INTERVIEWED! The Coral at Wychwood 2024

The Coral frontman James Skelly took time out before their Saturday evening slot at Wychwood Festival to speak with Summer Festival Guide about plans for the future, or lack of, and the different challenge of selecting songs from their extensive back catalogue for a festival slot.

How do you go about putting together your festival set from over 20 years of material?

Well we had a full set for the mini tour we did in the Spring which was about an hour and twenty or whatever, so we then pretty much just knock out the ones that are hardest to play and whatever’s left becomes your festival set!

Or you know, the ones that might not translate without a soundcheck. Sometimes more acoustic ones but you’ll have toms in that you might not hear as well in a festival – so you go for the main songs and then the ones that come across in a live setting if you’re in the trenches in a way.

It’s 22 years since the self titled LP The Coral came out and since then there’s been more of a concept approach to the records. Is that a trajectory for going forward you think?

No – I think the concept is not to do anything for a little bit. But we’ve always had a loose concept to all the albums just a bit more obvious with it on these latest ones.

But not really looking, got no plans for a new album or anything. Just looking to play live and enjoy it for a bit – you don’t want to put stuff out for the sake of it.

We’ve done a lot over the last few years and I don’t think anyone’s going to be that interested if we do one now.

(with a smile) Readdress in 2030 and see where we are then, see where the landscape lies by then.

Do you feel like you’re bringing along old fans with the new music or have they struggled to warm to it?

No, no. Our fans seem to love the new stuff. We turn up we play all the sort of the quote “Hits” or whatever you want to call them, we play quite a few off the first album. We play a good selection because if you like a band like us and you’ve followed us you want a selection over the years so, it’s a fine line. You don’t wanna be a nostalgia band. With playing a festival there are people there who might never have seen you, so you want to play your best stuff over the years really.

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