Stereophonics going hell for leather

The Stereophonics on stage at Leeds 02 Academy. (Picture by Stuart Rhodes)

The Stereophonics on stage at Leeds 02 Academy. (Picture by Stuart Rhodes)

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Live review and picture by Stuart Rhodes

The Stereophonics, 02 Academy, Leeds.

Striding onto the stage of the O2 Academy in Leeds, possibly a little pumped with the glory of their fellow Welshmen’s victory over England in the rugby, the Stereophonics looked every inch the conquering heroes.

The hall has an aura of anticipation as the lucky few who managed to get tickets for the show surge towards the stage.

The sell outcrowd had come to see the band perform the latest show of their Graffiti on the Train tour.

A superb mix of new and classic tracks with most of the hits thrown in for good measure.

The tour is unique in that the Stereophonics are normally to be found playing the large arenas, which, indeed, they will be doing when they return to Leeds and its new arena in November.

Opening with Share The Same Sun from the new album before socking it to the crowd with classics The Bartender and the Thief and A Thousand Trees it was clear from the outset this was not a show for the faint hearted.

Moving into Indian Summer, also from the Graffiti on the Train album goes down a storm as the band totally command the stage, at home with a crowd of 2,000 as they are with 15,000 fans.

It is clear to see and hear that The Stereophonics are about the music, ok so there is a nice light show, but no fancy stage props or dry ice.

For this band its about the power of the music, the sound quality and stage presence. All of which was delivered with style and by the bucket load.

It is not long before the boys produce mega hit Have a Nice Day, cue borderline hysteria from the hardcore fans.

Next is the brilliant songs Maybe Tomorrow and, a personal favourite, Could You Be The One.

Closing a superb set fell to Roll the Dice before moving into a triple encore starting with the moody track In a Moment followed by the beautiful song Just Looking and finishing with the Stereophonics anthem track Dakota.

Throughout the show Kelly Jones, the 38 -year-old frontman, clad in his trademark leather jacket, held the audience in the palm of his hand. The Stereophincs have to be one of the tightest rock bands currently on tour and their latest album secures their position as conquerers of rock.

So its not just the Welsh rugby team then.