John Carter catches a hit-filled festival warm-up show by the Welsh rockers, and comes away smiling

  • Stereophonics
  • Oasis, Swindon
  • July 26 217

STEREOPHONICS fans are in for a festival treat this summer.

The Welsh rockers played a warm-up gig at Swindon’s Oasis on Wednesday night and delivered hit after hit for more than two glorious hours.

New songs Caught By The Wind and All In One Night offered much promise for an upcoming 10th studio album.

But it was the classics Looks Like Chaplin, A Thousand Trees and Local Boy in the Photograph which really brought the house down.

That trio are from the band’s 1997 debut album, Word Gets Around. Can you believe it’s really 20 years since Kelly Jones and the boys from the village of Cwmaman in mid-Glamorgan began to take the UK by storm?

Frontman Kelly seemed a man content with the world at the Oasis, even if the leisure centre which gave its name to that band from Manchester was just a tad hot.

The Phonics opened with C’est La Vie and I Wanna Get Lost With You, the two strongest songs from their most recent album Keep The Village Alive.

The mood settled a little with monster tunes like Have A Nice Day and Maybe Tomorrow, with the crowd crooning along blissfully.

Mr and Mrs Smith is one of the band’s newer ‘story songs’, as Kelly likes to call them, offering some delicious lyrics.

The favourites kept on coming, including Step On My Old Size Nines, Mr Writer and Graffiti on the Train.

But the crowd were truly in their element when that trio from the debut album were belted out, followed up by the brilliant Bartender and the Thief.

Kelly returned to the stage to deliver an acoustic medley of songs he used to listen to his brothers playing while sat outside their bedroom door as a youngster.

Highway to Hell (AC/DC), Paranoid (Black Sabbath), Gimme All Your Lovin’ (ZZ Top), Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen) and Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin) were all beautifully played.

And there was still time for a four-song encore featuring Billy Davey’s Daughter, Been Caught Cheating, Superman and the band’s signature tune, Dakota.

Dakota has become the band’s trusted finale but there won’t have been too many times they’ve had to stop halfway through to check on the wellbeing of a fan.

Let’s hope he or she is well enough to see the Phonics in festival action over the coming weeks.

If you get a chance to see them at the likes of Hyde Park or Southsea Common, you’re in for a nice day…

Stereophonics play:

  • Y Not in Derbyshire this weekend (sold out)
  • Victorious, Portsmouth on August 26
  • Hyde Park London, September 10

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