By Clash Reader James Brand

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With the release of a new album and celebrating 10 years in the business, Stereophonics are touring the arenas bringing their anthemically arousing Welsh rock to the nation. Tonight it’s Sheffield’s chance to experience the sing along choruses and elongated syllables of front man Kelly Jones, a spectacle that the close to full Sheffield arena crowd are all to eager to hear.

As the band take to the stage they are welcomed to a jubilant reception from the crowd and kick start the gig in fast paced rock fashion, opening with the first single from the new album ‘Pull the Pin’. ‘Bank Holiday Monday’ is a storming way to get everybody nodding along and waving their hands in the air, even the more conservative fans are finding their feet are hypnotically tapping away to the beat. This is sharply followed up by the classic ‘Bartender and the Thief’ a performance that is effortlessly delivered with composure and magnetism.

A blitzkrieg of familiar tunes follow including ‘A Thousand Trees’, ‘Just Looking’, ‘More Life In A Tramps Vest’ and ‘Pass The Buck’ which cement the set list as a solid reflection of their 10 year career. The onslaught is followed when Kelly takes to the stage on his own, thumping out a memorable ‘Have A Nice Day’ as he gives the crowd a brief break from the momentum of the already exhausting gig, with eruptions of “ba-bada-ba-ba-bada-da” echoing through the arena. Quickly followed on by a triumphant ‘Maybe Tommorow’; after which, the rest of the band are welcomed back on to the stage to finish off the set. Again the following songs show no sign of weakness with hits like ‘Devil’ and ‘Mr Writer’ being casually thrown in to the mixer for all to enjoy.

Closing on ‘Pick A Part That’s New’ and ‘Local Boy’ the band gracefully depart the stage to the sound of uplifting roars from the crowd, which soon turn in to stomping demands for more. After a brief wait the band return to the stage and they return looking poised for one more attack, a finale consisting of recent release ‘It Means Nothing’ which sounded like it had been played since they first began. Closing on ‘Dakota’ to which almost every word is sang along to with euphoric delight, the band make their exit in an air of confidence and coolness, as the fans also leave, surely talking about which was their favourite song from the night, a conversation that was heard repeatedly on the packed tram ride home.

Thankfully, Stereophonics proved that their surprising back catalogue is as solid as ever with a few new additions which fit in to the performance, as nicely as Kelly’s aviators.

A solid gig that failed to disappoint.

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