THERE are some bands for whom CD and MP3 do not do them justice.

While polished and professional, they really need to be heard live to be fully appreciated.

Stereophonics are one such band.

Around for more than 25 years now, the Welsh rock group are still as tight and vibrant as ever, if not more so.

Kelly Jones, now 43, has lost none of his energy, passion and that gravelly voice is still to die for, even for a man of mature years such as me.

A packed Metro Radio Arena was treated to a setlist that spanned every emotion and combined with superb lighting, video and almost perfect sound made for an evening that will live long in the memory.

With ten studio albums to choose from, putting a set list together could have proved a nice little headache, but as it was they went down the tried and trusted route in the main.  Opening with Chances Are then recent single Caught by the Wind, they soon had the appreciative crowd singing along and punching the air as one.

I Wanna Get Lost With You, Have a Nice Day, Graffiti on the Train saw them hit their straps and by the time Maybe Tomorrow came around they were putty in Jones' hand. A particular highlight was the sax-guitar duel in a wonderfully heavy rendition of Geronimo, a little ostentatious, yes, but entertaining nonetheless.

There was a nice little twist mid-set, when the band came to the front of the stage en masse and with two 1970s standard lamps for illumination performed some more intimate numbers, including I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio and Handbags and Gladrags.

As interludes go, this was a pleasant distraction, but the pedal was soon back on the accelerator in the shape of Mr Writer.

Jones' guitar style reminds me a little of Lindsey Buckingham and while he is maybe not as technically gifted as the Fleetwood Mac star, there are few who possess the same level of symbiotic interaction with their instrument as he.

As the night wound down, Jones took to the piano and allowed himself to reminisce a little about the early days when they were not packing out arenas, but instead playing the likes of Newcastle University.

He told the crowd it was because of the fans that had remained faithful throughout the intervening decades that the band had been able to evolve and release albums each different from the last.

With no sign of slowing down, all I can say is long may that continue.