setting. That isn't the Stereophonics way though - it tells they take pride in their work and their work tonight is to entertain on stage. They do it for a firm two hours, concluding as ever with 'Dakota', a reliable way to send the masses home happy.

Stereophonics - Stereophonics perform live at The Hague, Netherlands - The Hague, Netherlands - Tuesday 14th June 2016

Justin Bieber Is Back On Top Of UK Singles Chart With 'What Do You Mean'

By Stephanie Chase in Music / Festivals on 19 September 2015

Justin Bieber Stereophonics The Libertines

While Stereophonics have scored their sixth UK number one album with ‘Keep The Village Alive’.

A fortnight ago Justin Bieber scored his first ever UK number one with ‘What Do You Mean’ and now he’s back in the top spot again this week. The single has risen one place to reclaim the number one spot, after being knocked off by Sigala’s ‘Easy Love’ last week, which has now fallen to number two.

Image caption Kasabian will headline this year's V Festival 

Simon Moran, V Festival director, said: "We wanted to champion British talent at this year's festival and with the likes of Calvin and Kasabian leading the way we don't think it'll disappoint. The eclectic mix of established artists and rising stars, with a few more in the pipeline, means that once again there is something for everyone at V Festival."

Continue reading: Calvin Harris And Kasabian To Headline V Festival 2015

T In The Park 2015 Announces Killer Line-Up For Its New Venue

By Ruth Buxton-Cook in Music / Festivals on 20 February 2015

T In The Park Kasabian Avicii Fatboy Slim Noel Gallagher Prodigy David Guetta Stereophonics Sam Smith The Script Rudimental Alt-J Hozier George Ezra Annie Mac

T's new Perthshire home will welcome a group of amazing acts.

Amazing acts have been announced to perform at this year's T In The Park including Kasabian, Avicii and Fatboy Slim. Despite notorious festivals to match up to, it is looking very likely that this year that T in the Park will blow people away.

T in the Park has moved to it new home in the grounds of Strathallan Castle. Organisers DF Concerts and Tennent's Lager are ecstatic about the festival's first year here, playing host to 85,000 fans this summer. Festival Director Geoff Ellis said: 'This year is going to be a very special one for T in the Park as we make the beautiful grounds of Strathallan Castle our new home, and we're thrilled that some of the biggest artists in the world will be joining us in this historic first year.'

Continue reading: T In The Park 2015 Announces Killer Line-Up For Its New Venue

Kelly Jones and Stereophonics - Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics with his girlfriend Monday 26th October 2009 at The Q Awards London, England

Stereophonics - The Stereophonics Liverpool, England - MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 held at the Echo Arena - Arrivals Thursday 6th November 2008

Stereophonics - The Stereophonics London, England - MTV TWO'sGonzo 5th Birthday Party at Shepherds Bush Pavillion - Arrivals Thursday 6th December 2007