Tickets are now on sale for our gig at Cardiff Uni on Nov 2nd. Get them here >> https://t.co/JCOuPoGHJb
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.
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.
Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean has topped the UK single’s chart.
In the number three spot was Calvin Harris and Disciples with ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, which scored over 2.1 million plays this week to rise one place in the chart. Jess Glynne’s ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’ fell one place in its sixth week on the chart, while The Weeknd’s 'Can’t Feel My Face' is a non-mover at number five.
Continue reading: Justin Bieber Is Back On Top Of UK Singles Chart With 'What Do You Mean'
After spending the summer on the festival circuit, Stereophonics release their ninth studio album 'Keep The Village Alive'; the follow-up to 2013's platinum-selling 'Graffiti On The Train'. A series of shows across Europe will be followed by a ten-date UK arena tour in December, culminating at the O2 Arena in London.
Recent single 'C'est La Vie' opens the record in urgent fashion, with vocalist Kelly Jones sounding as if he could trip over the lyrics at any point. It's a good-time tune with an energy that isn't seen regularly enough from the quartet. 'White Lies' is a shimmering attempt at arena balladry that may not be ground-breaking, but is hard to dismiss, while the influence of The Black Crowes is very much evident on the swaggering blues-rock of 'Sing Little Sister'. Those who criticise the band for being too safe will have further fuel with the radio-friendly 'I Wanna Get Lost With You', something of a generic drive-anthem, while 'Song For The Summer' is a sweeping number which utilises orchestral arrangements.
Based on a hypnotically looping piano line, 'Fight Or Flight' is an interesting number that may not be to everyone's liking. It has foundations in the cinematic sound of the previous album and builds to a climatic end, as does a highlight of this release titled 'Sunny'. The lyrics are at times lazy, a surprise given Jones is a heralded wordsmith, but it is some of the band's best playing of the last decade. 'Into The World' could test the patience of even dedicated fans, but 'Mr And Mrs Smith' will certainly have them back on board - it's another fun romp to get fans dancing and, should the band be brave enough to do so, could replace 'Dakota' as a show closer. Like much of 'Keep The Village Alive' it is more commercially-minded than the material of the last couple of Stereophonics albums - and this isn't a bad thing for an outfit with a not inconsiderable catalogue of hits. Detractors who may hope the band fade into heritage act status will have to continue waiting, while fans will no doubt enjoy this collection of mainly fine rock-pop moments.
Continue reading: Stereophonics - Keep The Village Alive Album Review
Ahead of the release of their ninth studio album in September, Stereophonics announced tonight's show as a warm up date before they embark numerous dates in the festival season. Prior to a jaunt around mainland Europe they'll play toward the top of the bill at T In The Park, Belsonic and the dual V Festival sites.
If tonight's audience are expecting a crowd-pleasing set or show to promote the new record, opening with 'Catacomb' is a curveball to all in attendance. An album track from their last release, it is a surprising choice which shows, if nothing else, that Kelly Jones' voice is as powerful as ever. Latest single 'C'est La Vie' is well received, whilst a surprisingly early appearance of 'Handbags And Gladrags' provides a huge sing-a-long. Tracks from their debut album remain firm favourites, with 'A Thousand Trees' greeted by a massive roar and 'Too Many Sandwiches' receiving an outing, while guitarist Adam Zindani takes lead vocals as the quartet cover The Beatles' 'Happy Birthday' in honour of a crew member.
Two other new tracks - 'I Wanna Get Lost With You' and 'Song For The Summer' - also get an airing, though crowd reaction is more kind than crazy, but 'The Bartender And The Thief' remains the dynamite in their catalogue that will always awaken a crowd. With their discography covering over 100 songs, the band have a task to represent each chapter of their story, but the selections of 'It Means Nothing', 'Could You Be The One For Me?' and 'Rooftop' are further surprises in the performance. For an act who usually play it safe in their song selection, it really mixes things up, but few fans could argue these are jewels in the crown. More predictably, proceedings are ended on the sure-fire duo of 'Local Boy In The Photograph' and 'Dakota', which get the huge applause you would expect for songs which are the calling cards of the band. They round off a performance which shows the quartet to be in fine form and as slick as ever, with evidence that they may be prepared to mix things up when they take to the stage.
