Kodaline – O2 Apollo, Manchester – 08/12/17


2015 was the last time Manchester had seen Kodaline – and to put it simply, they’ve grown a lot since. The room is filled with a mixture of the old and the young coming together as an indication of Kodaline’s evident timelessness.

Starting the set with their recent EP track ‘Ready to Change’ is a risk, it’s a more poppy and current chart tune compared to their folky origins, with modern synths and catchy hooks it pays off. The audience is all for it, singing every word in unison with front man Steve Garrigan. From the new to the old the band lead into debut album hit ‘Brand New Day’ and ‘Ready’ from the 2015 follow up, all songs everyone in the room knows well and clearly adore.

“Feels like ages since we’ve been to Manchester this is awesome” and Manchester are glad to have them back. The set flows seamlessly from song to song leaving little room for Garrigan to address the crowd, apart from the occasional “Manchester!” here and there with eager from response from the room, the audience energy seems a little unreciprocated. Although the band manage to tell their stories and show their appreciation through the music.

‘Brother’ the bands summer hit has a sense of nostalgia. The song lifts and falls beautifully, there’s around 50 lights stacked behind the band which glow in sync with the songs flow. The gentleman seated in front of me announces he’s recording this one for his brother, the band are relating to everyone in the room in some way.

Midway through the set the band leave Garrigan alone on the stage, with nothing but an acoustic in hand he announces ‘The One’ a song written as a gift for a friends wedding present. The audience fall silent respectfully in awe of Garrigan’s stunning vocals and a heart felt anthem. Much to the audiences delight the band are back beginning a moodier rendition of ‘Love Like This’ before throwing the audience into a wave of cheers as the pace picks up and harmonica kicks in.

Playing a new unnamed song from a soon to be released album the band indicate they’re not going anywhere and their recent EP is just the start, hopefully meaning the guys will back in Manchester in the near future.

Following the usual deception of a final song Kodaline return to the stage, captivating the audience with the acapella harmonies of 2017 EP title track ‘I Wouldn’t Be’ all before ending on the ever loved ‘All I Want’. The guy in front turns to me and asks if there’ll be a standing ovation “Lets hope so” I respond. Taking on the challenge, beckoning the entire circle to their feet he delivers Kodaline the well deserved gift of a packed out Manchester Apollo on their feet.