Stereophonics - Stuart Cable

Stuart Cable

"I just leave it grow. I come out the shower, blow dry it, and leave it at that."

Last updated: 29 January 2009

Born: 19 May 1970. Died 7 June 2010. Role: Drums

Stuart Cable was confirmed to have died on Monday 7 June 2010.

Although booted from Stereophonics in acrimonious circumstances in September 2003, drummer Stuart Cable will not be easily forgotten. The joker of the band, Cable was the man with the big personality and the hair to match.

Like the other Stereophonics, he was born in the South Wales town Cwmaman, where he grew up on the same street as Kelly. The pair began playing in bands in their early teens, practising popular rock and soul standards to play at the local working men's clubs. It's commonly supposed that Kelly is the creative force behind the band, but Stuart was the one who coined the name Stereophonics, inspired by the marking on his antique radio set.

Few would seriously argue that Cable was the most technically proficient drummer in the world, but his boisterous playing has a special charm of its own. "On tunes such as Not Up To You his drum patterns breathe life into the song and momentum into the show," said The Times. So perhaps is was inevitable that this unabashed extrovert would find other avenues to express himself outside of music.

In March 2002, he fronted a national billboard campaign, Bllcks, to raise awareness of testicular cancer. And as host of Cable TV, a light-hearted chat show for BBC Wales, he interviewed the likes of Cerys Matthews and Tom Jones from a comfy couch or the back seat of a New York taxi cab. "I'm not a born interviewer at all," he explains. "I've got a man upstairs talking in my ear that tells me where to go. Really, we're just asking questions that the man down the pub would like to ask."

Cable's actions had provoked rumours of a split within the band once before, when he failed to show up for a number of shows on the bands 2001 world tour. "We were supposed to go out to Japan for 10 days to play two shows," he told us back in 2002. "I didn't want to go, and I voiced my grievances at the beginning. But the tour got booked anyway, so I phoned up the boys and said, look, I'm going to stay at home with the family. Owen Hopkins from The Crocketts stepped in, and I hooked up with the rest of the band 10 days later in the States."

Perhaps one of the reasons for the split was proximity. Stuart never felt the pull of the big smoke, preferring the home comforts of 'Castle Cable' - a small estate in Aberdare, a mile or so outside Cwmaman. "I can shut my gates and see nobody. I'm in a great spot, I've got excellent neighbours... and you know, if I wanted to strip down naked and run around my garden, I could. Which is good, because I wouldn't want anybody else to see that."

But after the indignity of being sacked by letter, it's clear there was no going back to Stereophonics. His mum, Mabel Cable, said. "Stuart will probably end up an entrepreneur. There are so many things I know Stuart is capable of - maybe even politics."

Unfortunately, that potential was never wholly realised. He made a name for himself presenting Saturday Night Cable in 2010, but in June 2010 he died at his house in Llwydcoed near Aberdare in the Cynon Valley.

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