Stereophonics at the Rugby World Cup Final

I was in Cardiff city centre for the Rugby World Cup final in 1999 and at one point in the evening, a little worse for wear, me, my mate and his uncle were sitting on a wall outside a bar. It was pretty hard, and overly expensive, getting in anywhere so we were planning our next move.

I noticed someone sitting down next to me, looked over, and realised it was Stuart Cable. I said ‘Fuck me!’ or words to that effect. He replied with something humourous, which I can’t quite recall, but definitely ended with the friendly Welsh moniker ‘butt’.

Then I spotted Kelly and Richard coming out of the bar with a few friends. I couldn’t believe it. The band had played at the closing ceremony of the Rugby World Cup and had been at an after party in the bar whose wall we were sitting on.

We ended up chatting to them as they walked down the street. Then before we knew it, they, and we, were walking past a massive, and star struck, queue.

Like something from a film, and feeling like a rockstar, we were heading to a bar with my favourite band until the bouncer put his hand out and said ‘Don’t think so mate!’

I don’t know what made me say it, but, in my best Cwmaman accent, I quickly replied ‘I’m with them. I’m Kelly’s cousin’ and shouted ‘Kel’ as he was walking through the doors. He turned around and I gestured to the bouncer.

If he had done anything other than give the bouncer a thumbs up gesture like he did, I would have been heartbroken.

But I walked in with my mate and his uncle, thanked Kelly, said goodbye to Richard and Stuart and let them crack on with their night.

My mate’s uncle still talks about that night 20 years later and it’s wonderful that the Stereophonics are still making music too. They’ve just released Kind, their eleventh studio album, which has gone straight to number one.

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