Kodaline – Live Review at the Roundhouse London
Review by Harry Boyd
KODALINE bring the feel of a summer’s night around the campfire to the Roundhouse tonight. For those who don’t know the Irish band ‘Kodaline’, let me introduce you: they were born and bred in the small working-class town of Swords, all growing up together as childhood friends. Near the end of 2012, shortly after releasing an eponymous EP, the Dublin boys were shortlisted for the BBC’s sound of 2013, placing 2nd to Haim. In June 2013, they released the album ‘In a Perfect World’ to the public, which was a major success in Ireland, going platinum twice. Furthermore, in Britain, it hit third in the album charts and went gold.
So with the release of their second album ‘Coming Up for Air’, the question on everyone’s mind is that will they reach their optimum like their Irish comparison U2? Or will they plummet into the abyss of the forgotten and join the akin of bands such as ‘The Fratellis’? As we chant the name ‘Kodaline’, you can almost guarantee a myriad of screaming girls will come swarming, as if they’re a store opening early on Black Friday. As we adventure to London’s Roundhouse on this windswept, brisk Tuesday night, we notice a large diversity of ages and people. From your mainstream hipsters, to your leathered rockers, to the sanguine middle-aged women, this is a breadth built on, yes, still hundreds of shrieking fangirls.
The night kicks off with the fantastic Norwich support band, ‘Port Isla’, followed by the rising stars, and incredibly talented, ‘The Mispers’, who to my gratification gave handfuls of their recent EP, including their new hit, ‘Shoulder’. The best bit? It was free! After the two supporting bands, and many bottles of water later, the time had arrived. The lights dim, the stage is set, and for the first time, the crowd is silent. There is an eerie, but electrifying atmosphere that flows through the venue, as exuberant faces fixate on the stage, and butterflies soar. In an instant the crowd roars and thunders as Kodaline, the act everyone came here for, saunters on stage. The chills flood the bodies of many and the sensation only heightens as they inflamed the venue with ‘Ready’ from their new album ‘Coming up for Air’. ‘Love Like This’ follows, with a pattern of second album/first album/second album/first album continuing throughout the night, maintaining an interest appropriately. There is a diminutive list of artists that can be said to be better live than recorded, but Kodaline unequivocally have a place on that list; everything from Steve Garrigan’s extensive array of instruments he can play, to the way they capture the emotions and passion of their many fans. The highlight of the night comes in the form of the exquisite, breathtaking ‘All I Want’ for the much deserved encore!
From the amusing story about Steve forgetting a present for his sound engineers wedding, to the phenomenal ‘High Hopes’, the night is unforgettable. With Kodaline’s skyrocketing growth, we can’t wait to see what happens next.