Welsh indie heavyweights Stereophonics played the opening night of TRNSMT festival. The four piece are arguably one of the biggest and longest standing alternative rock bands around today with their ten album and 21 year spanning career.
They opened with ‘C’est La Vie’ in the setting sun. The audience cheered on the song that already feels like an integral part of the Stereophonics catalogue despite only turning three years old this year. The band have a timeless appeal that makes them popular with a wide demographic, as the crowd shows people from all walks of time and hardcore to casual fans.
Kelly Jones doesn’t miss a beat as the rowdy crowd act out, batting blown up condoms, throwing pints and getting up each other’ shoulders. Forming in the early nineties I doubt there’s much that the band haven’t seen over the years. When they came together onto the smaller platform for acoustic songs, Jones noted all the floating condoms and told us “sex is in the air which is good” then launched into ‘Handbags and the Gladrags’.
Stereophonics know their crowd and for the most part delve back into their earlier albums during the set. Lead single from their most recent album Scream Above the Sounds made a welcome appearance though. ‘All in One Night’ really captured the essence of Stereophonics and Kelly Jones’ storytelling ability, made raw with his raspy voice.
By the time ‘Dakota’ rolls around Stereophonics have won over any casual listeners. They effortlessly pull through lesser known tracks, and the simplicity of Jones’ lyrics make singalong chorus’ inevitable even for those hearing the songs for the first time.
The set has something for everyone with more well known tracks like ‘Have a Nice Day’ and the band’s remarkably popular cover of ‘Handbags and the Gladrags’ for more casual fans then cutting into one of the band’s first ever tracks and then back through to the likes of ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ again.
Stereophonics have been touring for two decades and it shows. They may not have appeared to aged much but they have an air of wisdom, commanding the crowd without an ounce of effort through a carefully crafted show and precisely chosen setlist.