Stereophonics performing their Kind Tour at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Saturday 7th March 2020

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Stereophonics recently beat Kanye West to score their seventh chart topping album, Kind, and they were at the Motorpoint Arena last night to showcase it. Two decades on from what might be considered their heyday it was a packed arena that turned out to clap, dance and sing along to an instantly recognisable set that delivered the best of their back catalogue alongside new songs.

In front of a draped curtain backdrop with strings of fairy lights cascading across the ceiling and a raised gangway leading to a mini stage in the centre of the crowd, front man Kelly Jones kicked off the proceedings with the lively C’est La Vie before being joined by other band members, bassist Richard Jones, drummer Jamie Morrison, and rhythm guitarist Adam Zindani who were also joined by a keyboardist and a saxophone player.

With a show that ricocheted between noisy rock and stripped back ballads as I Wanna Get Lost In You, new song Bust This Town and Geronimo were given an airing, all sounding magnificent. Have A Nice Day was followed by Mr Writer, a song that provided one of the most powerful moments of the evening.

Showcasing his warm raspy voice Kelly excelled with his solos of Hungover For You and Restless Mind before being joined by the rest of the band who slowed things right down for the sombre Graffiti On The Train and the soulful new song Make Friends With The Morning before they were back in top gear for Mr And Mrs Smith and another highlight, Handbags And Gladrags which had the whole arena crowd singing along.

Taking their turn on the mini stage they took the opportunity to turn the clock back for three songs from their early days with Local Boy In The Photograph, the stunning Traffic and I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio, all of which were particularly appreciated by the crowd.

In a set that saw Jones in a particularly talkative mood, sharing anecdotes from his childhood where he grew up Jones and original drummer Stuart Cable who all grew up on the same street in Cwaman, which led nicely to a particularly poignant moment as Kelly sat in a spotlight with his piano and paid tribute to Cable who passed away in 2010 with a haunting rendition of Before Anyone Knew Our Name.

In a set that lasted more than two hours, it was brought to an end with with Sunny and The Bartender And The Thief together with a snippet of Motorhead’s Ace Of Spades. Then the band returned with Kelly rather incongruously strumming a ukulele for Elevators before Stereophonics finished on a high with two of their very best rockers, Just Looking and Dakota with their no frills back to basic rock choruses that induced sing alongs that can be heard for miles.