The Coral – Fibbers, York – 21.05.16

The Coral – Fibbers, York – 21.05.16

The Coral played to a sold out Fibbers on the 21st of May (smack-bang in the middle of university exam season), and what better way is there to spend some time away from the stress of exams than to listen to the timeless sounds of The Coral’s classic anthems?

Given that they’re a band who have released 9 albums, there were unsurprisingly songs played I didn’t recognise – being a self-proclaimed Coral acquaintance rather than heavily invested fan-boy. I quickly realised that this finer detail didn’t really matter; there were a number of new tracks from the band’s latest album Distance Between which the packed Yorkshire crowd (seemingly) didn’t know either, but they still danced sweetly and moved in sync, trusty cans of Red Stripe firmly in hands.

After spending time away on a five-year hiatus, the Mersey boys were clearly keen to profess their latest and greatest tracks from Distance Between. New tracks to keep an eye out for included opening track ‘Connector’ as well as ‘Holy Revelation’, which features a beefy drum line with piercing ride bell loops juxtaposed against a recurrent distorted guitar riff that’d make Jimmy Page proud.

I’ve not felt the youngest at a gig since going to see a T-Rex tribute act aged 7 with my Dad – but due to The Coral’s submerging themselves in early noughties’ nostalgia, it wasn’t much of a surprise to see that the average attendee age was older than York’s average student.  Notorious during their hey-day for causing what could be described as “a bit of a ruckus” on tour, the five seemed much more focused on providing the crowd with the songs they’d come to see than with a rock ’n’ roll attitude. There wasn’t even much dialogue with the crowd from frontman James Skelly – this was a very different Coral to the Coral of 2003.

The night was quickly drawing to its climax, and even a relative Coral novice such as myself could tell that that would only mean a few things. For one that Skelly’s infamous trilby would soon be leaving York’s premium music venue; but more importantly, that the crowd were about to enjoy three classic anthems. ‘Pass It On’ mustered an almost sombre kind of nostalgia for fans whose memories harkened back to the “good old days”, whilst their best known tracks ‘Dreaming of You’ and ‘In The Morning’ rallied joy and cheer. This sentimental end worked as a fitting sign-off to a set that can be summed up as a nostalgic bubble of escapism from the world outside of York’s favourite live venue.

Tom Cadman