Stereophonics @ HQ Complex, Adelaide 3/5/2018

Stereophonics are a class out outfit and their Adelaide show really did reaffirm that fact. It was a massive crowd that assembled at HQ Complex to see this Welsh outfit go through the paces in a near two hour set covering new songs off their tenth studio Scream Above The Sounds as well as solid selection of hits from their other nine albums. It is hard to believe that the last visit to town by the Stereophonics was back in 2013 and their fans savoured every last minute of it.

Going to HQ now is an interesting proposition and it does pay to get there well early as space and a good vantage point is at a premium. The in-house sound is probably not quite where it needs to be unless you’re standing directly in front of the stage. The constant having people barge through with drinks thinking that there’s acres of space in front of them did wear thin and did take away from the show experience for me. Nevertheless, Stereophonics were in ripping form and it’s not until they play a full length show that you can see how brilliant they are and how many great songs they have to play. They are in the enviable position of having so many great songs there were many that could have been but weren’t purely because of time constraints.

The parochial crowd fired up as soon as the band took to the stage and with the opening notes of Bartender & The Thief you couldn’t help but think that we would be up for something pretty amazing. C’est La Vie is one of my favourite songs and played early in the set then it was A Thousand Trees from their debut Words Get Around that started it all. Caught By The Wind is about celebrating all the good things instead of the bad. More singles by way of Superman, Mr Writer and Maybe Tomorrow were fantastic. There was even a cover of a Chris Farlowe tune Handbags And Gladrags which they turned in to hit themselves. The stripped back section of the set was an “oh my gosh” this is freaking amazing, please play more! Step On My Old Size Nines, Grafitti On The Train and Indian Summer were just aces. It would have been nice to be able to hear what Kelly Jones was saying in between songs, so note to self: find a better spot next time.

For me the excitement continued with Stereophonics classics Traffic, Just Looking and Local Boy In The Photograph from their first two album. Hard to believe that the main set zipped by with the band returning for two more songs. Mr And Mrs Smith from Keep The Village Alive was stellar and the big moment of the night was epic single Dakota complete with audience sing-a-long was unreal. I absolutely love this band and if you chose not to go you really did miss something fantastic.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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