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LIVE: Stereophonics Triumph As They Return To The Welsh Capital

Friday night saw thousands of music fans descend on Cardiff to watch what would be a celebration of Welsh culture and talent. The evening saw icons Stereophonics return to Cardiff since March 2020, joined by Sir Tom Jones, Feeder and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard.

Opening up the weekend with their swaggering glam pop-rock were locals Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard. The four piece have been making waves in the scene over the last few years, from the release of their debut album 'Backhand Deals' to performing at the renowned SXSW Festival. Watching them play a venue of this calibre was slightly surreal; it felt like only yesterday we were watching them in Clwb Ifor Bach. Think the lovechild of Bolan and Mercury - that's Buzzard!

Up next were Newport duo Feeder, stepping up to the plate in replacing Catfish and the Bottlemen. The band, who played the first gig in Wales after lock down was lifted, delivered a relentless set filled with anthems old and new. They got the crowd up and raring for the rest of the evening, especially with their 2001 hit 'Just A Day' where everyone sang as if their lives depended on it.

Sir Tom Jones took to the stage next and as soon as he stepped on the room filled with smiles galore. Even at 82, he's still got it; providing the charm and the classic singalongs for the evening. He undoubtedly had everyone grinning at his commentary and stage presence whilst performing hits such as Its Not Unusual and Sex Bomb.

After that you couldn't imagine it getting any better but as soon as Stereophonics hit the stage after the Cwmbach Male Voice Choir and a 75,000 cap venue finished singing an electrifying rendition of our national anthem, it only got bigger and better from there. C'est La Vie kicked off their set, warming up the crowd with what is the epitome of stadium rock and roll.

'We'll Keep A Welcome' was plastered above the stage and a welcome they kept throughout the entire night. A personal highlight for me was their execution of 'Geronimo' - saxophonist Gavin Fitzjohn and Kelly Jones strutted down the runway, maestros of their instruments, captivating every single person in the room with their goosebump-worthy performance.

The Sex Bomb singer (Sir Tom Jones) returned to the stage to perform a rendition of Randy Newman's 'Mama Told Me (Not To Come)' with the Rhondda boys, showcasing two of Wales' musical giants.

It was a special evening that celebrated the rich culture and absolute talent we have in our wonderful country. They played songs from their latest album 'Oochya' and of course classics such as the emotive 'Maybe Tomorrow' and the explosive 'The Bartender and The Thief'. The boys brought together an extensive audience, who were all there for one reason only - to experience the amazing musicality we've had representing Wales for years (both young and old).

During the encore Kelly Jones reminisced about the time he saw The Rolling Stones play Cardiff Arms Park on their 1990 Urban Jungle tour. He spoke of wanting to be on a stage like them. He eyed the crowd and said "dreams really do come true". They ended the evening with the outstanding 'Dakota', raising the roof one last time that night. The crowd had obviously been waiting for this very moment, arms and cups flew to the air, the whole stadium erupted into song - it really was a moment you'd struggle to forget.

Words: Tate Powell



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