Indie legends The Coral release their new album ‘Move Through The Dawn’ this Friday, 10th August via Ignition Records. To tie in with the release, Nick Power from the band has written a book called Into The Void which documents some of their many, many tales from the road.
“I was writing a diary anyway, like I do sometimes on tour,” Nick says of the book. “I’d done a couple of books before and I was talking with a few mates who I do some writing with, and they said, why don’t you combine the two worlds? Write about your life on the road?
“It really freed me up, I got really into the idea. It’s mostly about the monotony and complete helplessness of being on a bus, travelling across the UK or Europe. It’s about bouts of collective madness really, without being too wacky about it.”
In the excerpt below, the band meet up with the Libertines in Japan – for some drinking and book recommendations, obvs.
The Libertines came to see us in Japan. They were touring at the same time we were, and they introduced themselves by bundling through a stage door after we’d finished our first Tokyo gig. They’d seen the show, they said, and loved it. It’s one of the only times we’ve ever met.
I struggled to take them in at first. The two lads who front the band are pretty tall. Taller than me even, and I’m pushing six-two without my shoes on. They were identically pale-faced, in the old rock’n’roll way I thought. The ghost of electricity and all that.
They wore ripped blue jeans and leather jackets each, with no shirts on underneath. They said they hadn’t brought luggage with them, and had been up for days, tripping on something called ‘Ice’. I thought they were a laugh. They picked up guitars and sang our songs back at us. They’d peddled the myth that in the early days, they’d sold Dreaming Of You to us in a New Brighton pub for fifty quid.
I thought that was a great lie, and most of us ran with it, until it started to become gospel, and we had to backtrack a little when people asked. Looking back, that part is even funnier.
In the dressing room, Pete, the singer, recommended I read Kerouac’s Lonesome Traveler. There’s a great chapter he said, where Jack spends six months in solitude as a fire watcher in a Canadian forest. I told him I’d try it. And then we all had a drink and a good old knees-up.
Eventually we dispersed into the suffocating neon thrum of Tokyo’s late bars and cafés, steaming street noodle-bars that reminded me of Blade Runner and Deckard’s arrest. There was a club there that lined up shots of Saki on the bar as we walked in. Then we really began to drink. There was quite a mob by that point. Us, along with some of that night’s audience. Alan Wills and Joe Fearon. The Japanese record label. Our road crew, The Libertines road crew and The Libertines. And they set the pace.
One of our crew, a lad who’d been with us from the very beginning, thought that he could keep up with The Libertines on the Saki shots and took it as a challenge. But The Libertines were juiced up, fuelled by some superhuman Japanese nuke-drug, and all we had had was a severe dose of jetlag and the early symptoms of scurvy from the endless Big Macs we’d munched since arriving.
Most of us were back at the hotel by the time he stumbled through the door. His jacket was gone, and he had a Karate Kid style bandana around his head. His face had turned grey-green, the zombie hue.
He locked himself in the small hotel toilet. We’d knock on the door every now and then, just to check he was still breathing, but that seemed only to set the retching off again.
A couple of hours later he reappeared, half naked with a towel around his head. The bathroom was soaked, and there was sick everywhere, this strange black stuff that looked like crude oil. We’d found some weed by then, and found the whole thing more hilarious. We thought that the sick looked like the alien-infected goo from The X-Files, and that it could signal the end of the tour, quite possibly the world.