Published Jan 01, 2006From the Beach Boys to Lee "Scratch" Perry to Destiny's Child to Walt Disney, the Coral's list of influences looks like a family MP3 collection, a musical melee with a little something for everyone. The British sextet, just barely out of their teens, also credit Oasis with adding wind to their sails, though their self-titled debut album bears little resemblance to the Gallaghers, or to much else, really. Aside from occasional Doors comparison and cries of "chaotically brilliant!," London's music press machine typically brands the Coral with tags like "nifty skull n' crossbones Cossack psych-polka."
"It's a bit silly saying we're pirates," says the Coral's bassist/sax player, Paul Duffy. "And they keep referring to scousers,' but we're not scousers, we come from Hoylake. And we don't go around slashing tires either."
It's amazing what's said in the society pages these days. The Coral come from Wirral county, 'cross the Mersey from the scousers, aka Liverpudlians. But their proximity puts them in the same boat as Liverpool's new guitar acts (the Zutons, Tramp Attack, etc.), still trying to live down the bad rep that's followed scousers since the early '90s.
"Management started to turn away from Liverpool 'cause bands like the La's and Shack were troublemakers," says Duffy, who adds that being in Shack's shadow hasn't been all bad. In fact, it was former Shack drummer Alan Wills who discovered the Coral and developed their label Deltasonic, which works hard to wet-nurse a budding 'Pudlian scene. And while the Coral can't deny their inner Beatles and Bunnymen, the sea has probably provided as much influence as any star scousers.
"We grew up in an old fisherman's village so obviously that's reflected in our music," says Duffy, explaining their sea shanty single, "Shadows Fall." "I guess the people over the water are always a little bit different."