Stereophonics, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 25.7.12
In 16 years of interviewing bands, I've very rarely asked for an autograph.
When the Stereophonics toured in 1997, I made an exception and fought through the sweaty summer heat which was acerbated by a vicious sweaty bout of flu to interview them at a half full Junction. My copy of 'Word Gets Around,' signed by Kelly Jones, is still one of my prized musical possessions.
So 16 years later, I could hardly resist the chance to watch them return to a 'low key' Cambridge Corn Exchange gig. And how refreshing and reassuring it was to witness an absolutely crammed venue lapping up loud guitar anthems, scuzzy lumps of emotion and a bunch of perfect pop songs able to pierce the most cynical critic's shield. It restored my faith in the musical taste of the idle pop nation to see a loud guitar band so clearly adored by such a mixed bunch of punters.
But, I wonder, was I the only one to find the raw emotion of the lyrics hewn out of life in small town South Wales more convincing, more appealing, dammit maybe somehow more universal and heartfelt than some of the blander sing-along rock clichés of some of their later oeuvre? Which is probably why 'Word Gets Around' is still my favourite Stereophonics album. And no doubt explains why I might have been the only one to leave tonight's gig and straight away put on 'More Life in a Tramp's Vest'.
Thanks to Natalie at Nettwerk Management for the
ticket, and the security guy who let me in despite arriving too late
to use my photopass, appreciated!
Our original Stereophonics pieces can be found in R*E*P*E*A*T Issues 9 and 10, details here