Stereophonics - The Band

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Stereophonics - the name will probably ring a bell. They are surely one of Britain's best known modern Rock groups and, with three best-selling albums and several hit-singles under their collective belts, probably one of the most successful.

The Members

Kelly Jones

Jones's voice is a killer instrument too, simultaneously raw and mellow, while his lyrics nail the disdain, boredom and affection inherent in small-town life.

- Q Magazine.

The lead singer and guitarist for Stereophonics. He studied film and TV script writing in college and writes about what he knows - everyday life. He started playing in bands from an early age, with his friend Stuart Cable.

His voice is instantly recognisable from any other singer in the business and the words and music he writes are pure gold.

Richard Jones

...just like any other bass player - hanging back and looking cool.

- Richard Jones talks to Kerrang! Magazine about his role.

Bassist Richard and Kelly were born only a few days apart, lived on the same street and were in the same class at school. He was, the others say, the coolest kid in the village, which was why he was invited into Richard and Stuart's new group. Despite knowing very little about bass guitar, he was eager to learn.

Stuart Cable

On tunes such as 'Not Up To You' his drum patterns breathe life into the song and momentum into the show.

- The Times on Stuart Cable.

Older than the other two members, Stuart's drumming is clear and brilliant on many of their tracks. He was always confident about the band being sucessful once they became a trio. His wife is called Nicola and they have one child.


Marshall Bird - One of the band's producers and sound engineers, Bird is the studio pianist and provides backing vocals, wurlitzer or harmonica on several tracks.

Tony Kirkham - Provides Bird's parts on tour. He appears playing in the videos for 'Have a Nice Day' and 'Step On My Old Sie Nines'.

Scott James - Like Kirkham, James is a guitarist who tours with Stereophonics and also appears in those two videos. He also provides backing vocals.


It all started with the spilt of Kelly and Stuart's band Zepher. The pair set up a new band, adding Richard to their roster. Way back in the early 1990s they started off as the Tragic Love Company, taking names from the bands Tragically Hip, Mother Love Bone and Bad Company. They played most of their gigs in the Ivy Bush, the local pub in Cwmaman. Later, they changed their name to 'Stereophonics', which was taken from Stuart's father's gramophone. This was in March 1996, two weeks later they were supporting Catatonia, where John Brand noticed them.

Suddenly everyone wanted to sign them to their label, including all five of the EMI labels, which don't usually compete with each other. August 1, 1996 saw them become the first band to sign to Richard Branson's new label, V2.

October of that year saw their first UK tour, with the Sheffield band AC Acoustics. A nice surprise was waiting for them the morning they left Cwmaman, when the entire village turned out to see them off.

In December 1996 the band cut short a tour to support The Who at Earls Court. The band were rather shocked by the ten-minute walk to the stage and the size of their dressing room.

Following this was the band's first outdoor gig, at the Hillsborough Justice Concert. The summer of 1997 was spent touring. The Stereophonics played every major European festival there is. All the hard work took its toll though, Stuart collapsed at Reading with glandular fever. Their next album and single was released shortly after.

In November their first major European tour started. They were supporting Supergrass. The two bands got on very well, and bonded over bar pianos.

Finally, in early 1998, the recognition began. Melody Maker voted them best band of the year, then at the Brits they won the Best Newcomers Award.

June 1998 saw one of the most momentous events for the band to date. They got to play Cardiff Castle, the first band to play there since Queen in 1978. This was seen as quite a risk, as the band weren't sure they could sell enough tickets to at least break even. Their fears were unjustified, within ten days they had sold 10,000 tickets!

June 1999 they were in Wembley Stadium with Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz and The Black Crowes, and in July they were playing Morfa Stadium, with as much success as ever. Stuart says there'll be a sense of history about the gig - the whole stadium was torn down the following day.

August was the annual Kerrang Awards. The Stereophonics were nominated for Best British Band, Best Band in the World, Best Single, Best Album, Best Video and Best Live Act. They won Best British Band and Best Album, beating off competition from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Marilyn Manson. Then to top it all off, they won Best Live Act, beating the Rolling Stones, in the Q Awards.

Spring 2001 saw a tour of the USA and Canada. During the summer they played at the Millennium Stadium, to an estimated 65,000 people, the biggest gig of their career. By the end of July they were in Fuji for the Rock Festival.

2001 didn't see them winning anything at the Kerrang awards, but they had several nominations. Stereophonics are about to gear up and once again to tour Ireland and the UK. They keep going from strength to strength as their career develops. They may have settled down a little since Stuart found his father's radiogram, both Richard and Stuart are married, and there's a little Cable running around now, but their music is as great as it’s always been.

