Stereophonics at the Cambridge Corn Exchange: mesmerising and stunning - worth getting out of the armchair

The sterophonics

The sterophonics - Credit: Archant

There aren’t many bands I would get out of the armchair to see on a Monday night (press day on Tuesday), but the Sterophonics at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on May 16 lived up to all my expectations - and more.

New fans, and those of us lamenting the end of the Britpop era that launched the band more than 20 years ago, could not fail to be impressed with a set list that included new material as well as plenty of the hits that have firmly established this hard-working band in the annuals of British rock history.

Kelly Jones uttered two words “hello Cambridge” and struck the first few chords of C’est La Vie and we were on our way. By the end of the first song, the crowd were suitably warmed up, and from then on in, it was end-to-end entertainment that justified the one minute it took to sell out the Cambridge venue.

My highlight songs were Mr Writer, released in 2001, which has always been a personal favourite especially after Jones made clear in an interview that he didn’t dislike journalists - just one in particular who toured with the band and then wrote a negative review.

Also, the haunting It Means Nothing and the foot-taping, crowd swaying You Can Have It All were excellent.

Mr and Mrs Smith, from the 2015 Keep the Village Alive album, is also worthy of mention - especially the mesmerising performance of drummer Jamie Morrison. Also worthy of a mention was the lighting show, which probably needed a massive outdoor stadium to appreciate it in full but it was stunning.

I left the venue with Dakota ringing in my ears and looking forward to the next 25 years from the Stereophonics.

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The band will play gigs in Lisbon, Nottingham and Cardiff before the Isle of Wight festival on June 10.

In the next few weeks they will also perform at Edinburgh Castle and will support Bruce Spingsteen at Malieveld.