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As ‘Dakota’ turns 15 years old, Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones reveals how it was inspired by David Bowie

Written by on 11th March 2020

Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones has revealed how David Bowie inspired him to write their blockbuster smash hit ‘Dakota’ in the early noughties.

Released in February 2005, ‘Dakota’ became the first and only Stereophonics song to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart and is a staple of their live shows where it’s often performed as the final track of the encore.

Speaking on stage at London’s The O2 on Friday (6th March) as part of their UK arena tour, Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones said he wrote ‘Dakota’ when they supported David Bowie on his North American ‘A Reality Tour’ in 2003-2004. It proved to be Bowie’s final tour.

Explaining to The O2 audience that the late-great David Bowie attended their soundchecks during the tour, Kelly said: “David Bowie would be watching, so we didn’t want to waste too much of his time.

So, we’d play a song for maybe 45 seconds, and then another song for like a minute, and then maybe another song for a minute, and then maybe 30 seconds of a song.”

According to NME, Kelly continued: “And then I would walk off the stage and I would walk towards the dressing room, and (Bowie) would put his arm on my shoulder and he would walk with me and say, “You know, if you extended a few of those songs, you might be f—ing onto something’.

So, I wrote this song, this is called ‘Dakota’.”

Speaking to Wales Online shortly after Bowie’s death in 2016, Kelly Jones said of the 2003/2004 tour: “Watching (Bowie) work different audiences with different styles of music across the many, very different states of America showed a huge range of work and I loved it.

He even dedicated Life On Mars to me one night after I’d asked for it the whole tour, and he also happily read a story I’d written while on tour and gave me his opinion – he’d just sit in our dressing room with us some nights, chatting away.

We also headlined the Isle of Wight festival together after the tour ended – it was a time which had been a huge impacting experience on me.”

Stereophonics continue their UK arena tour at Newcastle Utilita Arena tonight (Monday 9th March) before playing shows in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Manchester and two nights at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena where they will be holding a bucket collection to raise money for Valley Aid.

Following these arena dates, Stereophonics play outdoor gigs at Inverness Bught Park (Saturday 11th July) and Bangor Vaynol Park (Saturday 25th July) this summer.

Stereophonics released their eleventh studio album ‘Kind’ last September, which features the singles ‘Fly Like an Eagle’, ‘Bust This Town’, ‘Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day’ and the new single ‘Hungover For You’.