SOFT alternative rock quartet Kodaline performed at the O2 Apollo Manchester last night for the third night in their ‘Coming Up For Air’ tour, our entertainment reporter, Rae Coppola, was there to review the evening…

The autumn shows came as a surprise to fans after statements highlighted no plans of following up their 350,000-selling In ‘A Perfect World’ album, never mind with a prompt second studio album and partially sold out tour.

However, what wasn’t a surprise was how the Dublin foursome supported their Irish roots by sharing the stage with none other than Irish bands accompanying them.

First up, was a half hour set from Northern Island duo, Little Hours. The pair kept it simple, only using a keyboard, a guitar, and their voices in tune to make amazing harmonies. Although their smooth vocals can’t be faulted, the sequence of slow songs were not ideal for a warm up act and therefore the acoustic performance would have been better suited to a local pub.

Getting closer the Kodaline’s hometown, and performance, it was only fitting that Dublin duo All Tvvins were up next. Tracks ‘Too Much Silence’ and ‘Darkest Oceans’ were real crowd pleasers, but what impressed the audience the most was the guitarist non-stop dance moves. He had a real stage presence and used all the space like a born entertainer, making the viewers want to jump around too. Ideally, they should have played first to get the crowd moving, with Kodaline potentially opting for a more established band as their main support.

With the support finished, anticipation grew for Kodaline.

The curtains came up and the lights went down.

Connecting instantly with their audience, the Irish foursome began with new track ‘Ready’. The upbeat track was just what was needed to lift the spirits of the audience after the latter two performers, and show them why they bought tickets.

The track was the first of many from the new album, which demonstrated the band shaking up their sound with sonic vibes.

With the set list combining old favourites with songs from the new album, it was clear to see how Kodaline have experimented with their sound, keeping themselves fresh but never forgetting their honest lyrics and audience connections that earned them a fan base in the first place.

Lyrics that could be, and as a matter of fact, were, sung back to front man Steve Garrigan without him even asking for audience participation. This happened in ‘High Hopes’ and ‘One Day’, whereby Garrigan paused, fully confident that the voices filling the room would be there to reinforce him and enable the song to reach its end.

However, the pot of gold from the evening had to be when the band played ‘Honest’. The track was so well executed, comparisons of the singer to Coldplay’s Chris Martin were a given, with the song as a whole sounding very The Killers-esque, thanks to the rest of the band making an effort to harmonise the lyrics.

It wasn’t all swings and roundabouts. The night to a downturn when Garrigan asked for the audience to put their phone lights up and received little audience participation, and the same went when he asked people to put their hands together at a point where clapping wouldn’t have matched the beat of the tune.

Kodaline lightsThe factors were easily forgiven though, especially after a slightly too long disappearing act that refracted the audiences hope of an encore for a brief moment, and they realised how much they did not want the night to end.

Tears were shed and applauses and heckles were given, but the majority of people exited the venue with a relaxed vibe and the feeling of being ready for bed.

True to what their website says, they’re a ‘band only just discovering what they’re capable of.’

In a perfect world, they’ll soon be playing arenas and selling them out too.

By: Rae Coppola

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