News of Stuart Cable’s death has prompted a number of affectionate tributes, not least from Manic Street Preachers, who posted the following statement: “Whenever you met Stuart, you always walked away with a massive smile on your face. Such a gigantic personality which was reflected in his drumming. He really will be missed.”
Possessed of a larger-than-life personality and a booming voice, Cable was the soul of Stereophonics, and they were never quite the same after he left in 2003.
He connected the band with their small-town roots, a proper old-school rock fan with a boundless affection for the likes of Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and especially AC/DC.
I met Cable when he presented the Kerrang! awards in 2005, and his enthusiasm for rock icons past and present was both genuine and infectious. The fact his Welsh accent was so thick that the American guests couldn’t understand a word he said only added to the charm.
Here are a few clips to remember him by. First up, a documentary that captures some of the wide-eyed innocence of Stereophonics’ early days, and includes an interview with a fresh-faced Cable, who confesses: “It’s the only thing I can do, is play drums.”
Here’s the band in their pomp, shortly after releasing second album ‘Performance And Cocktails’, playing ‘Local Boy In The Photograph’ at Morfa Stadium, July 1999.
And here they are playing ‘The Bartender And The Thief’ at V2002. You always suspected Cable was at his happiest playing full-pelt tracks like this, rather than breezy, radio-friendly fare like ‘Have A Nice Day’.