After five years away. indie rockers The Coral are back with a new album and UK tour.
Distance Inbetween, the band’s eighth studio album, is their first of original material since 2010’s Butterfly House.
And frontman James Skelly admits the band – Skelly, older brother Ian on drums, organist Nick Power, bassist Paul Duffy and new guitarist Paul Molloy, formerly of The Zutons – are looking forward to being out on the road, including a sell-out show at Sheffield’s The Leadmill tomorrow, Friday, March 11.
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“It’s been really exciting,” says James.
We’ve been really looking forward to the tour – it’s five years on from the last oneJames Skelly, The Coral frontman
“We’ve been really looking forward to the tour – it’s five years on from the last one.”
And James says Paul has strengthened the band’s sound.
“Paul was playing with Ian in their band, Serpent Power, and we’d all been mates with him for years.
“We already had a couple of tunes recorded and Ian suggested Paul add some guitar.
“His parts really enhanced the tracks; he understood where he needed to leave space.
“From that point we didn’t look back.
“We had a full line-up and were confident we could make an album that would stand next to the others.”
Distance Inbetween was released last week having been recorded live and mostly in just one take.
A band spokesman said: “The seams of each of the 12 tracks on the album are purposely rough-hewn and pave the way for a new visceral sound from a totally re-energised band.”
For James, the progression and difference in sound was important.
“We’d be worried if it wasn’t,” he says.
“All our albums are different, they all have a theme – we want each one to have a theme to it.
“We wanted this one to be more minimal, more about the melody.
“We thought ‘if you’ve got a rhythm section that’s been playing together for almost 20 years, why not make that the centre of the songs’.
“We want to play to the strengths of the rhythm section.
“We’re trying to do something a bit different because we feel everybody seems to do the same thing.”
The band shot to fame more than a decade ago, when 2002 debut album The Coral reached number five, following by the number one album Magic and Medicine just 12 months later.
They have also enjoyed a string of top 10 singles, including Pass It On in 2003, and 2005’s In the Morning.
And, despite the break, James is confident the fans will come back – and selling out tomorrow’s show at The Leadmill shows he was right to have faith.
“If we can get our live following back, it can really set us up so we can have a second part of our career in a way and carry on to do albums and get a bigger fanbase.”
For now though, the band are just concentrating on their tour.
“It should be a good show, says James. “The set sounds great.
“We’ve been rehearsing for a while because we have a new guitarist in Paul.”
* For return tickets, call the Leadmill on 0114 2727040.