Live: Kodaline – The Leadmill, Sheffield 25.3.2013

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I had a hard day, and a cold day, and consequently I was grumpy. Number one, there was over a foot of Snow outside our house and temperatures were below freezing most, if not all, of the day. It was the sort of day when I drove to work and had the heaters blasting out on my freezing hands, but as soon as they got warm I realised how cold my feet were, so I switched the heat. And so a vicious circle came about.

By the time I got home, and finally warm after a hard, cold cheerless day, the last thing I wanted to do was go out in it again, down to the Leadmill to see hotly tipped Irish quartet Kodaline. I literally dragged myself away from the fire and CSI: Doesn’t really matter. But I managed it.

Having not been in the house long, I arrived suitably late and missed equally hotly tipped Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James who was acting as support for the evening. Although in the smaller ‘back room’ (it was a Monday night after all) it was packed out, possibly partly due to the bands new single ‘High Hopes’ gate crashing the charts at a respectable 16. This led to sporadic ‘I love you’s’ during the set directed at various members of the band. Not from me you understand, I was still to cold and miserable for that, but from the massed female throng that were, well, massed towards the front.

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The band opened up with Lose Your mind, and straight away some things about Kodaline were obvious. One was that musically these boy are the real deal. They were tight, and as the set unfurled, it was obvious that they can really sing the harmonies, really play the songs, really to an almost perfect quality. It was also obvious that their elbow/coldplay/u2 enthused chart-Indie translated well to an eager Leadmill crowd.

The band stepped deftly through two more tracks from their debut EP, Pray and Perfect World. What was becoming evident that this young band on their first really major tour, were nervous and even reluctant at between song banter, and so trod the safe path of [insert town/venue] is brilliant/awesome/generally positive, which, to be fair to them, kept the crowd happy, though they were clearly on the side of the band anyway.

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I’d sort of expected High Hopes to be a bit of a set finisher, and so it was a suprise when it was slotted in early, and the crowd went almost crazy when introduced. The temperature in the Leadmill rose, and I began to have this funny feeling inside, as the band once again produced polished and accurate versions of the songs with the remarkably strong album title track  Brand New Day followed by The Answer which saw the boys bring the whole sound and tempo back a bit. I still had this sort of weird feeling inside that was beginning to erupt throughout my body. I stuck it out.

After all comes down came a treat for the audience, something that’s been happening tour-wide, which was the boys abandoning the PA equipment and singing the Sam Cooke song ‘Bring it on home’ in four-part harmony. The crowd lapped it all up, and while Stephen Garrison maybe hasn’t the pure emotion of Sam Cooke, he made pretty good impersonation. And then two things happened. Kodaline ended their set with the anthemic (and at times thrilling) All I want, and I, despite the cold, despite the bad day, despite the dragging myself out of the house, despite my grumpiness, was smiling. That was it, that was the feeling. Kodaline had melted my heart.
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p.s. I know the pictures are terrible. That because, essentially, I take terrible pictures.

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