CONCERT REVIEW: Stereophonics – SSE Hydro Glasgow 11th March 2020

Stereophonics // Photo Credit Stephen Wilson 

The Stereophonics are back on tour and hit Glasgow’s Hydro Arena to promote their latest release, Kind

The place is crammed to capacity, and the clamour for tickets was intense as gig time approached, and those luckier than Charlie Bucket getting a ticket to the chocolate factory were treated to a special night, a 26 song setlist, over 2 hours of tremendous music with a band at the top of their game. 

Opening with C’est La Vie, lead singer Kelly Jones goes for a wander along the extended walkway, taking him halfway thru the crowd into the centre of the hall, with the rest of the band staying on the main stage.  He would join them there from song two, I Wanna Get Lost With You, followed by the first of the new songs Bust This Town.

The big classics soon followed.  Maybe Tomorrow, Have a Nice Day and Mr Writer, and all of a sudden The Hydro becomes a mass karaoke.   Jones’s voice sounds as powerful today as it always has, these songs are timeless.  Another couple of new ones, Hungover for You and Restless Mind before the huge roar from the Glasgow crowd in appreciation of The Local Boy in the Photograph. A storming version of this tune near lifts the roof off the venue.

I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio up next, and Jones travels the walkway again to unite at the second stage this time with band members Richard Jones on bass,  Adam Zindini on guitar and Jamie Morrison on drums, playing under a huge glitterball and a thousand fairy lights. Traffic, Jones explains was written while stuck in a traffic jam with him banished from driving duties stuck in the back seat.  His ‘between the songs’ anecdotes are quite amusing, and great to get an insight to how the songs came into being.

Handbags and Gladrags was a huge hit for the band.  The track, previously covered by Chris Farlowe and Rod Stewart saw a new audience when The Stereophonics covered it, and much to writer Mike D’Abo’s delight, he told them backstage at a Jools Holland show recording that the royalties saw him replace his plans for a small patio with a huge f*cking conservatory!!

Change of instrument now for Kelly Jones, as he takes his seat at the piano for the moving tribute to the bands original drummer Stuart Cable on Before Anyone Knew Our Name, and he recalls their friendship, growing up beside each other, and finally making it big as support to The Rolling Stones European Tour in the 90s, and Cable performing the cardinal sin of diving into Ronnie Wood’s Shepherds Pie before he did.

Sunny was next up before Bartender and the Thief provides a rousing finale to the main set, the band take their bows and retire for a well-deserved break before returning for a three track encore.

Elevators saw Jones on a stool with a ukulele, before the anthem Just Looking and closer Dakota, surprisingly the bands only number one single, then the evening was over.

A tremendous show by the band, Kelly Jones is one of the UK’s best singer songwriters and the back catalogue of top tunes only reinforces this.  Great tunes old and new, all sung with power and passion, a gig not to be missed.

Review and Photographs by Stephen Wilson