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Review: Stereophonics rock Margate Winter Gardens in warm-up for BBC Radio 2 London Hyde Park show

By Joe Wright

As soon as the opening bars of C'est La Vie thundered around the Margate Winter Gardens, it was clear Stereophonics were not going to disappoint.

In a pulsating two-hour gig, which sold out in less than five minutes, Kelly Jones and co treated the packed crowd to anthem after anthem from their vast back catalogue of hits.

Twenty years since hitting the big time with their debut album, the Welsh rockers proved they are still at the top of their game as Kelly, who was clearly enjoying himself, belted out a host of crowd-pleasers.

The scene during Have a Nice Day
The scene during Have a Nice Day

Among them were booming renditions of A Thousand Trees, Local Boy in a Photograph and Bartender and the Thief which all left the ears of the 2,000-strong crowded ringing.

A surprise mid-point medley of AC/DC, ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin ended in rapturous applause and Kelly’s wit and anecdotes kept the audience entertained between songs.

Complemented throughout by a dazzling lightshow, the frontman, bassist Richard Jones, guitarist Adam Zindani, drummer Jamie Morrison and keyboardist Tony Kirkham proved the night was not just for heart-pounding tracks as they produced more tender songs including It Means Nothing and Indian Summer.

Stereophonics rocked a sell-out crowd in Margate. Stock pic.
Stereophonics rocked a sell-out crowd in Margate. Stock pic.

Have A Nice Day, perhaps Stereophonics best known song, became the night’s big sing-a-long with its killer chorus being sung from every corner of the Winter Gardens.

Ably supported by fellow Welsh rock band Fireroad beforehand, the Phonics’ intertwined their classics with a mix of new music including All in One Night and Caught in the Wind.

The ever responsive crowd, who replied to every call for arms in the air, were treated to one last spectacle as the group signed off the sweaty, powerhouse performance with number one hit Dakota.

The 2000-strong crowd were treated to 20 years worth of hits
The 2000-strong crowd were treated to 20 years worth of hits

For all those lucky enough to get tickets – the night will most definitely not fade from memory anytime soon.

Treating Margate as a warm-up, Stereophonics, who headlined Glastonbury in 2002, now move onto performing at the BBC Radio 2 London Hyde Park event today and then look ahead to the release of their tenth album Scream Above the Sounds on Friday, October 27.

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