Kodaline at O2 Academy, 6/12/15

In the really unlikely event that you’ve not heard of Kodaline, they are a four-piece rock band from Dublin, up until 2012 known as 21 Demands.

In 2013 they were nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 along with eventual winners HAIM and Glasgow’s very own CHVRCHES no less.

 

Jump forward to December 2015 and they are back on the road at the outset of a European-wide tour that will see them take in almost every major European city along the way.

The good news is that if you have a ticket for one of their shows you are in for a colossal treat and if you don’t there’s still a chance to rectify that.

The stage cover drops to a rapturous reception and the band launch straight into ‘Ready’ from their latest album Coming Up for Air.

The stage set-up comprises of square video screens at the back relaying live images and various graphics widgets, occasionally with a really cool monochrome effect; the live images are captured by various static cams set up around the stage.

Lead singer, guitarist and keyboardist Steve Garrigan does a fab job in engaging the eager Glasgow crowd into singing-along as during ‘One Day’ the vocals are almost drowned out by 2500 folk– this has the makings of a very special night.

During ‘High Hopes’, Kodaline remind me a wee bit of German band Silbermond, really powerful ballads with a overpowering rock undercurrent that swells to the surface and carries one away on a tidal wave of pleasure.

Garrigan introduces ‘The One’ as a song they wrote for a friend of the band as a wedding present and once again the beautiful sound of a packed Academy accompanies Kodaline.

And I’ve not mentioned the light show yet! Whoever the lighting designer is, he or she knows their stuff; hot and cold washes, chases, gobos/palettes/strobes are expertly programmed to accompany the music and visuals.

Jason Boland’s bass and Vinny May’s drums in ‘Honest’ are so tight they are almost one and combined with the collective vocals and light show it’s almost a crescendo.

‘Love Will Set You Free’ is the last number of the set, before a three-song encore starts with highlight of the night, ‘Everything Works Out In The End’.

‘All I Want’ is the finale, the band gather around May at the start, and for the last time all the voices, in this unique venue, come together and slowly build up to a mesmerising culmination of strobes and music.

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Words/Photos: Tim J Gray

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