Raw and back to basics – The Stereophonics return to roots with feel-good, intimate sound

Stereophonics at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).

The Stereophonics bassist and founding member Richard Jones promised fans a good time before the Welsh quartet’s welcome Aberdeen return.

It was mission accomplished after a hit-packed concert spanning their two decade plus career.

This was the opening show on a mammoth British tour and The Stereophonics showed no signs of stage rustiness.

From the opening song Chances Are from recent album Scream Above The Sounds they were straight into their stride.

Singer Kelly Jones said “this one’s 20 years old, let’s blow out the candles” before launching into More Life in A Tramp’s Vest from 1997 album Word Gets Around.

Another crowd favourite was the upbeat Have A Nice Day, introduced as a “song about San Francisco”.

Mid-song, Jones addressed the crowd and asked “what do you sing Aberdeen?”

Thousands sang back “Have a Nice Day”.

The gig changed pace when the stage was transformed as the video back-drop was briefly ditched.

It was replaced by an intimate lounge on stage – complete with lampshades.

It was a more sedate atmosphere for You Can Have it All and a version of Handbags and Gladrags complete with soaring trumpet.

This was The Stereophonics stripped down and raw, ripped back to the basics.

It was a return to their roots of playing in pubs and clubs.

This section of the gig could almost have been in the wee neuk of a bar in a late-night lock-in.

The Stereophonics have that feel of a good-time band.

Essentially they are The Faces for the noughties but without the threat of teetering into imminent chaos of Rod Stewart and co.

Like The Faces they also find beauty in the minutiae of everyday life.

The Bartender and The Thief was raucous and pounding, with the hint to heavy metal acknowledged when Jones sang The Ace of Spades midway – in homage to Motorhead.

They returned for a three-song encore climaxing with Dakota, introduced by Jones on solo guitar before the band jumped in.

The Stereophonics left to a standing ovation. They have come a long way since their first shows in the city in the mid-nineties.