The Coral – Live Review – Leeds Beckett University
By Victoria Holdsworth, October 2018
There was a real buzz in the Leeds Beckett Uni air tonight, and with good reason. It has been a while since a support act can rival the main stage takers; however this evening was one of those great musical cosmic collisions.
Massive props to She Drew The Gun. If you haven’t been following this lot rising through the ranks, then you are missing a treat, because they are the real deal.
The band rip up the rule books and lead singer, Louisa Roach, has an aggressive charm to her song writing and performing. There’s an unrivalled diversity to their set – She Drew The Gun are a hard hitting outfit with some outspoken songs about the plight of prostitutes, racism and inequality, amongst other issues facing today’s broken society.
The whole band is uber tight, and they play with a sense of purpose and air of confidence. It’s great to watch. ‘Pit Pony’ has some forceful, energetic guitar riffs that will leave you wanting more. The band will be headlining their own tour in February and March of 2019, so grab a chance to go see them.
“No fuss, no ego”
With the packed out crowd suitably warmed up, The Coral stealthily take to the stage. It has been a long time coming for these Liverpool lads to get back into the swing of things, but they sound like they are out for vengeance and ready to take on the world.
The band have always been genuinely likeable, and the rawness with which they just rack up and play with no fuss and no ego is commendable.
Opening with ‘Sweet Release, from the new album, Move Through The Dawn, they are sharp, honed and on form and I am absolutely loving their new sound. It shows their maturity and talents to much better effect, with frontman and guitarist, James Skelly, setting the record straight this evening.
Another newer one with ‘Chasing The Tail Of A Dream’ from Distance Inbetween, with its looping, spaced out guitar work does not really do much to quell the nostalgic thirst of the crowd, so to appease everybody they band play some earlier material. Problem is, the difference in styles betwixt new and old, do not really gel together.
These dichotomies will see the band make some changes in the very near future, which may leave some fans behind to reminisce about the jingly-jangle days of The Coral. I admire them for taking themselves in a different direction, and seemingly making it work well.
‘Something Inside Me’ and ‘Secret Kiss’ are solid performances, but the oldies seem to still reign supreme with the crowd as ‘Jaqueline’, ‘Pass It On’ and ‘In The Morning’ send everyone into a frenzy.
My personal favourite came with ‘Holy Revelation’, an epic track that transcends everything they have possibly done before. I’m loving the dirty, more progressive spaced out rock sound they now have – at times, it’s like watching a different band altogether.
One of the truly great songs tonight though came in the guise of a cover version, a remarkable rendition of The Yardbirds’, ‘Heart Full Of Soul’, with lead guitarist Paul Molloy giving it his all, full on Jimmy Page style.
“Carve their own path”
There is an understated air about The Coral tonight. They are all about the music they create, and they finish up their set with ‘Eyes Like Pearls’, ‘Stormbreaker’, which is a very weighty track, and ‘Rebecca You’. However, as they left the stage, the deafening hush was apparent amongst the fans, who were desperate to hear the fat funky bassline of ‘Dreaming Of You’. But they only had to wait just one more song, as the lads headed up ‘Goodbye’, from the self-titled 2002 album.
After a smidge of a tease, the Liverpool lads finally give the crowd what they want. Pints were thrown, hips were jiggled, a fair few gurns, and a lot of bounce, accompanied the opening notes and continued beyond the end of the tune and out of the doors, as the band slunk from the stage after thanking their masses.
I’m left reassured that there are some songwriters and bands that are not afraid to follow their hearts and carve out their own path. Bravo!
Coral images: Guifre De Peray