The Coral @ Shinjuku Liquid Room (21st April '03)
Absolutely F**king Brilliant!!
|If asked to describe the Coral's show at the Liquid Room in three words or less, the above answer would subsequently fly from my mouth. Knowing little about the young sextet before heading to Shinjuku, I was quickly blown away by the amount of talent that filled the venue's small stage. Combining several styles of music to create something that is truly unique, I can easily say that on Monday night The Coral played some of the most original music I've heard in a long time.
At 7:20 pm the house lights dimmed and the theme music from Indiana Jones began to play. Walking out single file, all six members of the Holylake, Liverpool, England band slowly emerged from the darkness. While everyone picked up their respective instruments, drummer Ian Skelly, the last to make his way onto the stage and relishing the opportunity to be front and center, did a pretty impressive spin move before heading behind his kit. Once seated the group instantly kicked into "Spanish Main", the lead track off of their debut self titled album. Mixing indie rock and brit pop with beautiful psychedelic sounds, the upbeat two minute track got the whole crowd moving. The band paused briefly for lead singer James Skelly to introduce the next song, Bad Man, before launching into the dirty, raw garage number. This was then followed by a track that sounded almost like an old country western song.
|The most fascinating thing about The Coral was their ability to mix so many styles of music together and make it work so well. Over the course of the band's 14 song set, they managed to play indie rock, brit pop, garage rock, blues, country, folk, psychedelia, punk, space rock, and a bit of metal as well. Thinking about what these kids' record collections must look like would have any red blooded music enthusiast foaming at the mouth.
Out of all the genres the group touched upon, psychedelia seemed to be the most prevalent of the night providing the backbone of most of the material presented. Almost all of the band's music developed a psychedelic undertone at some point during the three minute long songs. Even the lights themselves had a psychedelic feel to them as the use of red and blue lights along with a heavy barrage of strobe lights at times made the audience feel like they had been transported back to another era. All that was missing was a lava lamp and some incense.
Watching the band, it was plainly evident how much they enjoyed being with one another. Dancing around, smiling, and making inside jokes to one another during breaks between songs, it was clear that they have all been good friends for a long time. Their offstage chemistry no doubt has made them much stronger as a band. Playing perfectly off one another, their performance was extremely tight and the vocal harmonies between Skelly, bassist Paul Duffy, and guitarist Lee Southall were fantastic. With so much positive energy being presented, it made it impossible for those in attendance not to get swept up by what was unfolding in front of them. They did their best to show their appreciation to The Coral by dancing around wildly and cheering at every chance they got.
report by shawn and photo by maki
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