• Tina Sherwood

The Stereophonics supported by The Wind and the Wave

Motorpoint Arena Nottingham 07/03/2020

Despite current news stories, there was no sign of moral panic at the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night for Welsh Indie Rockers, Stereophonics on the Nottingham leg of their 2020 tour, ‘Kind.’ The fans turned out in force!

The show opened with a melodic set from Texan band, The Wind + The Wave. Difficult to identify their genre, (even their own FB page tells you ‘Good luck’ under the sub-heading ‘genre’) but would suggest somewhere between ‘Indie’ and ‘Alternative’ on the Rock continuum.

Fronted by good friends, Patty Lynn and Dwight Barker, the set included songs with hard-hitting lyrics already familiar in some quarters of the audience where people were singing along. It was a good turn out to hear the band and their presence was rewarded with strong punchy rock performances and emotional ballads. The Wind + The Wave worked hard to acquire a new arm to their fan base.

Not unusually, numbers swelled following the support act. It always seems a shame, as that’s where almost every band/artist starts and so many concertgoers miss out on the opportunity to hear something new, as it was on this evening.

As Stereophonics’ frontman, Kelly Jones, made his way down to the top of the T-shaped stage projecting out onto the Arena floor, the excitement all around was tangible. Initially the stage lighting remained raw during the first part of the opening number, ‘C’est La Vie,’ suddenly exploding into light and colour inciting the crowd to spontaneous celebration!

For almost a quarter of a century, Jones has been at the forefront of the Welsh Indie Rock outfit and he affably chatted to the Arena audience as though they were mates, sharing anecdotes about home and family in between songs. There was a genuine sense of respect and warmth between performer and fans and vice versa.

By 5 songs in, the audience was vocally warmed up, lighting the Arena with phone torches, swaying and joining in (football stadium style) the anthemic chorus of ‘Maybe Tomorrow,’ following on with every voice as one for a gigantic singalong to ‘Have A Nice Day.’

Included in the set were a number of tracks from the band’s 7 th no.1 album ‘Kind’: ‘Bust This Town’, ‘Fly Like An Eagle,’ ‘Hungover For You’ and ‘Make Friends With The Morning,’ along with perennial favourites such as ‘Local Boy In The Photograph,’ ‘The Bartender and The Thief,’ the beautiful Mike D’Abo version of ‘Handbags and Gladrags,’ finishing the show with the whole band down at the front for the encore set, concluding with the brilliant ‘Dakota.’

Although the focus appears to be all on Kelly Jones: he’s the one who interacts, the one who moves, The Face, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Stereophonics are as good as the sum of their parts: Richard Jones on bass, Adam Zindani on guitar/vocals and Jamie Morrison on drums. Together they were tight knit and note perfect the whole performance through.

The music of, and love for Stereophonics is firmly established in contemporary music history and, on

the basis of last night, it will there for a very long time to come!