The 90s are synonymous with the broken down, derivative and quintessentially indie. But survivors have some how managed to transcend the ordinary and fixate themselves as legendary. Call it a commiseration for enduring the 1990s. Amongst them are the Welsh-born-and-bred Stereophonics, fronted by the immortal Kelly Jones. Since forming in 1992, the five-piece have grown from strength to strength, elongating their stance on the brit rock music scene.
Even now, a more than twenty year rein with a catalogue of albums and mass following of fans – a sold out Manchester Arena as evidence – they continue to dwell amongst the icons and patrons of music. This particular evening in Manchester saw them return to the Arena for the second time, no less meaningful and all the more relevant. Their new album Scream Above The Sounds released last year, filled the room with a modern take on their all ready infamous style of indie rock, with tracks such as ‘Caught By The Wind’ and ‘What’s All The Fuss About?’ pressing all the right notes and thrusting Stereophonics forward and ahead of the has-been stages that they were well within points of meeting. They’re never going to meet that point. As a band that clearly have their fingers well on the pulse and know the game all so well they’re one step ahead and know they’re audience achingly well.
Of course the classics never die, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ brought the lip syncing room of people to their forefront and the clear passion for this band was more than present. A duet between Kelly and lead guitarist Adam Zindani, took them to the middle of the room on a runway platform. All eyes on them proclaiming, they can do no wrong. Similarly though not the same, ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ brought the night to a head, with each person leaving with a feeling of genuine appreciation for the legendary Stereophonics.
Photo – Andrew Whitton