Word Gets Around

For a debut album, this is scarily self-assured, rich in details from rock's ragged tapestry but performed with an unbridled energy that implies they've just invented it. Openers 'A Thousand Trees' and 'Looks Like Chaplin' reveal R&B throb, soul ache, American alt-rock thrash and, in guitarist Kelly Jones's voice, hollering metal.

- Q Magazine

Released in August 1997, their first album reached number six in the charts and featured their top fourty hit singles 'Thousand Trees' and 'More Life in a Tramp's Vest'. The album went silver before Christmas, selling over 60,000 copies.

It was fuelled by the fustration of living in a small village, and features everything fromcatchy, jolly-sounding tunes like 'More Life In A Tramps Vest' to angry-sounding tracks like 'Looks Luke Chaplin' to the true tale of 'Local Boy in the Photograph'.


  1. A Thousand Trees
  2. Looks Like Chaplin
  3. More Life In A Tramps Vest
  4. Local Boy In The Photograph
  5. Traffic
  6. Not Up To You
  7. Check My Eyelids for Holes
  8. Same Size Feet
  9. Last Of The Bigtime Drinkers
  10. Goldfish Bowl
  11. Too Many Sandwiches

Singles and Videos

Their first single was the double A-side limited edition of 'Looks like Chaplin' and 'More Life in a Tramp's Vest'. However it didn't manage to get into the top 100. Their second single, 'Local Boy in the Photograph' was released. It reached 51 in the charts. Finally, in May they got into the top 40 with 'More Life in a Tramp's Vest', which reached 33. Their next single, 'Traffic', got into the charts at number 20, and they almost made it onto Top of the Pops, but were taken off in favour for Pulp. In early 1998 the band re-release the single 'Local Boy in the Photograph', which made it to number 14 in the charts.

Performance and Cocktails

The band spent several months recording their second album, which came out in March 1999 and went straight to the top of the album chart, beating off Brittany Spears' album. On the first day alone, more than 44,000 copies were sold.

This is easily the heaviest of their albums, you need only to listed to 'Bartender and the Theif' or 'Roll Up and Shine' to see why.


  1. Roll Up and Shine
  2. The Bartender and the Thief
  3. Hurry Up and Wait
  4. Pick a Part That's New
  5. Just Looking
  6. Half the Lies You Tell Ain't True
  7. I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio
  8. T-Shirt Sun Tan
  9. Is Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today?
  10. A Minute Longer
  11. She Takes Her Clothes Off
  12. Plastic California
  13. I Stopped to Fill My Car Up

Singles and Videos

'The Bartender and The Thief', the first single, went straight into the charts at number three in November 1998. The second single, 'Just Looking' got to number four in March 1999. In May, 'Pick a Part That's New' was released, this entered the charts at number four.

'I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio' was released in August 1999, reaching 11 in the charts. 'Hurry Up and Wait' also reached 11th in November.

The first video from this album, 'The Bartender and The Thief', was set in Viet Nam, with the band doing a morale-raising gig for US troops there. Stuart wears a silly helmet, the troops get rowdy and the band eventually flee from a mob of excited soldiers.

Just Enough Education to Perform

Released 9 April 2001 and hitting number one on the UK album charts. It was recorded in summer 2000 at Real World Studios in Bath and Kelly Jones previewed it on his debut accoustic tour.

Compared to the previous albums, this one is considerably less heavy, with a lot of the tracks being a lot slower at times sounding a little country-western. 'Have a Nice Day' is considerabely summery - some fans say disturbingly so.


  1. Vegas Two Times
  2. Lying in the Sun
  3. Mr Writer
  4. Step On My Old Size Nines
  5. Have a Nice Day
  6. Nice To Be Out
  7. Watch Them Fly Sundays
  8. Everyday I Think of Money
  9. Maybe
  10. Carvan Holiday
  11. Rooftop

Singles and Videos

So far, three singles have been released from this album, along with videos. The first was 'Mr Writer' a slow and almost angry-sounding track with an video to match - the band dressed up as very sad looking clowns. The second was 'Have a Nice Day' which featured the band lazing around in a white room, surrounded by beautiful and almost-naked women. Kelly is tied to a giant target and then the women suddenly age and start to throw knives at him - it's a little sinister when you think about it. The third and most recent is 'Step On My Old Size Nines' which has the band dressing up in various silly costumes while they play. Watch out for Stuart 'Austin Powers' Cable!

All these videos feature clowns.


If you'd like more info on the band, you can find it at the Official Stereophonics Website.

If you'd like to sample some of their tracks, you can find extracts at media sites such as

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