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A live less ordinary
Say what you like about the Stereophonics – and let’s face it, the Welsh superstars have taken their share of flak over the years – but 10 years since they first emerged they’re arguably bigger than ever.
Colm O Hare, 19 Apr 2006
Last year’s Language. Sex.Violence. Other? album saw them adopt a much harder-edged, guitar-based sound with singer Kelly Jones’ gravely voice snarling for all it’s worth, especially on the return-to-form single, ‘Dakota’. Now they celebrate a decade on the road with their first ever live album – Live From Dakota – a double CD set recorded on their marathon 120-date tour in 2005.
“It’s just something for the fans who enjoyed the shows and who want to re-live the experience,” Jones explains on the blower from London. “We’re not expecting it to be a big seller or anything, it just caps off that year nicely for us.”
But why a live album as opposed to a concert DVD, which seems to make more sense in these days of big-screen, multi-media and surround-sound?
“I dunno, I’ve always liked live albums,” he says. “I remember growing up and hearing Live And Dangerous, Frampton Comes Alive and AC/DC’s If You Want Blood – it was a very ‘70s thing. We’ve been recording our gigs for the last five or six years but the 2005 tour really captured the ballsy sound of the band as it is now. It’s a contrast to the more acoustic thing we were doing a few years earlier. But we’ve got some live footage of the tour as well and we’ve been documenting the band for ten years so we’re probably going to put it together sometime. But we never wanted to be a band who brings out a DVD every year at Christmas just to cash in.”
One of their biggest hits in recent years was their version of Rod Stewart’s ‘Handbags And Gladrags’ (notably absent from the live album). Did they ever consider doing an entire covers album, as Paul Weller and others have done so successfully?
“We started out playing covers in bars, that’s how we learned to be a band. The trouble with ‘Handbags…’ was that it almost became more successful than the band itself, so we had to get back to concentrating on our own stuff. I know Paul Weller pretty well and he needed to find his writing style again and he did the covers album as a way through that. We haven’t felt the need to do that, so far.”