Check out our festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, through here.

SXSW 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2015 | 2013 | 2012

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Album Review: The Coral – Holy Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues EP

 
By on Thursday, 19th January 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

The Coral HMPMB EP coverMerseyside guitar rockers The Coral made their indelible first impression on the UK music scene in 2002 with a self-titled debut album that garnered the then-six-piece band a Mercury Prize nomination. Following that promising lead, the band recorded six more LPs over the course of the noughties before taking a five-year hiatus starting in 2010. During their off-time, band members focused on individual solo projects, and a previously recorded album, ‘The Curse of Love’, was released in late 2014.

In November 2015, The Coral announced a comeback, heralding the release of a new album, ‘Distance Inbetween’, which was released in March 2016. ‘Distance Inbetween’ was met with critical praise from reviewers at NME and The Independent, among others, and the band evidently felt the need to strike again while the iron was hot. They followed ‘Distance Inbetween’ with an EP release at the tail end of 2016, in the form of ‘Holy Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues’.

The LP is a reimagining of ‘Distance Inbetween’, at least in parts. Of the tracks on the new EP, only ‘Holy Revelation’ and ‘Connector’ are taken from the full album. ‘Holy Revelation (Andy Votel’s ‘Holy Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues’ De-Mix)’ more than doubles the original track’s duration at over 8 minutes’ running time. It takes a fairly standard guitar rock track, which was quite catchy in its original form, and makes it into a psychedelic sonic exploration of the foundational rhythms and melodies. Surprisingly, it never feels self-indulgent. Instead, the band seem to be making themselves comfortable here, as if The Coral are stretching their legs and kicking off their shoes, allowing themselves some space to grow, and in the process adding depth and texture to their sound.

‘Connector’, the shadowy album opener from ‘Distance Inbetween’, is recreated here in a woozy and hallucinogenic synth dressing. The bass and the beat are both more aggressive in this Voyagers’ remix, and frontman James Skelly’s vocals are moved farther back in the mix to accommodate the dark dance-pop vibe. The EP features one brand new track, the verbosely subtitled ‘After the Rain (Post WW3 Return of the Super Turv Mix)’, which received airplay from Steve Lamacq at BBC 6 Music ahead of the EP release. Edgy and sinuous with a deep bass groove, its harshly synthetic instrumental bridge contrasts jarringly with frontman Skelly’s smooth, dark vocal melody.

‘Unforgiven’, previously released as the b-side track to The Coral’s ‘Chasing the Tail of a Dream’ single from January of last year, is more acoustic sounding and less kaleidoscopic in color, but nonetheless psychedelic in its way. Its vocal and instrumental harmonies are weirdly wandering, but also warm and hazy around the edges, which allows the EP to close on a distinctly lighter and mellower note than where it began.

‘Holy Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues’ is probably best thought of as an accompaniment to ‘Distance Inbetween’. Stylistically, it’s a bit all over the shop on its own, but in comparison to the tracks on the full LP, these songs make a little more sense. Taken in conjunction with the definitive precision and back-to-basics mentality of ‘Distance Inbetween’, ‘Holy Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues’ displays The Coral’s outside-the-box approach to music-making and their willingness to evolve their sound, even as their career stretches past the 20-year mark.

8/10

The Coral’s full-length album ‘Distance Inbetween’ and their latest EP ‘Holy Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues’ are both out now on Ignition Records. For more on the Merseyside band on TGTF, follow this link.

 

The Coral / December 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd August 2016 at 8:00 am
 

Liverpool area psychedelic legends The Coral have announced a new UK tour for this December. This winter tour will allow them to get back out on the road and further support ‘Distance Inbetween’, their new album released back in March. It was their eighth album overall and their first new album after a 5-year hiatus. ‘Million Eyes’, their next single, will impact on the 9th of September; it’s available to stream and download now. Presale tickets go on sale today at 10 AM; the general sale commences Friday, the 5th of August, at 10 AM.

