The Coral/The Music : Liverpool Upstairs At The Picket

You wait for ages for an amazing British band and then two turn up at once...

You wait for ages for an amazing British band and then two turn up at once.

For those of you who still haven’t heard them (and where have you been?) The Music are four young misfits from Leeds who make powerful, heavy psychedelia comparable to the early work of The Verve.

Six months ago, despite being mentioned in the same breath as- Oasis, they were still finding their feet and playing gigs that consisted of little but impressive guitar-led jams that framed their singer Robert Harvey’s incredible, soaring voice. Now though, they’ve actually got some tunes, most notably ‘You Might As Well Try To Fuck Me’ – a big, obnoxious rock song that could be their ‘Cigarettes And Alcohol’. All they need to do now is write some more like this. Judging by the way Harvey constantly spins round, rolls around on the floor and twitches, they’ve got more than enough energy to complete that task.

But despite this being one ofThe Music‘s best performances to date, tonight is officiallyThe Coral‘s gig. This is Liverpool after all, and The Coral are the most extraordinary band that Liverpool (and the UK) has produced for years.

At first glance, all you see is six young scallies, three of which are too young to be served in an off-licence. Look closer and what you see is amazing.

With a voice that both rasps and soars, James Skelly is the most self-assured, charismatic young English frontman since Liam Gallagher (thankfully, unlike the last depressing ten years of British indie frontmen, he looks or acts nothing like the Oasis singer).

Drenched in sweat by song two, Skelly is on fire tonight, trading faultless harmonies with bassist Paul Duffy, on upbeat, ska-based rockers like new single ‘The Oldest Path’ and a amped-up version of their debut single ‘Shadows Fall’. Tonight’s songs are all different, and influenced by pretty much every musical genre known to man, but they’re bonded by the same mysterious, haunting beauty. It’s like these little pixies have been bottling the magic fog that floats over the Mersey to cast spells on their music, and in turn, on their audience.

By the time they’ve segued a song called ‘Time Travel’ into a bold-as-brass cover version of Bob Marley‘s ‘Get Up Stand Up’ (whereupon they’re joined by a mate on backing vocals), pretty much everybody in this tiny Liverpool venue has a huge bewildered, grin on their face.

The sort of grin you get when you know you’ve just witnessed something very special indeed.

Andy Capper