STEREOPHONICS + KT TUNSTALL – BRIGHTON CENTRE 26.3.22
It didn’t feel as though Spring had commenced in Brighton this evening. It felt just like Summer! We were just six days into the new season and yet here we were totally relaxing on Brighton’s famous pebbly beach with the sun on our faces as we secretly tucked into our fish and chips without alerting the seagulls. The atmosphere was calm in a early morning after clubbin’ Ibiza vibe. People were chillin’ with beers and some were also accompanied by their well behaved dogs, who were in the same relaxed frame of mind. We stared out to sea across to the West as the large orange ball in the sky got lower and lower and majestically turned blood red as it hit the sea beyond the West Pier. Pure magic! What could possibly tear us away from here?
The temperature was beginning to drop a tad and it was now time to negotiate our way off the beach, across the A259 and into the cavernous Brighton Centre, as opposed to heading 1.2 miles to the East along Madeira Drive to the Concorde 2, where the venue was bursting at the seams and many folks had gathered outside the venue to enjoy a performance by some popular ginger-haired bloke called Ed.
We were fortunate as we had a couple of tickets fall into our laps via friends of ours who had themselves acquired a duo for the special Liam Gallagher Teenage Cancer Trust ‘Live Forever’ performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Gallagher dedicated his performance to the recently departed Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters, who was a superfan of Oasis and had previously pleased with the Gallagher brothers to reform the band.
Once inside the Brighton Centre we headed to the bar to quench our thirst as our evening meal was as one would expect a little salty and thus made us a little parched. Before we knew it, the time was circa a quarter to eight and we were off…….
First up this evening on date six of eleven on the Stereophonics ‘Oochya!’ tour, in support of their latest 15-track album of the same name (which was released on 4th March), it was the turn of special guest, 46 year old Edinburgh born rock/folk music singer Kate Victoria Tunstall, better known as multi award winning KT Tunstall to get the packed crowd into the mood.
Well this was most certainly a great result having such a high profile support act for us eager punters this evening. She describes herself as thus: “Guitar thwacker, boot stomper, yeller, story teller, part-time nomad”, and who am I to contradict this. Since bursting onto the scene back at the tail end of 2004 with her debut album ‘Eye To The Telescope’ which sold four million copies worldwide, this Scotch lassie has now dropped six studio albums, as many live albums and also twenty-three singles.
Although KT obviously has Scottish roots, her birth mother hails from Hong Kong and her real father from Ireland, but at 18 days old she was adopted. In April 2007 she underwent surgery to correct an undersized kidney, which was a problem caused by a childhood infection. She has also now sustained full left-ear hearing loss, not that anyone tonight would be aware of this, as the girl with the contralto voice (the lowest female voice type) stood out front, solo, in front of the giant draped curtains, with the eight spot-lights beaming down on her and she did her thang with her sizeable earrings and Californian made Taylor acoustic guitar for company.
Did we love her? Yeah of course we did! She’s played Brighton at least on seven previous occasions, with the first being at the Komedia on 8th February 2005, before making it big at the Brighton Dome and here at the Brighton Centre. Tonight she rocked! Especially when she gave us her take on the Foo Fighters ‘Times Like These’, which ended with her proclaiming “Rest in peace Taylor!”.
Find out more at www.kttunstall.com
With more beers acquired during the interval, we were settling in nicely for the main event….Welsh rockers Stereophonics, who it must be said have outdone KT Tunstall with their 10 previous Brighton concert performances! The first of those was back on 24th May 1997, when they played in Stanmer Park as part of the ‘Essential Festival’ which hosted many acts across the three days including Shed Seven, Dreadzone, The Levellers, Embrace, Limp Bizkit, and The Future Sound Of London, to name just a few.
This evening, however, was an indoor appearance commencing at 8:45pm and as one would expect, the lighting once again for a Stereophonics show is top class. The live feed cameramen were playing their part as their work was being beamed onto the screens at the rear of the stage for all to see, whilst the half a dozen musicians lead by charismatic frontman Kelly Jones busied themselves on the stage below during their 24 song set.
Tonight’s musician’s who were celebrating 30 years since the band took up arms consisted of Kelly Jones (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards), Richard Jones (bass guitar, harmonica, backing vocals), Adam Zindani (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jamie Morrison (drums, percussion), touring member Tony Kirkham (keyboards) and another guitarist at the rear. Professionals…all of them!
‘Oochya!’ follows Stereophonics’ previous album ‘Kind’, which went to Number One in the UK album charts in 2019, outselling nearest competitor Kanye West by over 10,000 copies. They are rightly considered one of the UK’s most enduring and loved bands, with ‘Oochya!’ Kelly Jones has continued to cement his place amongst the great British songwriters. Having now achieved 7 number 1 albums, 10 top 10 albums, 23 Platinum Sales Awards, 8.5 million albums sold in the UK alone, 5 BRIT nominations and 1 BRIT Award win, Stereophonics stand as undeniable giants of British music and thus the band are as popular as they have ever been as bears witness to the enthusiastic crowd here this evening, who sang along to the tunes in vast numbers and waved their mobile phones in the air in order to capture their own memories of the night.
As one would expect from a band that have a string of tours under their belt including performing alongside legends such as the Rolling Stones, U2, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie, the Stereophonics are entertainers through and through.
As part of tonight’s marathon set, which had glitz, glamour and moments of pure singalong laidback sounds, the most moving of which was when Kelly addressed the crowd stating that many band’s have been through the loss of one of their members, the Stereophonics case being their original drummer Stuart Cable (from 1992–2003) who sadly died aged just 40 in 2010. Tonight Kelly and the lads addressed Taylor Hawkins passing by performing ‘Best Of You’ by the Foo Fighters – moving or what! Sometimes it’s just more than just music!
‘Do Ya Feel My Love’
‘C’est La Vie’
‘I Wanna Get Lost With You’
‘Best Of You’ (Foo Fighters cover)
‘Hanging On Your Hinges’
‘Right Place Right Time’
‘Fly Like An Eagle’
‘Graffiti On The Train’
‘A Thousand Trees’
‘Billy Davey’s Daughter’
‘Running Round My Brain’
‘Mr And Mrs Smith’
‘Have A Nice Day’
‘Handbags And Gladrags’ (Mike d’Abo cover)
‘The Bartender And The Thief’
‘Make Friends With The Morning’
Find out more at stereophonics.com.