The Coral at the Forum
How this gig tonight is not a sell-out is a mystery – not only are The Coral a live marvel to behold, their platinum-selling debut is probably, as well as commercially, one of their best.
To honour their first LP, tonight’s gig is part of a UK-wide tour. The album cover proudly adorns the back wall from the first chord of support acts Marvin Powell and Cut Glass Kings until it is worked into the vibrant light show – a radiant psychedelic accompaniment reminiscent of Peter Wynne Wilson’s work with Pink Floyd. Of the two Skeleton Key-signed acts, the contagious and catchy blues-driven rock of the Stourbridge duo is best to suitably whet the appetite for when the headlining seven-piece stroll on at 21:15.
Once the opening guitar squeal of Spanish Main resounds, the band are greeted with a sea of boisterous voices chanting the sole lyric back to them. Fortunately, it is not so clamorous as to drown out the mellifluous harmonic support provided by Ian Skelly and Paul Duffy, the latter pitch-perfect for the whole set, let alone the opening track.
Dreaming of You, understandably, is rapturously received and, like many tracks tonight, is played note-for-note as it was produced. For the live connoisseurs, there is an extended restructuring of Goodbye that treats them to a virtuosic solo display from guitarist Paul Molloy, even if it does fall on deaf ears among those who just want a live playback of the tracks with no additions.
A brief five-minute intermission occurs after the acoustic gem Calendars and Clocks, during which, hidden track Time Travel is played out whilst the road crew speedily sort out the on-stage issues with Paul Molloy’s amps (whose supposed difficulties may be impacting what he hears but the audience are none-the-wiser).
The second half is a brisk waltz through a selection of hit singles, including the summer-drenched folky hits Bill McCai, Pass It On and Jacqueline, as well as deep cuts. Those unnecessarily worried about missing transport back home foolishly forego the psychedelic pop beauty, 1000 Years, and the rousing stoner-rock-influenced Arabian Sand, which end the set.
This slight crowd reduction proves that even a live outfit as renowned as The Coral are not safe from the ruthlessness of single-minded mainstream audience members; but, more appropriately, their performance is more unmistakable proof that the band are Liverpool’s finest live music export.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit The Coral’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Dreaming of You here: