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Stereophonics - Brighton Centre - November 21, 2013 (Live Review)

Monday, 25 November 2013 Written by Graeme Marsh

Since the release of their eighth album, ‘Graffiti On The Train’, earlier this year, Stereophonics have been racking up the airmiles. Following numerous summer festival stops and long-haul jaunts to Japan and Australia, the Welsh rockers returned to the UK for a string of arena shows, including a trio in Cardiff and a stop at London’s O2 Arena.

The crowd in Brighton was broken in gently with a new song, Catacomb, before being sent delirious as the band burst into one of their oldest and best-loved songs, Local Boy In The Photograph.

Remembered almost entirely for the band’s biggest UK hit, Dakota, ‘Language Sex Violence Other?’ provided the next number as Superman soared into the arena, before proceedings slowed down for the new album’s anthemic, spine-tingling title track. With Kelly Jones’ vocals as solid as ever, the song marked an early highlight.

Jones took time out to address the crowd, reminiscing about when the band – in their infancy – had visited Brighton in 1997. He then announced that they would play some songs from that time and live favourites A Thousand Trees and More Life In A Tramp’s Vest lifted the tempo and crowd alike.

The perfect accompaniment for a summer drive with windows down and stereo blaring then appeared, in the shape of Maybe Tomorrow, and was quickly followed by Pick A Part That’s New, from the band’s second album ‘Performance And Cocktails’.

Mr Writer and Have A Nice Day – both from ‘Just Enough Education To Perform’ – then sandwiched two more new songs, In A Moment and recent single Indian Summer. The former was accompanied by its intriguing video on two giant screens either side of the stage and during the latter, huge balloons floated down from the ceiling to give the more inebriated members of the audience some infantile pleasure.

Three more new numbers followed – Roll The Dice, Violins And Tambourines and Been Caught Cheating - before the band left the stage after rousing renditions of Traffic and the mosh-pit stirring The Bartender And The Thief.

As the 10.50pm curfew lurched ever closer, Jones then returned to give the crowd a treat by sitting down in front of a piano, only to declare that he couldn’t play it. Something of a ruse, he then proceeded to play I Stopped To Fill My Car Up more than adequately.

Old favourite Just Looking found Jones returned to his guitar, but another stage shift saw a group huddle take place as drummer Jamie Morrison sat astride a beat box for a low-key acoustic rendition of the old Faces number Handbags And Gladrags.

With the ever popular Dakota rounding things off, alongside a thrilling pyrotechnic display, the band bade farewell. This was more of a greatest hits show than a Graffiti On The Train date, and Stereophonics once again showed why they are one of Britain’s most enduring rock bands.

Stereophonics UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Mon November 25 2013 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Tue November 26 2013 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Thu November 28 2013 - LONDON O2 Arena

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