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.

Alex Lai

Official Site - http://www.stereophonics.com/