Thursday 8th December 2016 – Leeds Academy
Friday 9th December 2016 – Glasgow Academy
Saturday 10th December 2016 – Liverpool Olympia
Monday 12th December 2016 – Coventry Kasbah
Tuesday 13th December 2016 – Norwich Waterfront
Thursday 15th December 2016 – Bristol Academy
Friday 16th December 2016 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Saturday 17th December 2016 – Manchester Academy

 

Liverpool Sound City 2016 Roundup

 
By on Monday, 13th June 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Liverpool is a city drenched in musical history and culture. If you weren’t aware of this by now, maybe check out The Beatles. They’re pretty good. So obviously it makes perfect sense to host a music festival here. Rather than find a large park or field to hold said festival, the creators of Sound City have decided to utilise the plethora of empty and abandoned dock yards, which by all accounts is a stroke of genius. It gives it a unique environment that other festivals just can’t. By having the festival on such an exposed setting you are potentially setting yourself up for failure with the weather, especially in the North West of England. However, this year at Sound City, the sun was in full attendance for the weekend.

The first day was a veritable festival of the unknown and known. As much of an oxymoron as that sounds, Sound City 2016’s lineup was clearly meant to bring fans of the larger bands – who made up only a small percentage of the total bill – and expose them to local acts and those from further afield. Walking around the docklands, you were invited into a number of tents and stages. Considering the size of the land which this event takes place on, it isn’t hard to imagine that such a situation could be mildly overwhelming. Sound bleed was also an issue, particularly amongst the smaller stages. Of course, when you have such a small amount of real estate to play with this is also expected. But it is rather awkward in the grand scheme of things.

Whilst perusing the grounds, it was the acts that actually didn’t have a stage per se who were more eye-catching. A group of musicians in the midst of a somewhat spontaneous jam session near a tent reminded you of the true meaning behind festivals such as Sound City. It’s to enjoy the moment and capture whatever arises, be it a sea of fans ready for a band (Saturday night’s headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen) or those just interested in fuelling each other’s minds.

The evening boasted a strong lineup: as mentioned previously, each band would draw roughly the same crowd, giving the main stage an extra thick layer of hangers-on and day-waiters. When Band of Skulls took to the stage, the sun was blindingly beautiful, and the heat had done its job of giving a party-filled and relaxed atmosphere. Well that, coupled with the abundance of alcohol. Cracking through a selection of hits, both old and new, they created a wall of movement that really kicked the evening off. Personally, I think Band of Skulls have the potential of being headliners, though with Catfish’s current trajectory, putting the Southampton rockers on well before them was hardly surprising.

Brum’s Sleaford Mods took to the stage next with as much anger and angst as you can imagine, further feeding the frenzy. Finally, it was time for the much-anticipated set from Llandudno-born Catfish and The Bottlemen. The instantaneous reaction that happened with the first notes was one of severe chaos and revelry. Bottles of questionable liquid flew through the air and refused to hit the ground until the last notes rang out. The set itself was a roaring success, but the abundance of their fans at the festival – this, once again, isn’t a negative toward the band – within its small boundaries, didn’t leave much room for the usual conglomeration of music fans and artists alike. A strange feeling for what is meant to be a music industry showcase at the end of the day.

The second day of the festival had more promise, though it had its own trials to face of a different matter. Another blistering day meant that the atmosphere was once again joyous, but the diversity in the headliners brought a more eclectic mixture of personalities to the crowd, giving Sound City on Sunday a much more traditional festival appearance in terms of punters. With pretty much more of the same during the day – a stream of throbbing crowds, a collection of sounds melding in the air and unknown music fun – it was proof that the foundations of Sound City were set in this formulaic way.

Security throughout the event were definitely earning their paycheck, though in some aspects they were overly prominent in the wrong areas, which had a mildly negative effect on the more inebriated revellers, shall we say. This is always a touchy subject: generally, if a drunk person is annoyed or angered, the situation worsens in a lot of aspects. There was nothing too untoward at the festival, but security’s handling of situations could’ve been a bit less rash. Anyway, back to the music.

