The Coral

The granddad of The Coral’s James and Ian Skelly, confirmed at 85 years old as guest vocalist on upcoming album…

Being no strangers to the music scene The Coral return with their 10th studio album. The Skelly brothers have been busy doing solo projects, producing some of the finest bands on the Northwest scene and generally keeping busy. Not lazy bastards then by anyone’s standards, which will excite their many fans as they remain eclectic as ever by getting the older old man in to do vocals on their sprawling double platter of what promises to be their finest moment. I’ll tell you when I’ve actually heard it but for now check out the news below.

Without parallel in handbraking through expectation-confounding twists and turns for almost two decades, The Coral prove to be the ringmasters of the unforeseen once more as they announce that 85-year old, Ian Murray (aka The Great Muriarty ) as guest vocalist on their upcoming TENTH studio album. The spiked apple has fallen squarely at the foot of the family tree in this latest chapter of the band’s story, with Mr Murray being the granddad of founding band members, James and Ian Skelly.

Announcing back in January that they had completed their first, ever double-album, Coral Island, to be released on Fri 30 April 2021, the band alluded to a mysterious, unnamed special guest. Now all can be revealed.

The vividly themed, double album delves into the familiar neverworld of Coral Island, soundtracking the spills of summer and the long shadows of tourist-free winters beside the seaside. Pulling together the strands of roaring Saturday night stories on Side A and the sense of long Sunday longing on Side B, Mr Murray takes centre stage as the record’s seasoned narrator.

The band approached the Skelly brothers’ grandad after considering other narrators during recording, including TV legend, Tom O’Connor, the late psychic, Derek Acorah and ex boxing champion, John Conteh.

Written by the band’s Nick Power, who has also penned the companion book to the album, Over Coral Island, the extensive narration by Mr Murray was recorded in his home on Merseyside before being incorporated into Coral Island as spoken interludes and introductions at Parr Street Studios, Liverpool. It’s the first time that the band has invited any other vocalist aside from James Skelly to take lead vocal duties on any of the band’s studio recordings.

James Skelly says of the guest appearance: “Coral Island is a world of end-of-the-pier day drinkers, kids who get where they shouldn’t, pre-rock and roll macabre jukebox pop and long nights of risky fun by the pitch-black sea. It seemed to call for a tour guide of some kind. Our grandad’s voice was an obvious choice to say the words none of us can say without a musical instrument in our hands.”

Check out The Great Muriarty video below. If you’re old enough to remember those seaside picture machines you put your 1p pieces in, gritty scenes of times gone by in a scouse past history, with a commentary from an old school dignified gent, then you’re getting there. A total new page to expect from the Liverpool psychedelic indie veterans. Watch this space…

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Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

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"I'm a 50 year old man, and I like it!" A music nut from North Manchester residing in Northwich. If it's good I'm on it. Most genres covered but mainly alternative post punk indie with a love for all things psych.


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