'Kelly and Richard were born a few yards and a few days away from each other, Stuart arrived a couple of years earlier. The three's earliest musical experiences were shaped by the record collections of their elder brothers, taking in Creedence, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Stevie Wonder and gigs on the working men's circuit. With a history of music coursing through the Kelly Jones (former market trader, one-time boxer, budding scriptwriter) family, it was probably inevitable that he would end up singing and playing guitar. Stuart (worked on a building site, delivered school dinners) had sung in other local bands before taking the stool in Stereophonics. Ever the pragmatist, Richard (scaffolder, coalman, electrician) took up the bass because everyone else had guitars. Stereophonics signed to the then nascent V2 in the Summer of 1996 and good things have not stopped happening since then, but this story of stories goes way back. Kelly Jones, Richard Jones (no relation) and Stuart Cable have known each other since infancy and have played together since their early teens, rehearsing in Stuart's bedroom, in Cwmaman, in South Wales (look it up). A luckless few years hugging the M4 back and forth to London under the moniker Tragic Love Company came to an end with a swift name change (taken from the brand name of Stuart's gran's gramophone) and a few dates on their doorstep. Aside from recording 'Word Gets Around', Stereophonics spent the end of 1996 and most of 1997 earning a reputation as one of the best new live acts in the land, touring relentlessly, admittedly away from the glare of media coverage. Over the course of the 12 months they trod UK boards with Manic Street Preachers, Ocean Colour Scene, Skunk Anansie and The Who, whilst also spending time across Europe with Supergrass. They ended '97 with their 100th and 101st gigs of the year in Cardiff: the shows were subtitled 'Happy With That'. They even almost completed the set of Summer festivals. At the time, however it was one concert that seemed to capture the band's ascent in sharp focus.