Stereophonics Leeds First Direct Arena REVIEW: A non-stop barrage of hits

Allowing their music to do the talking is clearly a recipe for success.

They have quietly amassed a mammoth collection of hit songs from their 21 year 10 album career, enabling the Stereophonics to far outlive many of their long forgotten contemporaries from the 90s Brit rock scene.

Opening with ‘Chances Are’ from latest album Scream Above The Sounds frontman Jones slowly strides forward to become a solitary figure on the vanity ramp protruding into the crowd amid a tower of lights.

He’s clearly more comfortable retreating back to the main stage for recent single ‘Caught By The Wind’ as the ‘rock of all ages’ audience burst into life as the band launch into 2015 smash C’est La Vie

The light show, complete with lasers and enough flashing bulbs to light up a planet, is as good as you will see in an arena-show while the giant screen projecting film footage at the back of the stage is captivating and only serves to enhance the band’s performance.

Indeed it may be that without such visual distractions the performance might not quite match the excellence of the music such is the quiet reluctance of 43-year-old Jones to play the superstar.

Only he and bass player Richard Jones (no relation) remain from the original band formed in the village of Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley 1992, but the modern-day classic rock sound the pair have honed is backed by the newest recruits.

Oldie More Life In A Tramp’s Vest is accompanied with grainy-footage video from the band’s pre-fame days and features tragic original drummer Stuart Cable before Have A Nice Day and Indian Summer are joined in unison by 12,000 Yorkshire voices. The boys from t’valleys never sounded so good!

A fabulous touch sees a mini-stage appear at the end of the ramp depicting a 70s front room complete with naff lampshades and tatty carpet as the band huddle together for Been Caught Cheating and Handbags And Gladrags.

With such an array of hits it’s entirely understandable that the home-straight in the thumping 25-song-set with Just Looking, Local Boy In The Photograph and The Bartender And The Thief proving Jones’ voice has lost non of its gravely power.

Encore starts off with the superb Mr and Mrs Smith before the mass singalong of Dakota draws the inevitable ecstatic response and Mr Jones (Kelly) finally breaks into a smile.