Review | Stereophonics at Portsmouth Guildhall: 'Kelly Jones’ raspy vocals are like fine wine'

On their J.E.E.P 20th anniversary tour Welsh rockers Stereophonics packed the Guildhall to the rafters last night with another sold out date on this tour.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 4:34 pm
Stereophonics at Portsmouth Guildhall on their J.E.E.P. 20th anniversary tour, November 29, 2021. Picture by Lorna Edwards

Originally released in 2001, then rereleased in 2002 to include hit single Handbags & Gladrags, Just Enough Education to Perform was their third studio album and one of their most successful to date.

This short run of shows marking the anniversary is in venues that count as ‘intimate’ to the ’Phonics – later this month they’re headlining two nights at Cardiff Principality Stadium, which is 70,000 people. Each night.

The lads from the Cynon Valley walked on stage in Portsmouth to a roaring welcome from the audience and wasted no time in getting them going.

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Stereophonics at Portsmouth Guildhall on their J.E.E.P. 20th anniversary tour, November 29, 2021. Picture by Lorna Edwards

Kelly Jones’ raspy vocals are like fine wine and his lead guitar playing is just as pleasing to the ear.

The first half of the show saw some of the more mellow favourites from the band including Step on My Old Size Nines and Have a Nice Day, with Jones regaling the crowd in between with some old stories of being on the road and poking fun at himself and band as they climbed the fame ladder.

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Handbags & Gladrags was one of the standout moments and had a full vocal backing from the audience.

From there the pace picked up with some of the hits from other and more recent albums like Geronimo from 2017’s Scream Above the Sounds and the fabulous track Do Ya Feel My Love from the forthcoming album Oochya!, which is due for release next March.

They returned for the obligatory encore to stamping feet and chanting all over the auditorium, to belt out firm favourites Superman and 2005’s number one hit Dakota, to which the place erupted with cheers and some pretty impressive diving and jumping for a mostly middle-aged crowd!

It was a great end to what was an atmospheric, amusing and explosive listening experience.

These rockers know how to put on a show, and I’m really looking forward to Oochya!

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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