The Coral

The Coral are being tipped for big things this year and with releases like "The Skeleton Key EP" and the forthcoming "Goodbye" single they're a band who for once truly deserve the hype. With a band who collectively started off with Oasis and then traced their way back taking in everyone from Bob Marley to Dusty Springfield you know that they certainly don't fit the stereotypical Mersey sound. The band head out across the UK this month (minus the Music who had to pull out due to illness earlier this week) on what looks set to be the years must see tour.

Q: It seems that this year the cyclical nature of the music industry is coming back round to the idea of British Guitar bands on top. I mean, last week you played the opening gig of the new Lomax (a venue that used to house Cream until they realized that the crowds were shrinking each and every week) with the Bunnymen. All the super clubs are seemingly going under while there does seem to be a great optimism about British guitar pop right now. Would you agree?
A: There are loads of guitar bands coming out right now. But as ever there are one's that don't need to come out. Right here in Liverpool there's a big explosion going on - us, the Bandits, The Zutons, Tramp Attack - so many bands right now and were all mates as well.

We all sort of hang round the Zanzibar. We used to do the Bandwagon night down there...they do it every month and they have boss bands playing. We played there with Shack about a month ago and it was just amazing.

Q: You actually go picked up by the drummer from Shack didn't you. How did that happen?
A: That was in the old Lomax. He came up to us and was like "yeah, I really like what your doing - get in touch". We were sound!!! If you put two bands together you couldn't get more separate from us and Shack, but I love em. They're one of my best bands.

Q: Is it hard trying to shake off the "mersey beat" or "scouse band" tags. Its so easy to switch off sometimes when you hear those phrases.
A: Well, were just tired of saying were from the Wirral so now we kind of just accept in when an article says Liverpool. You can keep saying it, but nobody takes any notice - especially the NME!!!

Q: The thing about the Coral is you can't just put the sound in a pigeon hole. Sure there are reference points you can spot, but its not as easy as the 9 out 10 bands that come out wearing there influences on their sleeve. It must have been a case of just absorbing everything you can when you were growing up?
A: To tell you the truth it was only when I was about 14 that I started to get into music and the first band I really got into was Oasis. So from that I went backwards. It was weird because in school everyone chose music, but I chose drama because I didn't play the guitar until about Year 9.

And Bill taught me "Wonderwall" on the guitar and I just thought Boss Tune. From that I just went back to the Beatles because my Dad was really into them. I learnt a few Beatles tunes and a bit of Cast as well...and went back and back to Bob Marley, Chuck Berry and Dust Springfield!!!

I just kind of soaked everything up. I mean, lately I've been listening to a load of old soul like Sam Cooke. Tunes are amazing - I don't know what my life would be like if I didn't have tunes or the guitar. My life would be very different.

Q: Following the forthcoming tour which was originally supposed to be a joint headliner with the Music, the single "Goodbye" follows early July before the album later in the month. Produced by Ian Broudie of the Lighting Seeds fame. Broudie has a real pop sheen on all his record. What did he add to the Coral sound?
A: Have you ever seen him play the guitar? He brilliant like and I never realized he was so good. He's just got really good ideas. He'd listen to us and we'd listen to him and we'd just bounce ideas of each other. We were both looking for our sound and how we could translate it to the he kind of threw out that pop shine that he has on his own work.

Q: You were saying before about you started with Oasis and then worked your way backwards. A lot of bands didn't do that and ended up just sounding like Oasis. Was it a case of finding your own path for a while?
A: When we started we weren't really that good. We knew we good together as a band, but we knew we were doing the wrong tunes. It took time but eventually we found ourselves and our own style of music. Its our own music and I'm not afraid to say it - we listen to so much music and it just comes out sounding like us.

I like the fact that you can't pigeon hole it and the fact that there's definitely a sense of humour in there. We often get the Doors and Beefheart as well, but it stills us at the end of the day!!!

The "Goodbye" Single is out in July
Followed by the Coral's debut album
For more info

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