The Coronas + Murray James + The Midnite Bonfires @ Birmingham Ballroom – 6th May 2012

You may yet to have heard of The Coronas, but, in their native Ireland, they are a seriously big deal. Their previous album beat U2 and Snow Patrol to the Meteor Best Album Award and in December they will headline Dublin’s 14,000 seater O2 venue, the largest indoor venue in Ireland!

The Midnite Bonfires started proceeding on a very entertaining night – a four-piece band playing catchy, witty and edgy music. “Misbehave”, “Runaway” and the song that got the biggest reaction on the night, “Wait”.

After quite a wait, a guy comes on stage and says, “Sorry guys, my band mates went for a walk and have not returned”. He started by singing a song called “Pot Of Gold”. Looking confused with what to do next he started talking to the crowd. “Erm what do I say? I am Murray James” said Murray. He then started performing “Blue Today”. Half way through song two guys rushed the stage. “Its Jessie and Joey” James said. His band mates had arrived and it was interesting to see the other two members of the band grabbing instruments and synch with the music being played already, watching a drum kit being screwed together and joining in. It was an interesting build up to the good music they played.

I think the Irish every so often export something that takes the world by storm – Guinness, U2, Colin Farrell… and The Coronas will be the next big output. They are sharp, with great stage presence. Their music really has meaning and is played with soul and vigour. The small venue at The Ballroom was packed with fans, singing word for word back songs such as “Listen Dear” “Mark My Words” “Tony Was An Ex Con” and title track to their album “Closer To You”, being released in a month. The Coronas really rocked the Ballroom. I would be terribly surprised if they played a venue that small after they release the single in England. Then again, this was their first UK tour.

They returned for an encore and an audience member shouted out a request, “Close To You”. “It was the song I fell in love to my girlfriend to”. The band fulfilled the request, dedicating the song to the couple and showing the strong rapport they had with the audience.

The Coronas performed to the fans and showed what is lacking from many modern day live performances, genuine connection with the paying fans and great music to match.

Review – Chadwick Jackson
Photos – Alex Dean

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