Stereophonics performing their Scream Above The Sounds Tour at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Monday 26th February 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

For the past seven years Stereophonics have perhaps been one of the biggest indie bands in the world, free from any pressure from record companies, yet still capable of comfortably filling massive arenas and booking headline festival slots.

And last night it was the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham that was given the opportunity to hear this Welsh band live who are touring to promote their latest album, Scream Above The Sounds; their tenth album which only missed the number one spot because Alfie Boe and Michael Ball made an early play for the Christmas market.

The band, which includes founder members Kelly Jones and bassist Richard Jones together with guitarist Adam Zindani and drummer Jamie Morrison delivered a set list of nostalgic oldies mixed in with some of their new songs.

With a stage that extended into the middle of the audience, they opened with new song, Chances Are, which saw the ever youthful Kelly Jones set the tone for what was to be a gloriously sentimental night, whilst second song, Caught By The Wind showed that after more than twenty years of touring, they have lost none of their enthusiasm.

There was a rampant run through of More Life In A Tramp’s Vest which was greeted particularly warmly, complete with vintage pictures and video of the band in their younger, long haired days, and the equally great I Wanna Get Lost With You from their 2015 Keep The Village Alive album had every female in the audience mesmerised with Kelly’s distinctive raspy vocals and Welsh drawl washing over them.

There was the annoyingly catchy Have A Nice Day before they delivered a delightful acoustic session which included I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio, Boy On A Bike and the song that you are hard pushed to get out of your head, a cover of Chris Farlowe’s Handbags And Gladrags.

The crowd rightly applauded Mr Writer as its sublime electronic piano riffs echoed around the arena in what was to be one of the highlights of the night. And once that was over, they unveiled more songs from their impressive back catalogue. An acoustic version of the beautiful Traffic with its induced mass sing along only made the run in to the end of the main set, with Local Boy In The Photograph, A Thousand Trees and The Bartender And The Thief which morphed into Motorhead’s Ace Of Spades, sound even more loud, brash and brilliant.

Encoring with Mr And Mrs Smith and new song Taken A Tumble, it was easy to forget just how many hits Stereophonics have had, and with the anthemic Dakota rounding the evening off, it is surprising that these Welsh rockers are still so underrated.