Review: The Coral – Limelight, Belfast
Hailing from the Wirral, Merseyside, The Coral arrived in Belfast as part of their UK and Ireland tour in support of their most recent long player Move Through The Dawn.
It was one of those nights when arriving a little early to the show meant you get to see a fabulous support band, tonight being MMODE.
This sibling duo of Lucy and Thomas Gaffney hold shades of Dublin indie band JJ72 threaded with Lucy’s vocals reminiscent of Florence Welch from Florence and The Machine. Stand out track for them was Shivers.
Opening chord sequence was Snow Patrol-esque then mixed with 90’s US indie guitar sweethearts Belly and a sprinkling of Band of Horses. Go figure that lot but they are a band that sounded fantastic, got a great reception from a welcoming Belfast crowd and surely are destined for big things, if the world is a fair place.
The Coral come on stage to rapturous applause, the sun is out obviously as lead singer James Skelly sports a pair of aviator shades, and they open with ‘Sweet Release’ from new album Move Through The Dawn. It’s the first of four songs from the new album and none of them sound out of place in the current setlist. They are sticking to a tried and tested formula on this new album and it works perfectly.
This set is strictly about the music, no need for needless ramblings from the band and the Limelight is bouncing tonight with a heavy bass-line that has the floor vibrating and you feel every vibration ricochet up your spine. Let’s be honest it is what live music is all about.‘Something Inside of Me’ takes you back to 1967 but with added boom. That is what The Coral are all about. A hankering for the 60’s with a little psychedelia thrown in but still an indie guitar band at heart, borne out throughout the show when the rock n’ roll effects pedal is stepped on.
‘Outside My Window’ is classic Coral, ‘Jacqueline’ is a summer tune in the middle of winter as it winds and twists beautifully, with a fantastic twelve string guitar accompaniment. There is nothing that can be done but sing along to the acoustic strumming of ‘Pass It On’. It is one of those classic pieces of indie pop and this packed house is loving it.
‘Bill McCai’ is a lesson in the fragility of life and the hankering after something else in your life but not doing a single thing about it. There are no gimmicks in this show, just a juggernaut of amazing songs. The place erupts for ‘In The Morning’, it is one of The Coral’s signature tunes and a staple of every show. This is a compact venue but the band give us a huge sound. There is a sneaking suspicion someone has turned up the volume.
There is no doubting the 60’s influence in The Coral’s music but it’s not all jangly pop as they frequent the world of a full blown indie rock n’ roll band throughout the night. There is dancing for 1000 years and at the risk of annoying the band ‘Reaching Out For a Friend’ could be an entrant for the UK in the next Eurovision Song Contest if they are allowed an entry after Brexit. No slight on a fantastic song though intended!
It is noticeable there is no dip in the evening, no slower laid back songs tonight. Just a relentless charge to make this as uplifting an evening of great music from a band who have been doing their thing around 16 years. ‘Stormbreaker’ is a thumping tune which has tinges of Richard Hawley’s ‘Leave Your Body Behind You’ and it’s a rock band with the volume cranked up to 11. It’s one of those shows unfortunately that is over before you know it. The encore sneaks up on you from behind the stacks of Marshall amps and from that point you are counting down to the end, unfortunately.
‘Goodbye’ kicks off the final segment of the evening. The psychedelic and 60’s vibe take you back to The Cavern club in Liverpool of The Beatles and it’s a tune that grows and grows to a euphoric climax for this bouncing Belfast crowd.
And with one final song that is it. ‘Dreaming of You’ is the only way to finish. It defines The Coral and their place within the British music scene. The show is finished and the band takes the applause they richly deserve. It’s definitely one of those night when you just don’t want to go home.