Review: The Stereophonics, The Centaur, Cheltenham
WELSH rockers The Stereophonics arrived in Cheltenham in fine voice last night as the latest stop on their UK tour.
Timed with the release of their new album, Graffiti On A Train, it allowed the 'Phonics to showcase their wealth of new material as well as mixing plenty of their anthemic hits from the past decade.
The Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse proved a nice sized venue for the Have a Nice Day singers, with no-one feeling too far away from the stage. For a band more used to stadium tours, it's no wonder that the limited number of tickets were snapped up in minutes.
A relaxed atmosphere in the venue gave a generous welcome to support act for the night Josh Weller. I must confess he was not a name I had come across before and I still wasn't too sure of it until the end of his set.
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But rest assured, he's one you should remember with some really catchy material from the off. Despite that, I had to question how appropriate his personal attack on George Osborne was and in the grand scheme of things, it seemed a little out of place.
A lengthy interval followed his performance and the crowd grew restless for Kelly Jones and the band to take to the stage. It was little surprise then that it took a while for the crowd to get going as the band kicked-off their set with a couple of tracks from their new album.
But whenever they began the first few chords of their massive 'oh yeah I forgot they did this too' back catalogue, the atmosphere peaked immediately.
The crowd also went wild for the title track of the new album and the heavier rock tracks as the band really got into their stride.
Kelly's voice remained as pristine as the recorded version of the classics they're known for and as he belted them out, the crowd responded in full voice.
It was an incredible end to the set and their encore, number one hit Dakota.
The sound levels, which for me often spoil live gigs, were spot on and even if the stage set was uninspiring, it didn't matter. It was an awesome performance.