Bridging Coral Island and Sea Of Mirrors, a second album titled Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show, will also be released this September. 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.
Holy Joe’s Coral Island Medicine Show is the show that brings you sounds from the other side all through the night. We’ll be playing murder ballads and death-ditties, love songs and eulogies, songs about drifters, grifters, hobos and killers…
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 Islandcompère (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.