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Stereophonics are a Welsh rock band that formed in 1992 in Cwmamanmarker, Wales. The band is currently comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist Kelly Jones, bassist and backing vocalist Richard Jones, drummer Javier Weyler, guitarist and backing vocalist Adam Zindani and touring member Tony Kirkham (keyboards), the group having originally also included drummer Stuart Cable. Stereophonics have released seven studio albums, of which five have topped the UK Albums Chart. Their seventh, Keep Calm and Carry On, was released in November 2009 but did not make the Top 10. A successful compilation album was also released in November 2008 – Decade in the Sun charted at number two in the United Kingdom.

Described as "classic UK rock delivered with whiskey vocals," the band have been summarised as possessing a sound akin to the genres of alternative rock and "British trad[itional] rock." Stereophonics' debut album, Word Gets Around, was released in August 1997 and instantly charted at number six in the UK, aided by the singles "Local Boy in the Photograph", "More Life in a Tramps Vest" and "A Thousand Trees", all of which failed to affect the top 20. The band reached mainstream success with the release of Performance and Cocktails (and its promotional singles "The Bartender and the Thief", "Just Looking" and "Pick a Part That's New") in 1999 and have achieved a total of ten top-ten singles as well as one number-one: 2005's "Dakota". The band have also been praised for their live performances, which have landed them headlining slots at many of the UK's most high-profile music festivals, including Reading and Leeds in 2000, Glastonburymarker in 2002, V festival in 2002 and the Isle of Wight in 2004 and 2009.

History

Formation and early years (1992–96)

Kelly and Richard grew up together in the village of Cwmamanmarker, near Aberdaremarker, Wales. Along with original drummer Stuart Cable, they began writing and performing music in working men's clubs together in 1992 as a teenage cover band known as 'Tragic Love Company', a name inspired by their favourite bands (The Tragically Hip, Mother Love Bone and Bad Company). The band later changed their name to "Stereophonics", named after the manufacturer of a record player belonging to Stuart Cable's father.

In March 1996, the band played a gig at their local Coliseum Theatremarker with Catatonia and Pocket Devils. They played as Tragic Love Company and so impressed band manager John Brand that he signed a management deal with them after the concert.

In May 1996, they were the first artists to be signed to newly formed record label V2, created by Richard Branson. Upon signing, they dropped "The" from their name and simply became "Stereophonics".

Debut album and ascent to fame (1997–2000)

In August 1997, the band released their first studio album, Word Gets Around, which reached #6 in the UK charts and from which five singles were released. Afterwards, the band embarked on a successful world tour.
Kelly Jones Richard Jones Stuart Cable


In February 1998, the band received a BRIT Award for Best New Group. In the same week, the band re-released the single "Local Boy in the Photograph" which, in turn, reached position 14 in the UK Singles Chart. The band's debut album, Word Gets Around, also went gold in the UK.

In November 1998, "The Bartender and the Thief" (the first single from the album Performance and Cocktails) was released, eventually reaching number 3 on the UK charts. "Just Looking" was released next and reached number 4 in March 1999. In that same month, the album was released, entering at number 1 and going platinum within three weeks. Later that year, the band played in front of 50,000 people at Morfa Stadium in Swanseamarker. The concert was filmed and released on DVD the following year. They also collaborated with Tom Jones on a cover of the Randy Newman song "Mama Told Me Not To Come", for the Tom Jones album Reload.

Throughout 1998 and 1999, the band toured in Europe, Australia and the US. On 12 June 1998, Stereophonics played to over 10,000 spectators in the grounds of Cardiff Castlemarker in Wales. Footage of the concert was released on VHS and DVD, titled Live at Cardiff Castle.

Mainstream success (2001–04)

The band released their third album, Just Enough Education to Perform (JEEP), in April 2001. The album included the track "Mr. Writer", which includes lyrics that criticize a critic whom the band believe gave them an unfairly negative review. The album also contained one of the band's most famous tracks, "Have a Nice Day", which reached #5 in the UK charts.

To promote the new album, Just Enough Education to Perform, the Stereophonics played a two-day festival, which was called A Day at the Races. This event was held in Donington Parkmarker on the first day and at Cardiff's Millennium Stadiummarker on the second. The concerts were supported by Ash, Black Crowes and Proud Mary. Over 200,000 separate tickets were sold for the weekend festival. The performance was released on a DVD in 2002.

2003 saw the release of their fourth album, titled You Gotta Go There to Come Back. Drummer Stuart Cable was sacked, according to reports, because of a lack of commitment to the band. Cable, at the time, presented a TV show called "Cable TV" and felt that the band would never improve. Because of this, he missed several rehearsals and live concerts. He was eventually replaced by present drummer Javier Weyler. Steve Gorman, from The Black Crowes, stood in for Cable during the band's live performances until Javier Weyler was appointed.

Towards the end of the year, Stereophonics did a sold-out tour of the UK, ending with a Christmas show at the Millennium Stadiummarker, Cardiff, supported by Feeder and Ocean Colour Scene. The group took a break after their 2003–2004 world tour, which included a set at the Manchester Move Festival in July 2004.

Drummer change and band progression (2005–07)

Stereophonics performing in Hamburg, 13.September 2007
Their fifth studio album, Language. Sex. Violence. Other? was released in March 2005. It marked their first recording with new drummer Javier Weyler. The band achieved their first number 1 hit in the UK singles charts with the album's first single – the punky, upbeat "Dakota". The second single from the album was "Superman". However, that song did not repeat the success of "Dakota", peaking at number 13. After "Superman" came "Devil", featuring a controversial video and reaching number 11 in the charts. The album was nominated for a Pop Factory award at the end of the year, losing out to Feeder's Pushing the Senses.

