By Natalie Greener
The Coral, since the early 2000s, have established a name for themselves. After eight studio albums, we have to give credit to them – eighteen years after their breakthrough they can still sell out a venue like Riverside. Large capacity and a mix of people within the crowd, The Coral have kept a loyal fan base throughout the years.
Their early tracks such as In The Morning and Dreaming Of You are must have bangers for the ultimate indie playlist. My initial thought was that these tracks will be the ones that pull the crowd. Not being familiar with the band’s new stuff or their change in direction with genre, I was easily misled in thinking such a thing. The Coral are so iconic in the indie rock scene one would think a ‘psychedelic folk’ touch within a masterpiece wouldn’t exactly work. I can one hundred percent vouch for them that it does.
You could ask how? Why? Or even when did this subtle shift happen? The truth is that the band release banger after anthem so we as an audience only notice the new shaping of their music live when everything is amplified and new is back to back with old. The twang that the neo-psychedelia brings to The Coral’s live set shapes the entire atmosphere. In fact, it somewhat improves the reputation of The Coral – moving them away from the indie boy band image, similar to other Spotify playlist toppers, to musicians with a creative flare. For some strange and unknown reason, the jangle pop entices audiences and brings your close attention to the smaller things we don’t always appreciate at gigs. Less about showmanship and more on technicalities, the band can demand a room’s silence and focus by just standing on stage. This skill will always and forever interest me.
It was also my first experience of Newcastle’s Riverside venue. A vibrant and neon lit room could easily pick up the feeling of a live show. Environment is key thus what you see goes hand in hand with what you hear. Evidently one of the more groovier places to hang out in the toon, Riverside certainly lived up to its reputation for Geordie misfits places to go. An aesthetic that threw me back in time and reminded me of past icons through simple greb-like décor, Riverside is certainly a place people should visit and spend the night (or at least take some pictures in).
Images by Flynn Buckley