Music

Review: Kodaline return triumphant to Manchester Apollo

Kodaline started attracting masses of attention several years ago, and were billed to play the Manchester Apollo a little over two years ago as part of XFM’s Winter Wonderland. Unfortunately, the band had to cancel due to illness and it seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity to play such a prestigious venue. 

Two years on and the band are back at the Apollo with a headline slot and their second studio album in hand.

With an acoustic guitar and keyboard to play with, quaint two-piece Little Hours provide the perfect contrast to the storm brewing outside the spectacular theatre.

All Tvvins follow with a brand of synth-laden indie rock that goes down well with the close-to-capacity crowd. It isn’t for all tastes though, as parts of the performance feel forced, with vocals drowned out by the abundance of energetic guitars.

Opening with Ready, it’s clear Kodaline are here to put on a show. Vocalist Steve Garrigan’s energy is matched by the ambitious light show and stage production, as the band hit the ground running.

The Dublin quartet work their way through the set with pace, barely stopping for breath in the opening moments, and playing a flurry of tracks old and new. Way Back When sees the band trade the indie rock sound for the folk-centric feel of old.

Whilst the crowd have been lively from minute one, it takes a rousing rendition of High Hopes for the mass sing-alongs to ensue. Several tracks in, the band leave the stage as Garrigan tells a story of how he wrote the next song for a friend of his who recently got married. A moving solo performance of The One follows.

The band return to the stage and close off the main set in style, playing through tracks such as Love Like This, All Comes Down, Honest and Love Will Set You Free. A standing ovation sees Kodaline return again, with Works Out in the End and All I Want proving the biggest treat with the crowd.

Whilst the blend of indie rock and folk can become somewhat stale, and seem a tad disingenuous at times, that isn’t the case here. Kodaline put on great performance, that is aided by some fantastic production, and ultimately leave fans tackling the winter weather with a smile on their face.

Kodaline, Manchester Apollo, 5/12/15

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