Gig Review by Nic Jones with Photography by Carl Fleischer

Kodaline

If you’ve been watching prime time television over the past couple of months you’ll have heard of Kodaline, perhaps even without realising it. The advert for debut album ‘In a Perfect World’ has been pretty much everywhere. And if you have seen it you’ve most likely enjoyed what you’ve heard. Kodaline’s sound sits somewhere between the rousing ballads of Coldplay and the upbeat folk of Mumford and Sons which puts them squarely in the ‘bound to be popular’ category. That broad appeal combined with good word-of-mouth reviews from previous shows explains the sold-out crowd in Manchester on a Sunday night.

Kodaline

Before we get to the main event, Irish duo Hudson Taylor provide a warm and endearing support set. A clearly accomplished live act (who incidentally headline their own tour within the next month), they burst into their own unique blend of folk pop, charming the audience with ease. While some support acts provide little more than background entertainment, Hudson Taylor put on a compelling show, it’s hard to tear your eyes away from them. With an abundance of romantic lyrics and catchy melodies they make a good impression and inspire the desire to hear more from them.

Kodaline
Kodaline

When Kodaline do take to the stage, they do it with bright lights and big melodies. They really hit their stride about four or five songs into the set and from there the show begins to set alight. The crowd are in full voice for all the singles which, putting aside for the minute that they have some big, quality songs, just goes to show that sometimes TV advertising works. ‘Love Like This’, ‘Brand New Day’ and ‘High Hopes’ are particularly memorable, with lead singer Garrigan barely needing to take part, the crowd carry entire verses for him. The smiles on the faces of the band during these moments are testament to how much this clearly means to them.

Kodaline

One truth that rings louder than Garrigan’s voice soaring through the venue is that Kodaline seem to want to be a stadium band. Everything is big, loud and aiming for anthemic. The show’s set up dwarfs The Ritz, with complex and blinding lighting backing the band. The only thing really missing is a bit more individuality and personality on stage. They play it pretty straight, making it all about the music which in some one respect is commendable, but in another it leaves some wanting more of a show, more interaction.

Kodaline
Kodaline

As the gig draws to an end, it’s hard to pick anything in particular that they’ve not done well. Kodaline are a professional outfit and they’ve put on an entertaining show but I’m still not sure who they are as a band and struggle to form a long-lasting connection to them. Would I say Kodaline put on a good show? Yes. Would I say you can’t afford to miss them alive ? Not quite yet. It does feel like it’s still early days for this band though; another album of big anthems, increased stage presence and personality will undoubtedly put them on course to where they want to be.

Kodaline

Find out more about Kodaline on their official website, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Kodaline

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