The Dandy Warhols brought their late ‘90s sound to the joyous crowd, with the biggest reaction, predictably, for their smash hit ‘Bohemian Like You’. Their sound was perfect for the afternoon, being one that is drenched in memories of past years, while also being able to appeal to a fresh audience. Local lads Circa Waves brought this to the next level by giving a performance that fully engaged the audience, while ensuring that the level they’ve reached as a band is maintained through a consistent and heavy barrage of tracks that just garner in strength. Circa Waves are a force that just won’t let up, and this force just fed the crowd into a frenzy. Bear in mind this is a crowd mostly consisting of Liverpudlians, awaiting their hometown heroes’ comeback show.

And this is where The Coral (pictured at top) come in to play. With a set that was interrupted by a power cut across the entire festival, the Coral’s time onstage never really managed to take off as it had for the bands before them. There was still a certain magic to the set, but with an interruption that was out of the hands of the band onstage, it’s a hard thing to come back from. Obvious hit ‘Dreaming Of You’ punched the set back into life, but by this point it was too late and the end was nigh. Considering this was a hometown show, the set felt flat. The result? It felt like there was no recognition of the moment’s massive occasion that was clearly a draw for so many within the crowd.

Sound City is a complex little beast. Its purpose is to draw in professionals and punters alike, almost in a The Great Escape manner. But somehow this year’s atmosphere felt confused. It wasn’t sure where it sat, which ultimately left a peculiar feeling in the air. Hopefully next year’s festival builds upon this year positively and comes back stronger than ever. The foundations are certainly there, and since the waters of Liverpool don’t see the sights they once used to, the reuse of the abandoned docks is certainly a fantastic idea.

 

Video of the Moment #2067: The Coral

 
By on Thursday, 21st April 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

In case you’ve been living under a rock, The Wirral band The Coral are back this year with a new album. ‘Distance Inbetween’ was released in March, and now they’re announcing details of an another single to come from the record. ‘Holy Revelation’ will be ushering the second May bank holiday in on the 27th of May.

The legendary psychedelic band from the North West just performed on Later with Jools Holland on Tuesday night. For more on The Coral on TGTF, go here.

 

Video of the Moment #1993: The Coral

 
By on Saturday, 23rd January 2016 at 10:00 am
 

The PR machine for Liverpool’s psych rock legends The Coral‘s new release in March is already going full throttle. Unconvinced? James and Nick of the band were interviewed on the Radcliffe/Maconie programme on BBC 6 Music on Wednesday; listen back on BBC iPlayer of the whole chat here. Last week, we posted the video for ‘Chasing the Tail of a Dream’, an early single off of ‘Distance In-Between’, the North West group’s eighth album and their first new material after a 5-year hiatus. This new LP will be out on the 4th of March on Ignition Records.

This Saturday, we have for you another video for you from the album. The visualisation for ‘Miss Fortune’ follows very much in the same vein as that of the ‘Chasing the Tail of a Dream’ promo: weird red, pink, and blue colours are overlaid on top of oozy, woozy images while the song bangs on in the background. Have a watch of it below. Check out all of TGTF’s coverage of The Coral through here.

 

Video of the Moment #1984: The Coral

 
By on Tuesday, 12th January 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

A few weeks before we bid adieu to 2015, Liverpudlian psychedelic legends The Coral announced that a new album from them would be appearing on store shelves (both literal and virtual) in early March. ‘Distance In-Between’, their eighth album and their first new material after a 5-year hiatus, will be out on the 4th of March on Ignition Records. For those of you just chomping at the bit for new Coral, with your pre-order of the album, you’ll receive a free download of early teaser ‘Chasing the Tail of a Dream’ instantly. The song is also available in a limited edition, signed 7″ single format and can be purchased directly from the band’s own Web site. The band have also been revealed to be one of the headliners of Liverpool Sound City 2016 in May.

As one might rightly expect, the promo video for ‘Chasing the Tail of a Dream’ takes full opportunity of highlighting the Coral’s reputation for dreamy psychedelic licks. Channeled through a multicoloured visual experience that includes simple yet trippy white silhouettes of the band superimposed over (or is that behind?) time-lapse photography of noving fractals. Should you be smoking something while enjoying this video? Probably. Watch the new Coral video for ‘Chasing the Tail of a Dream’ below.

 
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About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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