REVIEW: British rock royalty Stereophonics warm up for stadium tour with Cambridge Corn Exchange date

Stereophonics warmed up for their sold-out stadium tour with a gig at Cambridge Corn Exchange on Mon

Stereophonics warmed up for their sold-out stadium tour with a gig at Cambridge Corn Exchange on Monday May 16. Photo: Tom Oxley - Credit: tom oxley

Stereophonics are an institution in British rock music. Headlining festivals and selling out venues for over 20 years, the Welsh rockers warmed up for yet another huge upcoming tour with an intimate gig at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, and reporter Seb Pearce was there to take in the action.

When 1,400 tickets were released to this warm-up show just over a month ago, they were sold out in just six minutes, reflecting the popularity of a band that has dominated the British rock scene for almost a quarter of a century.

As charismatic frontman Kelly Jones belts out the first line of C’est La Vie in his instantly-recognisable raspy tones, you can see – and hear - why punters were so quick to snap up the tickets.

Oozing energy, expertise and experience from over two decades at the forefront of rock, the quartet from Cwmaman don’t need any quirky stage production or exuberant exchanges with the front row to woo the crowd at the Corn Exchange.

Rather, they let their catalogue of foot-stomping anthems and arm-swaying acoustic melodies do the talking, and a near-two hour set keeps the venue, which is packed to the rafters, transfixed.

Kelly and co’s set consists of handful of tracks from their latest album, Keeping the Village Alive, which strike a chord with the band’s more hardcore contingent of fans.

However, it isn’t until they fire out classics such as Maybe Tomorrow, Indian Summer and Dakota, that the somewhat subdued crowed really get moving and stretch their vocal chords.

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Jones’ skills – both vocally and with the guitar - are evident throughout, but booming drum fillers from Jamie Morrison and superb solos from lead guitarist Adam Zindani prove that the hit makers aren’t a one-man band.

A slot at Portuguese festival Rock in Rio, three homecoming dates at Cardiff City Stadium and a place at the top of the Isle of Wight Festival’s bill await for Stereophonics, but are they ready?

Of course they are.