Kodaline prove there’s still life in the lighters-in-the-air anthems

Review: Faithful gather for first of three sell-out shows at the Olympia

Kodaline: deceptively simple tunes that grab the crowd by the ear. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

Kodaline: deceptively simple tunes that grab the crowd by the ear. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 11:46

Call them the Irish Coldplay, but Kodaline have established themselves as serious contenders on the international music scene. Practically unknown just a year ago, the Dublin band have crept up on the world and stolen hearts by stealth.

The four-piece from Swords have skewered the notion that solid rock songs and old-fashioned lighters-in-the-air anthems have had their day; their debut album, In A Perfect World, shot into the UK Top three. Even if you don’t know Kodaline’s music, chances are you’ll have heard their ubiquitous single High Hopes, a song destined to be mangled by a succession of X Factor hopefuls. The band also scored a nomination for BBC Sound of 2013, and their song, All I Want, featured in US TV series Grey’s Anatomy.

Last night, Kodaline played the first of three sold-out nights at the Olympia, but these shows seem like mere warm-ups: they’re playing in Dublin’s O2 on March 16th.

At the Olympia, the faithful were gathered, mobile phones in the air as singer Steve Garrigan, guitarist Mark Prendergast, bassist Jason Boland and drummer Vinny May launched into crowd favourites such as Pray, Perfect World and Brand New Day – deceptively simple tunes that grab the crowd by the ear.

The band blast into a short rendition of Dirty Old Town as an intro to their recent hit single Love Like This, then induce some collective nostalgia with Way Back When.

When Garrigan glides into the long piano intro for High Hopes, the gig really takes off. The crowd takes over for the first chorus – and yes, there’s a bit of mangling in evidence, but Garrigan’s unerring vocals take over the controls to land the song straight to the heart.

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