I had an email from Jane earlier today in which she recommended a track by the Stereophonics she thought that I might like. Whilst the track in question didn’t exactly blow my mind, it did remind how good they can be. In particular it made me think of the first track of theirs I ever heard, Local Boy In The Photograph (in fact it was their first ever single).
Whilst the Stereophonics have been mocked more than just about any band of the last ten years (and to be honest their bare-footed Glastonbury headlining slot deserved some ribbing), there has always been a pretty fine rock and hiding under the ego and bombast.
And, in their early days, the great band wasn’t even that well hidden: their debut album, Word Gets Around, was one of the best of the 90s, marrying a great ear for melodies with lyrics that were a lot more than the standard “she loves you yeahhhhh” of many bands, or the meaningless gibberish of Oasis and their copy-cats. Local Boy In The Photograph, for example, deals with the impact of a (suspected) suicide on a small Welsh town.
You can’t imagine Snow Patrol writing about that now, can you?
Train tracks image by David Locke1 on flickr
Not too many words, but still a very moving lyric. One of those tracks I can listen to on repeat over and over again.