Corella ‘Bloom’ in Bristol

For me, Manchester has produced some of the greatest bands to walk the earth. The Stone Roses, Oasis, Take That… Ok so maybe the last one is a bit of a push, but my point is that the city has produced an abundance of talent. But don’t worry, although the bands I named are either not together or let’s be honest, seen better days, there is hope! The northwest’s talent pool has not run dry and continues to produce some of the hottest new bands. So, without further or do, let me introduce you to Corella, who I was lucky enough to interview and watch perform at The Louisiana in Bristol.

Now if you have read this far and not worked it out, I will happily spell it out for you; Corella are from Manchester. And by from Manchester, I mean ‘based’ in Manchester because, as I found out the hard way, two of them are actually from York. The four-piece band all met by “fate” in Manchester in 2015 when Joel (vocals/guitar), Jack (guitar) and James (drums) moved into university halls together. Lastly, Ben (bass/backing vocals) was “found on the street” as James put it when recalling the infamous origin story (in reality he is just an old friend). 

The name of the band remains a slight mystery, but Joel did enlighten me that “Jack the guitarist thought of it in the shower”. For those wondering, if I had to describe Corella’s music genre in the most Spotify way I can, it would be ‘modern English indie rock’. So, take from that what you will.

Bristol was the second stop of their second headline tour and the first time the band have toured “down south”. I didn’t need to quote this but out of fear of being accused of not knowing where the north is, I felt like I wanted the ability to shift the blame. The gig sold out over two months before which seemed to surprise the band but they appeared to view it as a sign they will be performing at bigger venues like Thekla in the future.

The setlist started with the song ‘Come Around’. Jack, the guitarist, was telling me before the gig that the song seems to get great reception everywhere they go and although it’s not his favourite track, it has turned into his favourite to perform. Bristol was no different, and it got the crowd buzzing more once. The following songs were a mixture of classics, like my two favourites ‘Bloom’ and ‘Dice’, and also new material, like ‘Don’t Stop Me’ which may feature in their next body of work to be released.

For those of you curious about the debut album, don’t worry, I completed my journalistic duty and asked when the fans could expect it. It is only right that I quote the lead vocalist himself, Joel, for this one: “We are writing towards the album, and we are very excited. We are just in the process of sorting a few bits out and thinking at the end of this year.” You heard it here first people, the album is on its way!

The set also included my gig highlight ‘Monday’, a song that I have always found just ‘alright’, but translated live well including a great solo from Jack at the end. ‘Barcelona Girl’, the band’s most streamed song on Spotify, also made an appearance and as expected, was given a great reception. When I asked the band about the songwriting process for this song, they simply said that it “came out of nowhere”. Lucky for some, I guess!  

The set list ended with ‘Waterfall’ which is on their latest EP, a song that if you want to hear live but don’t want to leave the house, I recommend you look up their Reading/Leeds festival set. Once the song ended, I thought the gig was over, the band left the stage and the music had stopped. However, it wasn’t long until the familiar sound of ‘one more song, one more song’ rang around the venue and the band came back on stage to play themselves out with ‘Say Something’.

Overall, the band were great to both see perform live and meet beforehand. Corella will now go on to finish their 12-date headline tour and then move onto the summer festival scene, where they are already announced to play Kendal Calling. Seeing them live has only made me more excited for their debut album and I would definitely go and see them again. I would like to end this review by apologising to my housemates as they will now have to suffer the ordeal of me singing all of Corella’s songs at the top of my lungs in the shower for the next week. I would say that this is a sign of a great gig though, so they can thank Corella for that!

Luke (centre) with Corella before their gig in Bristol on Tuesday the 7th of March 2023

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