From the Heart of South Wales: Stereophonics

today5 December 2023 11 20

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In yet another example of great bands that originated from South Wales, I bring to you a well-known band – Stereophonics.

It was formed in 1992 in Cwmaman, South Wales by Kelly Jones and Stuart Cable, who lived on the same street and would play music together in Jones’ father’s garage. After some time of them practising like this, they invited Paul Rosser and Chris Davies to play bass guitar and keyboard respectively.

In 1986 they recorded their first demo, Zephyr, and when the band played a gig without Jones whilst he was on holiday he left the band and he and Cable went their separate ways.

The reason the band came to be again was because a few years after the split, Cable and Jones saw each other at a bus stop and had the first contact since Zephyr had broken up. They agreed to give the band another go as long as they only played their own original songs, and Mark Everett was invited to play bass guitar.

They began performing in working men’s clubs in 1992 as “Tragic Love Company”, and Wayne Coleman loved one of their demos but hated the band name and wanted them to change it, hence why they became “the Stereophonics” in 1996.

After playing a gig at their local Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare alongside Catatonia, John Brand approached them and became their manager, getting over 35 record companies interested in signing them with one of these being V2. They signed to the label and dropped “the” from their name to become “Stereophonics”.

Their first studio album, Word Gets Around, was released in 1997 and reached number six in the UK charts followed by a successful world tour and the album going gold in the UK. They toured Europe, Australia and the US through 1998-99.

Following this, their fame grew massively and they performed several more tours of the UK with most of these being sold out before Cable left the band.

The band achieved their first number one hit in the UK singles charts with “Dakota”, from their fifth studio album, one of their most widely known songs even now and the one that has the most streams on most platforms.

In my belief, Stereophonics serve as the perfect inspiration to any rising bands and artists in Wales who are looking to achieve a steady career and music and they are proof that even regular people from the smallest towns can break into the industry, although it’s undoubtedly more difficult.

Written by: Aimee Smith

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