It’s not often you get the chance to see a MASSIVE band in a relatively small venue, so when it came up on the gig roster at Gig Junkies HQ that The Stereophonics were playing at Derby Assembly Rooms I was all over it like a cheap dress.

Having never been to the venue I was amazed at how well organised and clean it was – two words you don’t often associate with gigs! Because of this and probably because the audience was a little bit older, there seemed to be a more serene atmosphere to the event. By Jove it was even cordial!

Sound of Guns

Support came in the shape of black jean/leather jacket clad, mop-topped scousers Sound of Guns. It was visually however, that their similarity to the Ramones ended. They kicked off with the stomping ‘Sometimes’ an upbeat driver of a song, combining great vocal melodies and driving bass rifts – a splendid opener. This was followed by similarly bass driven, melodic tunes which contained their splendid single ‘Antartica’. Ones to watch me thinks.

Sound of Guns

The night then went from the Sound of Guns to The Big Guns…The Stereophonics. Unsurprisingly looking uber-cool, front man Kelly Jones swaggered on to the stage donning a long sleeved shirt and cool shades and as per, instantly sounded phenomenal. Proceedings kicked off with the rifftastic ‘Madame Helga’ and before you’d had chance to breathe they were already belting out riff-fest number 2 ‘Vegas Two Times’. Boom!


Two things quickly became very apparent – they were there to have fun and more importantly they were going to insure that the fans had fun as they proceeded to plough through their back catalogue of hits. No duff tunes tonight. ‘A Thousand Trees’ followed and for me this signified the best moment of the night and demonstrated the mass appeal that the Sterophonics have. Next to us was a girl of no more than 10, perched on her dads shoulders. She belted out every single word of the song which was recorded before she was even born. Much respect to Dad, Daughter and Band!


Hit followed hit. It was like a conveyor belt churning out one awesome song after another – much to the partisan crowds delight. ‘She’s Alright’ followed and Mr Jones, the official orchestrator of the fans, demanded raised arms and clapping a plenty. That’s right, he demanded. It was high octane stuff and thus time for a breather with the reserved singer offering his praise to the East Midlands crowd “Thank you for coming down”. ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ followed and was accompanied by 2000 backing singers. Admittedly not all of the crowd were in tune, but it was a hair-raising moment which was obviously appreciated by the band.


It’s only when attending a Sterophonics gig that you realise how fantastic the band from Wales are, how many hits they’ve had and how under the radar they’ve stayed. For me, they are definitely one of those bands who come across sooooooo much better live than on record. You need to see them.


‘Bartender and the Thief’ got the crowd rocking once more and this was quickly followed by ‘Pick a Part’. Did I mention it was a total hitfest? ‘Mr Writer’ came hot on the heals of ‘Superman’ and the guitarmanship as he chugged away on the umpteenth cool riff of the night and vocal excellence, really demonstrate what an awesome front man Kelly Jones is. Ouch!


After a quick fire 90 minutes of quite simply breathe taking stuff, the band were off before making their way back to the stage for the traditional encore – which featured a Size Nines/Hurry Up/Nice Day/Handbags montage and was obviously much appreciated by the crowd!

And then that was that! A fantastic nights entertainment courtesy of the Welsh Rockers. I’m already looking forward to the next time!

Gig Review by Zak Edwards
Gig Photos by Bianca Barrett

3 Responses to “Stereophonics + Sound of Guns @ The Assembly Rooms, Derby, UK – 23rd July 2012”

  1. Sylviecheese Says:

    Brilliant as ever!!!

  2. Wayne Says:

    Love it! :o)

  3. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Stereophonics Play Ten Intimate March UK Shows Says:

    […] Photo by Bianca Barrett from Stereophonics’ Derby gig in July […]

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