It was just over two years ago the Stereophonics played the Arena, being one of the last bands to do so before lockdown and a whole pandemic later they were back. Touring to promote the release of ‘Oochya!’ their latest No.1 album the Welsh rockers were on top form as they guided us through a set of no less than 27 songs.
KT Tunstall provided support and gave us a rundown of the songs she is best known for and a few covers thrown in. An act in her own right meant that a large audience were in place to see her early on. KT was enjoyable to watch and got the crowd in the mood for what was to come.
Like a precision time piece..8.45pm, as expected. Kelly Jones and the band entered onto the stage. The Stereophonics were back in Newcastle for one night only. The crowd, excited. Guitars strummed, Kellys instantly recognisable voice – the atmosphere turned electric.
Cest La Vie started us off, but it wasn’t until we had a bit of nostalgia and were treated to Maybe Tomorrow, Have a nice day and Mr Writer back to back that the crowd truly came into their own. Singing along with Kelly, this typically older age crowd (The Phonics have been around for over 25 years you know!) really found their voices.
With a walkway extending into the crowd Kelly used this to great affect and was the centre of attention in his black leather jacket, and ever cool demeanour.
Playing other hits such as Hungover for you, A Thousand Trees, Geronimo and Handbags and Gladrags to name but just a few, the band continued to hit all the rights notes. Mr and Mrs Smith was also a great one to hear and gave the band yet another moment to shine.
Its rare now that a band can play so many songs and genuinely have a majority of them deemed classics but the Stereophonics truly do.
Ending the show was a three song encore with the wonderful Elevators, and timeless hits Dakota and Just Looking.
The Stereophonics proved they are not a band past their time, they are as relevant now as ever and continue to lead with their indistinguishable rock sound. An amazing night was had at a packed out Arena.