The Coral – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Brain Cells?

Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse. This Week: The Coral

The Coral

Can you remember all the bands on the bill at your big outdoor New Brighton gig in 2003?
Nick: “The New Brighton gig down by the waterfront? Yeah, that’s easy. It was The Zutons…”
James: “…The Bees, The Basement, The Thrills, The Libertines.”
Nick: “And us! There wasn’t anyone else, was there? It was a boss gig, that.”

Where did your limited-release third album ‘Nightfreak And The Sons Of Becker’ debut in the charts?
James: “Five… or was it?”
Nick: “I thought it was eight…”
James: “Can we phone a friend? Do you even know the answers to these questions yourself? I’m going with five.”

The Coral had the coveted opening slot on the 2002 NME Awards Tour, but who was the headliner that year?
Nick: “Andrew WK.”
James: “The big AWK, yeah. My old pal.”
Nick: “That was actually a really fun tour, that. Who were that Welsh band who were out with us again?”
James: “Sock Dwarf or something I think they were called.”
Nick: “Nah, it was the prophets of something or other… Lostprophets, that’s it!”
James: “Sock Dwarf was pretty close, like.”

How much did the keyboard that played the hook on ‘In The Morning’ cost?
James: “A fiver. No, a tenner. No, 12 quid.
It was cheap anyway, whatever it was.”
Half a point – it was a fiver

‘In The Morning’ was the second most-played song on UK radio in 2005… can you remember what was number one?
Nick: “Beyoncé, ‘Crazy In Love’. Were we bitter about it? Nah, you can’t be bitter about stuff like that, can you? Besides, it’s a dead good tune, isn’t it?”

You and The Zutons joined forces to create a Liverpudlian supergroup while you were on tour in Europe together. What was it called?
Nick: “Dunno, can’t remember. It was in France, though, I remember that. It was amazing that, as well. We played a cover of ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ with three bassists!”
James: “It was good that, yeah. Christ, what was the name again? Zed and the somethings I’m sure… Nah, I can’t remember. I’ll have
a guess at Zed And The Wankfish.”
Incorrect – the name of the group has been lost in the mists of time, but we’re 100 per cent sure it wasn’t Zed And The Wankfish

What song did Bill Ryder-Jones play on acoustic guitar to convince you to
let him join the band?

James: “It was an Oasis song, I’m sure. It was, wasn’t it? Was it the solo to ‘Live Forever’?”
Nick: “I think it might’ve been ‘Supersonic’. Or maybe ‘Wonderwall’…”
Incorrect – it was ‘Married With Children’

How many European tour dates did you once miss after going on a ‘magic mushie mission’ in Amsterdam?
James: “Seriously, how do you know all this? I’ve never told anyone about that!”
Nick: “I’ve got to hand it to you, this is well-researched. It’s all just rumour and accusation, though.”
James: “We have never cancelled or missed any tour dates due to any of the band members’ recreational habits.”
Nick: “Yep, final answer.”
Incorrect – it was three

Which American comedy show was ‘Dreaming Of You’ once used in?
James: “Easy, ‘Scrubs’. I’ve seen that bit from the show once, but I can’t remember it.”
Nick: “I always see that episode on repeat on the fucking Viva channel or something.”

How did James once memorably describe Bruce Springsteen fans in an interview?
James: “People from… Utah… who knit… tapestries.”
Nick: “Steve Van Zandt once invited us to Springsteen’s aftershow when we were 21, and we never went. I honestly don’t know why. We were dickheads, that’s the only conclusion I can make.”
Incorrect – the actual quote was “The kind of people whose neighbour has built a fence three centimetres into their land and it’s killing them”

Total Score: 5.5/10

James: “I stand by that Bruce Springsteen quote, by the way. I’m a Springsteen fan, and if you built a fence three centimetres into my property I’d fucking shoot you!”

This article originally appeared in the July 10 issue of NME

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