Stereophonics at O2 Arena
The first Friday night since the arrival of British Summer Time 2022 was still freezing cold like winter when KT Tunstall took on the challenging role of single-handedly warming up an enthusiastic crowd, eager for the return of Stereophonics to London after a two-year absence (not counting a couple of intimate shows they played here four months ago, which only the most fortunate fans managed to see). The Scottish singer rocked the stage at the O2 Arena for her first time with some of her best songs, plus covers of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Seven Nation Army and Pick a Part That’s New – a rare treat for a support act to play a song of the main act, who has so many hits under their belt they certainly couldn’t play them all.
Opening the show with Do Ya Feel My Love? from new album Oochya! (a well-deserved number one on the UK Album Chart), Kelly Jones, Richard Jones, Adam Zindani and Jamie Morrison collectively transmitted their love across the arena to everyone, including those who occupied the farthest seats in the house, and the floor began to shake as the audience felt that love and sent theirs back to the band. Jones instantly reached out to the crowd by walking towards the end of the catwalk, which was later expanded to become a B-stage for the whole band to perform Traffic and A Thousand Trees. There was a good balance of up-tempo songs and slow numbers throughout the concert, covering nearly every corner of the band’s extensive catalogue. Particularly rocking were Hanging on Your Hinges and Running Round My Brain (both from the new album), whilst All I Have Is You and Billy Davey’s Daughter (performed by Jones alone on solo acoustic guitar) were most touching. Almost every song was accompanied by audience backing vocals, but the two which got the whole crowd singing along had to be Mr and Mrs Smith and Indian Summer.
For a frontman in one of the most successful British groups of the past twenty years, Jones was extremely quiet on stage compared with many of his peers, not speaking much except for the introduction of songs. Instead, he expressed all his feelings by singing, with a beautiful voice that has stood the test of time. He even still has his boyish smile which he displayed from time to time while sharing the joy of performing with his bandmates.
The 125-minute show finished with another hot number, Dakota, prompting some mayhem down in the front from those determined to realise the last bit of their energy, something they better save at the end of Stereophonics’s next London gig when the band will be supporting Pearl Jam at Hyde Park.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit Stereophonics’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Do Ya Feel My Love? here: