Irish legends The Coronas effortlessly entertained crowds of fans last night, double the size of the audience they drew at Bodega last March, definitely curing everyone’s Monday blues on the first night of their headline UK tour.
On a cold dark evening, fans of The Coronas emerged slowly from the fog to fill up the floor of Rescue Rooms. Early birds at the barrier were charmed by Joe Miles, a singer-songwriter performing songs acoustically from his numerous EPs, including new tracks and a cover of Kwabs’ “Cheating on Me”. Miles’ cheery songs about troubles in love and in life were followed by Nottingham’s own Josh Kemp. Accompanied by his own band and a loop pedal, he regaled the crowd with earnest, happy pop songs about similar subjects; a highlight was penultimate song “Standing on a Cliff Edge”.
Both supports did well to try and get the crowd in the mood for The Coronas, but when the lights dimmed down and the band manned the stage (joined by a mini Henry Hoover from the aforementioned Just Like That video) the audience needed no help warming up. From the first song, the emotional but building “At The Same Time”, fans were whistling, yelling, and shouting the lyrics right back. The extravagant dance moves of the front row started as soon as the lead guitar lick of “Just Like That” began, and continued as the band showcased the upbeat, racing rock with as “How This Goes”, “All The Others” and “Get Loose”, all from their latest album.
Fans participated loudly and enthusiastically during even the more emotional ballads such as “My Fault” and next single “The Long Way”. Lead guitarist Dave McPhillips then took over lead vocals for the humble and sincere “Tell Me Again”, before the energy was ramped back up for older tracks such as “Blind Will Lead the Blind”, “Addicted to Progress”, “Make It Happen” and “Closer To You”, inspiring big sing alongs from the most dedicated fans.
An encore followed almost immediately, including an emotive rendition of tear jerker “Someone Else’s Hands”. For fan-favourite “Heroes or Ghosts”, lead singer Danny jumped the barrier with his acoustic to sing in the crowd, supported by a choir of faithful fans. It was a beautifully intimate moment, which can only be achieved in small venues such as Rescue Rooms. You could see that it meant a lot to the most loyal followers of the band; when Danny switched the verses to sing in Gaelic, a few kept passionately singing along.
During final song “Mark My Words”, Danny returned to the crowd with his microphone to finish the gig in the arms of fans. He stuck around in the crowd afterwards for hugs, chats, and photos, showing that The Coronas are all about their fans.