Continue reading: Stereophonics - O2 Academy, Sheffield - 8th July 2015 Live Review
Kasabian and Calvin Harris are heading to V Festival 2015
Calvin Harris and Kasabian have been announced as headliners for this year's V Festival. The Scottish DJ and Leicester rockers were head up the bill at Hylands Park and Weston Park and will be joined by Sam Smith, James Bay, Ellie Goulding, The Script, George Ezra, Stereophonics, Olly Murs, Ella Henderson, Kodaline and Cvhrches.
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'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
The band used an impressive 2,056 words in their first three albums.
A tasty chunk of news for the music nerds: Manic Street Preachers have been found to be the most lyrically diverse act in a study of Welsh artists. Wales Online conducted the study to celebrate the release of the rock act's latest album, Futurology, and found that 2,056 unique words were used in only the Manics' first three albums.
The band emerged as top of the study, beating fellow Welsh superstars Stereophonics and Tom Jones. As the news site so appropriately points out, "For a band who sang "libraries gave us power," it's no shock that their use of language and words to get their message across."
For comparison, Cynon Valley group Stereophonics also scored highly with 1,453 different words used in their early back-catalogue, but Tom Jones' early work in the '60s saw just 867 words used over the his three first albums, with his third most-used word being "pussycat."
Coinciding with the recent release of their eighth studio record, which entered the chart at number three, Stereophonics are on a tour of venues smaller than their traditional UK shows. The jaunt sold-out quickly, indicating the band are still a strong live draw even if recent albums haven't had huge commercial success, and they've just released dates for shows in November that'll see them hit the country's arenas.
As with the new record, tonight's show is opened with 'We Share The Same Sun', though on stage it has a bit more muscle than the studio counterpart, which receives pleasant applause that pales hugely against the celebrations for 'The Bartender And The Thief' and 'A Thousand Trees'. This sets the pattern for the night, in which new cuts are dropped between songs from the entire back catalogue - and sees the exclusion of previous set staples such as 'More Life In A Tramp's Vest' and 'Pick A Part That's New'. In the main the move works, with the crowd enjoying tight renditions of 'Vegas Two Times', 'Superman' and 'Local Boy In The Photograph' amongst others, while even the tepid 'Could You Be The One For Me?' is warmly applauded. The only real clanger in the selection is 'Bank Holiday Monday', which whilst aggressive, seems to bypass the audience completely.
The replication of 'Graffiti On The Train' generally sees the band stay true to the release and 'Indian Summer' shows signs of already becoming a favourite. 'Violins And Tambourines', 'Catacomb' and 'Roll The Dice' benefit from bigger dynamics, with the first of those in particular developing into a dramatic crescendo that contrasts well with its mellow opening. By his own admission, Kelly Jones - who is in fine voice throughout - knows the blues of 'Been Caught Cheating' isn't what would be expected of Stereophonics, but it goes down well enough and provides the Welshman the opportunity to really demonstrate what a powerful vocalist he is. Audience interaction is mainly limited to small acknowledgements, but before the closing 'Dakota', Jones - a fan of the city's football club - breaks out a crowd-pleasing "Leeds Leeds Leeds" chant. The career-changing track - after eight years their first and still only number one single to date - is a simple and joyful anthem, providing a sure-fire way to send punters home happy.
It's been four years since Stereophonics released their limp seventh album 'Keep Calm And Carry On' and the interim period has seen former Noisettes drummer Jamie Morrison replace Javier Weyler. He'll be performing on an imminent tour of smaller venues before larger shows later in the year are separated by a summer of festivals - they've been announced for V and T In The Park thus far.
