Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kodaline Live at the Roundhouse

Nothing could have prepared me for the emotional rollercoaster that is Kodaline. I'm not even just talking about their gig at Camden's trendy Roundhouse on Tuesday, I'm talking about the band in general. 

It was around April or May 2014 when I settled down to watch some Coldplay videos on YouTube, and because I'm a sucker for punishment, I watched 'The Scientist' on repeat about 5 times, before deciding to try one of the 'suggested videos', which just happened to be something called 'All I Want' by Kodaline. Ohhhhh, the emotions I'd felt by the end of that video! I mean, that poor freak in the office! And the girl who fell in love with him no matter what anyone else though! It was just so beautiful! And IF I'd been an emotional human being, I'd have been sobbing into my teacup because the world just isn't a nice place. But, I'm not an emotional human being.

Just look at this!!

Anyway. I was as impressed with the rest of the band's album 'In A Perfect World', and what almost did make me sob into my teacup was the delayed realisation that this band, that I was now firmly in love with, had in fact played at T in the Park 2013, which I had attended, without knowing who they were. Oh, the regret. I had spent my afternoon falling asleep to Earth, Wind & Fire rather than crying to 'All I Want'? Great. Either way, I stuck their album on repeat for the next few months, all the while marvelling at the fact that I somehow felt like I'd known this music for my entire life. There are few bands that produce music I'd class as 'so beautiful it hurts', and I'd discovered three: Coldplay, The Shins, and now Kodaline.

It was with a surge of OMG that I find out that Kodaline would be playing in London in mid-Febraury 2015. Unfortunately for me, I slacked and tickets sold out in 30 minutes. Fortunately for me, I was spared having to pay 60 Pounds for a re-sale due to a very useful connection managing to help me get one at face value.

And so I showed up at the Roundhouse to a queue to rival anything I've ever seen at Wembley. Seems I've been completely underestimating this band's popularity. 

Queue or no queue, we managed a spot about 6 rows back, and I had a chance to take in my surroundings. Well, they sure weren't lying when the named the venue. The room is completely circular, with seats in a circle above the back of the standing area - it's basically a mini Royal Albert Hall. Kind of. 

I feel that two opening acts are unnecessary for such a small gig, but luckily they both were entertaining - despite the inability of our group to agree on 'which of the Mispers was the hottest'. Moving along...

Kodaline themselves finally ambled onto the stage in all their Irish glory, and opened with 'Ready', off of their brand new album, 'Coming Up For Air', then straight into 'Love Like This', cue crowd going wild. But it wasn't until 'High Hopes' that I really realised the impact of the band. For I could barely hear them over the sound of the crowd, singing along to every single word. Even me, I almost felt emotions! And the band were just loving it - they love having this kind of power over their poor, defenceless audience!

Whilst we all held our breath and prepared for 'All I Want', they decided to keep playing games with us and instead play 'Brand New Day', and a new song called 'The One', which Steve wrote for a friend's wedding (can you imagine being at that wedding? Can you imagine being that friend?? The emotions, I tell you!).

They warned us that 'Love Will Set You Free' was their last song, and we waited with baited breath (again) for them to come back and play new single 'Honest', and that elusive 'All I Want'. In fact, someone in the audience took it upon themselves to start singing the chorus of the latter, and soon the entire crowd was singing along. I could just imagine the band backstage, giggling little Irish giggles.
It was really quite rude of them to play with our emotions to such an extent as to save 'All I Want' for last. A collective 3000 tried to disguise their tears as 'something in my eye' as Kodaline, accompanied by the Mispers' violinist, broke 3000 hearts.

And so I braved the tube back home, grumbling about the fact that it's almost impossible to get from the Northern Line to the Hammersmith and City, but at the same time quite pleased that way back in 1998, it had been another Irish band - with a singer called Steve - that had sparked my love for music, and now, in 2015, the Irish were still going strong.

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