Kodaline – Live at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
These four humble lads from Ireland known as Kodaline, could heal the cracks in the world with their sweet harmonies, nostalgic melodies and homely charm.
And they certainly made the sold-out 02 crowd about as happy as I’ve ever seen one. Kodaline’s debut album, In A Perfect World was only released in June yet Stephen Garrigan need not have bothered stretching his vocal chords last night as the crowd knew every word. The love and adoration for these Dublin lads came from screaming girls and whistling guys as well as people twice, thrice their age. Kodaline are one of those bands that your mum will love just as much as your best mate.
I’m kinda lost for words when Garrigan lets loose his first notes. His voice is outrageously good. Kicking off with After The Fall, I was struck by how these incredible vocalists resemble a pack of howling, polyphonic wolves, grappling for the stars and moon. Wolves gifted with the finest sets lungs and softest of natures. Garrigan’s profoundly moving tones and echoed and soothed by the flawless company of Mark Prendergast, Vinny May Jr and Jason Boland.
They play Love Like This and step it up a gear. Garrigan revels in his heritage as he stomps on the stage with his mandolin in his hand and his harmonica in his mouth. If one song embodies the spirit of this group of Irish friends, it’s this one. Garrigan laughs as he says in his thickest Irish accent, ‘I don’t mind at all’, just as he does on the album.
One Day starts, and the room is so emotionally charged I think I actually might cry. The look on Vinny May Jr’s face (eyes closed, face up, passion taking over) is all the proof I need to know he believes in his music.
They leave the stage after playing All Come Down leaving me eagerly waiting for obligatory encore, and just as we’re all starting to wonder if they’re coming back out I see them on the balcony! Amazing! ‘You’re going to have to help us out here’ bellows Garrigan as they treat us to an acoustic version of Sam Cooke’s ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ while we all click our fingers to the beat. Never seen anything quite like – check it out.
They then head back to stage and play an end to the beautiful evening with All I Want. And all I’m left thinking what an overwhelming feeling of loveliness I have inside. I could hug a stranger. And it’s this special feeling Kodaline have the power to evoke that makes the world a better place.
Words by Jess Nicks