The lack of direction that characterised the last release has certainly been addressed by Kelly Jones for album eight - and those who favour the lazy 'meat and potatoes' tag for the band will have to find a new phrase. Whilst this is not a 'Kid A'-style reinvention, this is easily the darkest record the band has produced and terrace anthems are at a premium. 'We Share The Same Sun' has a big chorus and 'Indian Summer' is radio-friendly, but the former finds Jones in analytical mood while the string-laden latter forgoes the riffs usually associated with the 'Phonics. Orchestral sounds feature more prominently than most would anticipate, no more so than on 'Violins And Tambourines'; a brooding number with a cinematic feel that may seem tough-going but has a rewarding crescendo. The ponderous 'Roll The Dice' is enjoyably big band, while the aggressive all-out rock of 'Catacomb' sits nicely at the centre of the album.
A turn at blues on 'Been Caught Cheating' utilises Jones' strong vocal style well, a quality also evident on 'No-one's Perfect'; a melancholic ballad that is brutally honest and revealing. He has also produced one of the best narrative songs in the shape of the title track since the band's debut. Only with 'Take Me' does the experimentation fail dramatically, a dark duet with an unnamed female vocalist ambles over a haunting piano line but never hooks attention. The majority of 'Graffiti On The Train' does though and the lack of commercial aspiration is an important stride for the band's evolution.
Continue reading: Stereophonics - 'Graffiti On The Train' Album Review
Tickets are now on sale for our gig at Cardiff Uni on Nov 2nd. Get them here >> https://t.co/JCOuPoGHJb
We will be playing a charity gig at Cardiff Uni on 2 Nov for @RadioX! Tix on sale 9am tomorrow https://t.co/MD9SzrKXg5
Stereophonics talk Bob Dylan Shout-Out, 25 Years of Eclectic Rock. https://t.co/4Omn3VvjOt
Kelly will be live on The @ChrisMoyles Show on @RadioX tomorrow morning from 8am. Tune in! https://t.co/FOHeLZeeAt
RT @BBCRadioWales: 💥 What a line-up! 💥 ⚽️ ⚽️ ⚽️ ⚽️ ⚽️ ⚽️ #WALIRL #TogetherStronger #Stereophonics @wynneevans @EleriSion @owenmon…
Live on @absoluteradio right now.... 🎶 https://t.co/JYnLUpTCKb
Set your alarm clocks! We'll be performing live tomorrow morning (Friday) between 8am and 9am on @absoluteradio! https://t.co/OJ4TzLMh6m
'Caught By The Wind’ is @BBCRadio2's #RecordOfTheWeek. Let us know when you hear it! https://t.co/OS5mG3lyd2
Our 2018 Dublin and Belfast shows are now on sale from https://t.co/ZNSnOgkwgo https://t.co/EM5P9IluNC
Our 2018 European Tour Tickets are now on sale from https://t.co/ZNSnOg2URO https://t.co/pOf1IyF19y
RT @SamaritansCymru: Our thanks to @stereophonics for donating a signed guitar for such a fantastic event- Auction is now live! https://t.c…
Dublin and Belfast dates now added to our 2018 Tour! General sale this Friday 9AM BST from https://t.co/ZNSnOgkwgo https://t.co/3v93l2Yeeq
We are pleased to announce our 2018 European Tour. General sale this Friday 9AM BST from https://t.co/ZNSnOgkwgo https://t.co/ojMc28XBsv
We are giving you a chance to hear our new album #ScreamAboveTheSounds early at selected pubs. More info at… https://t.co/wqlDWXMC4L
‘Caught By the Wind’ is featured on @Spotify's Rock Save the Queen playlist. Listen here: https://t.co/pcFTj69tMO
Thank you, Kelly https://t.co/1gBcBKdoWp
Due to phenomenal demand we are thrilled to add a 2nd London show! Saturday 3rd March. Get your tickets here… https://t.co/3AbX3a93tM
2018 UK Arena Tour Tickets are now on sale >> https://t.co/tsrwpTlrvz https://t.co/oUC5RS81E3
Tickets for our 2018 UK Arena Tour go on sale tomorrow at 9am from https://t.co/tsrwpTlrvz https://t.co/JAay1XoHlU
Kelly has been chatting with @mattstocksdj on the awesome Life in the Stocks podcast here >> https://t.co/JQqEmmXjIX https://t.co/YGTqiktM8W