The Coral - Warrington Parr Hall
The Coral - Warrington Parr Hall 16/12/03 - Live Review

The Coral

Warrington Parr Hall


The Dead Sixties with their wacky ska mixed with psychedelic rock sound, that has them pitched somewhere between Madness and The Coral themselves, were worthy openers who played with humility and unpredictability. When the main act arrived on stage to a rapturous reception, talented front man James Skelly declared that he wasn’t well, but would do his best (they had to cancel a few Irish gigs because he lost his voice). Most of the crowd forgot about this three minutes later after they had heard the impressive rat race decrying ‘Bill McCai’, which is their second album’s equivalent to ‘Simon Diamond’ on their self titled debut album, which was omitted from the set list tonight. There has not been a song like tonight’s opener since ‘Smithers Jones’ by The Jam. Skelly clad in his now trademark Texas style hat, sang it perfectly and with passion and believe that saw a few members of the audience’s eyes start to fill up.

The Coral - Warrington Parr Hall 16/12/03 - Live Review
The Coral - Warrington Parr Hall 16/12/03 - Live Review

It is hard to believe that The Coral included tracks from their third album ‘Nightfreak & The Sons Of Becker’ out on 26/01/04, as most of the bands who where discovered at the same time are still plugging their debut albums (The Libertines and The Music). ‘Precious Eyes’ shows that the Wirral boys are mellowing slightly, as well as giving indicating that their sound is becoming smoother. James Skelly, ever the perfection had a dig at his band mates for tuning their guitars and giving away what the next song was going to be. ‘Skeleton Key’, ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Don’t Think You’re The First’ were the most well received tracks, from an hours long foray into the insightful and slightly wacky world of The Coral. The set ended with the thumping and heavy instrumental track ‘Migraine’ from their next album, which saw drummer Ian Skelly being left on the stage to do a blasting bare chested solo that makes Dave Grohl’s efforts in Nirvana seem like a brass band audition.

David Adair