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The Coral

Sea Of Mirrors

    ‘Sea Of Mirrors’ is The Coral in full conceptual mondo-movie mode. Combining their love of 60s and 70s Western cinema, baroque pop, Love, Scott Walker, Sergio Leone, Lee Hazelwood and Ennio Morricone, it features string arrangements by the High Llama’s Sean O’hagan and a cameo from Cillian Murphy. It is the natural, sprawling successor to 2021’s ‘Coral Island’ and you will hear nothing like it in 2023.

    Following their acclaimed album, Coral Island, the band felt inspired to create material for two more albums, (see the separate listing for 'Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show'). Amidst that songwriting scirroco, a combination of a script written by keyboard player, Nick Power, a vintage cinema foyer poster artwork was created by drummer, Ian Skelly confirmed Sea Of Mirrors’ vivid concept and the blueprint for The Coral to move beyond all expectations once again.

    “Once the album concept was clear, this was us imagining the theme tune for an Italian western directed by Fellini with a Richard Yates-written script,” Explains James Skelly. “It’s us asking ourselves: what would have happened if Lee Hazlewood had produced a Gene Pitney song written by Townes Van Zandt?”


    Barry says: The first of a two-album conceptual double-whammy from everyone's second favourite Wirral export. 'Sea Of Mirrors'. There is the classic Coral stomp and psychedelic groove we've come to love but infused with a heady mix of spaghetti western twangs and lysergic drifts of hazy country guitar.


    Side A
    The Actor And The Cardboard Cowboy
    Cycles Of The Seasons
    Faraway Worlds
    Wild Bird
    North Wind
    Sea Of Mirrors
    Side B
    That's Where She Belongs
    The Way You Are
    Dream River
    Child Of The Moon
    Oceans Apart

    Looking For A Friend
    Unhappy Girl

    The Coral

    Holy Joe's Coral Island Medicine Show

      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)

      The Coral

      The Coral - 20th Anniversary Edition

        With time as fluid as The Coral’s journey through sound, the band cut short the party to celebrate this year’s universally acclaimed, Number 2 album, Coral Island and visit the strange world where it all started. The Coral, released on Monday 29 July 2002 with the singles Dreaming Of You and Goodbye, catapulted the band to mainstream success as teenagers, landing a Mercury Prize-nomination and Platinum-certification.

        Now remastered from the original mixes, the album will be reissued with Run On Records in association with Modern Sky UK. Two, unreleased, never-before-heard-tracks, She’s The Girl For Me and Tumble Graves, produced by Ian Broudie, but shelved after the 2001 album sessions are included in the track-listing. The rarities appear on an all-formats bonus disc, alongside a complete singles B-sides collection and the band’s pre-album EP The Oldest Path.


        Barry says: So, this is where it all started. It was clear from the starting notes of 'Dreaming Of You' that this Wirral Quintet were onto something special, so it's no surprise this 20year (really?!) reissue sounds just as fresh today as it ever did. It looks pretty special too!


        Side A
        Spanish Main – Remastered 2021
        I Remember When - Remastered 2021
        Shadows Fall - Remastered 2021
        Dreaming Of You - Remastered 2021
        Simon Diamond - Remastered 2021
        Goodbye - Remastered 2021

        Side B
        Waiting For The Heartaches - Remastered 2021
        Skeleton Key - Remastered 2021
        Wildfire - Remastered 2021
        Badman - Remastered 2021
        Calendars And Clocks - Remastered 2021

        Side C
        The Oldest Path - Remastered 2021
        God Knows - Remastered 2021
        Short Ballad - Remastered 2021
        Flies - Remastered 2021
        Dressed Like A Cow - Remastered 2021
        Darkness - Remastered 2021
        Sheriff John Brown - Remastered 2021

        Side D
        Good Fortune - Remastered 2021
        Answer Me - Remastered 2021
        Follow The Sun - Remastered 2021
        Travelling Circus - Remastered 2021
        Sweet Sue - Remastered 2021
        Another Turn In The Lock - Remastered 2021
        She’s The Girl For Me - Remastered 2021 (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)
        Tumble Graves - Remastered 2021 (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)

        Dinked Bonus 7” Tracklist
        (a) Shadow Falls
        (b) Tbc

        Dinked Bonus Flexi Tracklist
        (a) Simian Technology

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