The Coral

Holy Joe's Coral Island Medicine Show

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Bridging Coral Island and Sea Of Mirrors, The Coral release a second album titled 'Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show'. With the full tracklisting limited to physical formats only, the album brings James and Ian Skelly’s grandad a.k.a The Great Muriarty back into the fold for the narrated post-script to one of The Coral’s most successful albums to date.

If Coral Island was a box-office hit in 2022, then 'Holy Joe's Coral Island Medicine Show' is it's low-budget little brother, written in a year and stitched together in less- think The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ll or Police Academy: Mission To Moscow- but without the plane fare to Russia. This is a sequel to rival the most shameless of cash-ins.

It features a ramshackle cast: along with the usual suspects, Coral Island compère (and Skelly Granddad) The Great Moriarty makes a return, alongside actor and friend-of-the-band John Simm, who recites wanderlust eulogy Drifter's Prayer. Glaswegian singer Rianne Downey is involved in a murderous duet. An unnamed pedal-steel player from the back of beyond plays a funeral score over Hotel.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't an act of self-sabotage or half-arsed in any way; more a deliberate attempt to make an art form out of the forgotten follow-up. Who else but The Coral are going to fill this important cultural sinkhole?

Framed inside a midnight radio show beaming out from a Michelin blimp that hovers somewhere past the piers of Coral Island, Holy Joe... is a love letter to the tradition of the death disc and murder ballad, from Stack-o-Lee to Skeleton Key, and everything in between.

Stay up late. Tune in. If you do, who knows? You might end up loving it more than the original.


Barry says: The second of a duo of Coral releases hits this week, with the wild oddity 'Holy Joe's...' bridging the gap between their last LP and the newest. It's a fitting bridge though, with the melodic sensibilities of the latter segueing nicely into the oddball b-movie soundtrack business of the former. Brilliant.


Side 1:
Holy Joe (Sounds From The Other Side)
The Sinner
Holy Joe (Hitchhiker At The Highway’s Edge)
Leave This Town
The Road Is Calling
Holy Joe (Rita Is Having A Bad One)
Never Be In Love Like That Again
Side 2:
Drifter’s Prayer
Holy Joe (Bobby And Faith)
Long Drive To The City
Down By The Riverside
Holy Joe (The Graveyard Shift)
Baby Face Nelson
Holy Joe (A Wise Man Once Said)
The Coral Island Killer
Holy Joe (Let The Credits Roll)

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