Review: Stereophonics, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Stereophonics reached their final date of the 2020 spring tour at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on Sunday evening. Despite concerns from some social media keyboard warriors that the concert, in the wake of the Coronavirus, shouldn’t go ahead, a strong crowd were still in attendance and weren’t disappointed as The Phonics took to the stage to play their second homecoming gig of the weekend.

The show got underway with the upbeat C’est La Vie with the audience accompanying their performance in fine voice from the first line.  This audience participation was prevalent throughout the night and showed how much the band are still very much oved in Wales.

The evening featured an excellently curated set list mixing in tracks from their new album, Kind with well-established Phonics classics. Enhancing the music was the lighting, creatively switching from low light strings for bulbs all around the auditorium to a brightly coloured rainbow theme for Dakota.  The lights were so well worked they changed setup seamlessly between every song.

Although the Phonics line-up of Kelly Jones, Richard Jones, Jamie Morrison and Adam Zinaldi all shone at various points, the spotlight occasionally turned to musician Gavin Fitzjohn. Highlighted for his work on the saxophone for Geronimo, Gavin displayed versatility throughout the evening playing different instruments through several songs.

There was also the live performance of the classic, Handbags and Gladrags with Tony Kirkham on piano, a track that has gained a life of its own on the live circuit becoming far superior to the recorded version.

Kelly Jones also took to the piano for a tender tribute to Stuart Cable with Before Anyone Knew Our Name.

Highlights from the new album Kind were the tracks, Hungover for You and Stitches which display all the anthemic hallmarks of Stereophonics sing-along lyrics and melodies.

Closing with thanks for everyone who had contributed to make the tour a success, Kelly Jones also thanked the audience for attending the evening. As ever with a Phonics gig, each one a unique live experience of its kind!

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