The band played in Vancouver, Canada in April 2005 with opening band The Manvils. Following the concert, Kelly Jones invited The Manvils' lead guitarist, fellow Welshman Mark Parry, to join Stereophonics on the road as second guitarist in the band for their world tour. On 2 July 2005, the group appeared at the Live 8 concert in Hyde Parkmarker, London, playing to their biggest audience yet.

The band were scheduled to support Oasis for a number of dates across Europe, in early 2006, but pulled out due to family commitments. 2006 also saw the release of Stereophonics' first live album, Live from Dakota. The album is a two-disc compilation, featuring twenty tracks spanning all five of the band's albums and capturing the best of their 2005 world tour. Rather than being a recording of a single show, the tour was recorded every night and the band picked out the best version of each song individually. The album also features a track titled "Jayne", later released as part of Kelly Jones' solo album, "Only the Names Have Been Changed".

Their latest album, Pull the Pin, was released in the UK on 15 October 2007, along with a download-only taster; "Bank Holiday Monday". The track was also available for free to people who pre-ordered tickets for the band's concerts in 2007. The album was written and recorded by November 2006 but held back for release until late 2007. It Means Nothing was the first single of the album, released in September before the LP was released a week later on October 15. The album contains twelve songs and reached number 1 in the UK's official album chart. The next single, "My Friends", reached #32 in the UK charts, their poorest chart performance since "More Life in a Tramps Vest" from their debut album.

On 20 May 2007, at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Preston, the band were joined on stage by Casino frontman Adam Zindani. Zindani continued to tour with the band for the remainder of the Pull the Pin tour, playing lead guitar and backing vocals. He has been credited for writing and performing on two of the band's new tracks, "You're My Star" and "My Own Worst Enemy". On "You're My Star", he sings backing vocals and plays lead guitar. Whereas, on "My Own Worst Enemy", he only plays lead guitar.

Recent years (2008–present)

In November 2008, Stereophonics released a greatest hits compilation, Decade in the Sun: The Best of Stereophonics.


On 24 February 2009, the band announced that they would be headlining the Isle of Wight Festival for the second time since headlining the festival in 2004. As announced by their website, the festival was the band's "exclusive" festival appearance of the summer.

The band's seventh album is titled Keep Calm and Carry On and was released on 16 November 2009. They decided on this name after seeing a poster in The White Horse pub in Richmond where they spent a lot of time whilst recording the album. The album's debut single will be Innocent. A seven-date tour has been scheduled in support of the album, beginning in March 2010.

Other projects

On 9 October 2007, a retrospective DVD was released in the United States, Rewind: The First 10 Years. The DVD is a double disc with a runtime of nearly four hours.

Much of this footage was recorded around the time that the You Gotta Go There to Come Back album was being recorded. This is because a similar band history DVD was listed for release shortly after that album but was never released, due to the departure of Stuart Cable. This explains Kelly's hairstyle (circa 2003/2004) in the interview footage and the appearance of Stuart and the rest of the band freely talking about their togetherness and solidarity as the original three members. The original footage was updated by adding further footage to the end, bringing it up to date with the band's fifth album. Stuart does not appear on any of the extra footage.

Availability coincides with the US re-release of the Language.Sex.Violence.Other? DVD, and the worldwide digital debut of their latest studio album, Pull the Pin.

In 2007, lead singer Kelly Jones released a solo album, titled Only the Names Have Been Changed, while recording the band's sixth studio album, Pull the Pin. The album contains ten tracks (all named after women) and features minimal instrumentation. The album also includes the song "Jayne", a previously unreleased Stereophonics track featured on the live album Live from Dakota and the Rewind DVD.

Guitarist Adam Zindani has continued to work with his own band, Casino, since working with the Stereophonics. Casino's first album, 'The SpiderSimpson Incident' was released in December 2008 and an agreement was reached to have the album available to purchase at Stereophonics' live shows across the UK, that month.

Stereophonics are currently mentoring a band in Kansas City, Missouri called Dakota. Dakota is inspired by bands such as Stereophonics, Muse, The Killers, and Coldplay. Dakota is currently working on their debut album, Senses of the Soul, which is due to be released in late 2009.

Stereophonics also performed the original opening theme tune for the TV series Long Way Round. The song's lyrics were slightly altered for the follow-up series, Long Way Down.

Javier's projects

Drummer Javier Weyler released a solo album, titled Lagrima, in 2007, under the name Capitan Melao. "Lagrima" is the name of a composition by art-rock guitarist Phil Manzanera that appears on the album 801 Live, with Brian Eno and others. In Spanish, the word "Capitan" means "captain", while "Melao" is a Latin American slang word for swing, rhythm or soul. You can listen to his songs on Capitan Melao myspace.

Javier announced, in mid-February, that he was working back on his own project, as the band stopped touring.

He also said that he plans to run the London Marathon 2009, along with his brother. They will be running for Cancer Research UK. You can sponsor them by following this link The Weyler Bros.

Band members

Current members
Previous members
  • Stuart Cable – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1992–2003)
Touring musicians
  • Tony Kirkham – keyboards (1992–present)
  • Scott James – guitar (2001–2004)
  • Aileen McLaughlin – backing vocals (2002–2003)
  • Michale Johnson Pailing III – backing vocals (2002–2003)
  • Steve Gorman – drums, percussion (2003–2004)


Discography



References

  1. Stereobase Biography. Stereobase (Fan-site). Retrieved on 17 July 2007.
  2. Usenet : Alt Music Stereophonics FAQ Version 1.01
  3. Stereophonics drummer fired. BBC News. Retrieved on 17 July 2007.
  4. Stereophonics: Friends in the North video interview with stv.tv


External links




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