Kelly Jones reckons the event's alleged snub of the band is in keeping with their status as chart-topping "underdogs"...

Stereophonics frontman KELLY JONES has stirred up fresh controversy in the ongoing wrangle between his band and the BRIT AWARDS after the judges initially failed to ask them to perform.

Speaking last night (January 29) ahead of their show in Chicago, Jones said: “We’ve never really had any praise from anything having to do with the British music industry – whether it be press or TV shows. We’ve always been the underdog or odd one out kinda thing. The whole BRITS ceremony is set up for people to sell more records,” said Jones.

The three-piece, who have been nominated as Best British Band at the BRITS, had taken great umbrage at not being asked to play at the February 20 ceremony at Earl’s Court in London. As reported yesterday on NME.COM, they posted a message on their website calling on fans to kick up a stink on their behalf. In a last ditch attempt to appease the multi-million selling trio, the BRIT Awards people then invited them to join veteran rocker Rod Stewart on a run through ‘Handbags And Gladrags’, the song made famous by Rod Stewart in 1971 and taken to the Top Five recently by Stereophonics. They declined the offer.

“We turned down the thing with Rod Stewart because we didn’t want to play a collaboration set, we wanted to do our own songs,” said Jones. “Everything we’ve achieved has been off our own back, same thing with ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ – it had nothing to do with Rod Stewart. I love The Faces and everything Rod Stewart did in the 70s, but its not something we’d like to do right now.”

Commenting on the Stereophonics‘ lack of critical appeal, Jones remarked: “We’ve never been able to be put in a category. We’re constantly thinking long-term rather than just getting on a magazine for a week. Because we’re not hip or trendy – we’re not cutting ourselves up or sticking ice cubes up our arse, we don’t sell magazines or newspapers – but we do sell tickets and records and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”

Stereophonics round up their current US tour with two dates at New York’s Irving Plaza on February 6 and 7. They kick off a series of European dates at the end of February. The dates are at:

Amsterdam Paradiso (February 26)

Paris La Mutualite (27)

Dijon La Vapeur (28)

Milan Magazini Generali (March 3)

Gronigen Oosterpoort (5)

Rotterdam Nightown (6)

The group last toured Europe in October 2001, with Feeder as their support.