REVIEW: Kodaline at The Roundhouse
Dublin four-piece Kodaline headlined a mesmerising gig at the Roundhouse on 17th February 2015, following the release of their new album Coming Up For Air earlier this month. Walking on stage to The Clap Song in their formal black-coated attire (and Jason Boland’s shockingly bright red shirt), members of Kodaline led the capacity of the Roundhouse Main Space through an evening of adrenaline-pumping live music. The crowd was warmed up by up and coming band The Mispers (of who’s Jack Scott’s Pac-man tattoo was being highly admired), followed by four-piece band Port Isla, who captured the crowd with their ability to story-tell with their self-described “stampy, clappy, happy, everything kind” of songs.
The Mispers brought a highly original sound, combining male and female vocals and harmonies, most prominently in their song “Shoulder.” Lead singer Jack Scott inventively added to the atmosphere in the room by turning the speakers into an instrument, scraping them to create an ambient sound.
In addition to stand-out songwriting skills, the personality of The Mispers’s band members shone through to a great extent, with guitarist Joey Zapata’s manic method of counting in the songs, and Jack’s curious dancing. The musicality and creativity was evident in each performance of the night, leaving the audience to remember The Mispers and Port Isla not as support bands, but bands with comparable creativity to Kodaline.
The Roundhouse resonated with the surprisingly in-tune singing of the crowd, so much so that lead-vocalist Steve Garrigan invited the audience to “join the band”. The dedication and admiration shown towards Kodaline by the audience was evident with both old and new songs being equally appreciated, with 2013’s hit One Day sang entirely by the audience with minute vocal contribution from the band, and the evening ending with the crowd collectively singing the lyrics to Kodaline’s first commercially successful 2012 song All I Want to an empty stage during a successful attempt to call for an encore, which was compiled of Honest, Perfect World, and All I Want.
The beauty of Kodaline is the equal importance given to each band member and each instrument, where Garrigan ensured his vocals and instrumental playing did not leave the rest of the band members’ presence redundant. Garrigan showcased his multi-instrumentalist skills throughout the night, demonstrating his knowledge of guitar, keys, and even his harmonica skills, along with his crystal clear vocal. He played alongside drummer Vinny May, bass guitarist Jason Boland, and guitarist Mark Prendergast. However, all with an evident ability to sing, vocals were contributed by each member to create a special and rare arrangement in modern music. The inclusion of The Mispers’ violinist Hannah Van Den Brun in Kodaline’s closing song All I Want merely highlights further the pure musicality the band carry with them.
With songs inspired by situations from deep heartbreak to the forgetting-to-buy-a-wedding-present-and-therefore-writing-a-song-the-night-before-the-wedding-instead sort of situation, Kodaline showcased their dynamite songwriting, storytelling, and performance talent, living up to the expectations of a positively highly demanding audience at the Roundhouse, bringing together both old and new fans, and even long-term fans who were Kodaline concert first-timers.