THE Stereophonics peaked about ten years ago, but three more No 1 albums and an all-out monster-hit (Dakota) later, they’re still going strong.
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You could argue their relevance today, their inspiration (or lack of); their influence and even their drive and innovation, but you’d be wasting your time.
There is something about this band, whether or not you understand it, which connects with people; particularly in places like Glasgow where British guitar bands of the 90s and early Noughties already enjoy an almost messianic status.
It’s no surprise then, that the ever-youthful Welsh chart-botherers received a hero’s welcome at the sold out Academy. For about two hours they powered out a fairly impressive slew of hits and latter-day growers, with a smattering of new songs too; albeit a little too new for some to match the excitement of “classics” such as I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio, Mr Writer and Just Looking.
The band sound great, and as far as polished, family-safe rock spectacles go, it was difficult to fault. But that’s just it. With the exception of new drummer Jamie Morrison, it looked like there wasn’t a drop of sweat between them, and despite the nostalgic, emotional power which songs such as Same Size Feet, Local Boy in the Photograph and closer, Dakota, evidently held for some in the crowd, the performers themselves felt sterile and ultimately, dull to watch. Even frontman Kelly Jones looked like a hermetically-sealed doll – immaculately presented but with not nearly enough fire in his belly.