FOR those of you who are unaware, Ian Skelly is the man behind the drums in critically acclaimed and successful band, The Coral.

Hailing from the Wirral, The Coral became one of the biggest bands in the guitar-revival scene which began in the late-90s, early-noughties. Combining the best of the Mersey-beat and 60s rock ‘n’ roll, along with psychedelic and folk, the band fast became one of the countries best-loved bands.

At the latter end of last year, it was announced that Ian Skelly was to release his debut solo album Cut From A Star (my PICK OF THE WEEK on December 20). The record was received brilliantly and showcased the individual ability of the Coral-man, who had produced an album which experimented with the afore mentioned genres.

Sat in the dressing room at Skelly’s gig in Manchester, the Liverpudlian told me of how the album came together and the big plans he has for the Mersey-music scene...

When did you decide to do the solo album?
I hadn’t really decided to do one, I mean it wasn’t a master-plan or anything. I was just recording songs on my own because I’m creative and once I had a batch of sounds, my girlfriend kept telling me to release them. I wasn’t keen at first but once I’d recorded about 25 tunes, it kind of clicked and thought I’d put them together.

So how did the album go about getting released?
After I’d decided I wanted to put it out there, I knew I couldn’t be bothered getting involved with record companies. Me and my mate Nev decided to produce it together and release it under our own names. We didn’t know how the record would do but we put it out and so far it’s doing really well and we’ve had loads of good feedback.

Are you looking to expand your own label then?
Yeah, definitely. It’s great because it started as just releasing an album and now it’s developed into us building a label. We’ve already started working with a lot of promising, young bands around Liverpool.

Is the focus going to be on the ‘Mersey-sound’ then?

At first, yeah. Personally, I think that over the past few years there was a lot of influence on the sound coming from the city from people on the outside and it wasn’t always positive. Now it seems there is a positive scene re-emerging. When I was just getting going with The Coral nearly 20 years ago, I was only about 17 and recently, I’ve noticed these young kids picking up guitars again.

You seem excited about the company...
So far it’s been incredible and we just want to keep that going. We’re looking forward to building the label up and helping these bands. What we wanted record companies to be when we were younger, they never were. We are helping the bands on a personal level to help tune their sound and be the best they can be, like labels were in 60s.

It’s clear that Skelly is incredibly passionate about the newly-formed label and by the sounds of it, there is a lot of great talent across Merseyside. After all, all the best bands come from the North...