Previously known as 21 Guns, Kodaline made history in 2007 when their independently released track “Give Me A Minute” topped the Irish charts. With Steve Garrigan at the helm, the band from Dublin arrived at The Ritz in search of an even bigger audience for their album In A Perfect World
Starting the night off was talented young singer James Bay. His first EP having just been released, it proved a perfect opportunity to showcase his talent with tracks like ‘Move Together’ and ‘Stealing Cars’. Following the opening act, Irish folk pop duo Hudson Taylor took to the stage. As soon as they started, it became clear that they were destined for greater things. With excellent songs like ‘Care’ and ‘Battles’ highlighting their set, they even managed to get the crowd to sing along. By the time Hudson Taylor finished, the crowd was demanding for more and the duo hinted that they would be back in town at the end of the month for their own tour.
It was soon Kodaline’s turn to shine. Opening with ‘After The Fall’, Garrigan immediately connected with the audience with his beautiful pure voice. In a skillful and emotional statement of intent, cinematic in scope and able to cause goose bumps almost at will, Kodaline mastered the beginning of its set like rarely before. However, as strong as the start was, they struggled a bit to keep the audience in their grasp with their less known tracks. Given their album was only out this year, it was no real surprise. Nevertheless, Garrigan was bound to make an impression. Disappearing after their performance of ‘All Comes Down’, they reappeared on the balcony of The Ritz, in the middle of the crowd, to sing ‘Bring It On Home To Me’, to the delight of the audience. In a somewhat expected turn, they closed with beautifully written song ‘All I Want’ with backing vocals from Hudson Taylor, hence providing an adequate finish to a great night of music.
Kodaline have still a long way to go before claiming their place as big-buck contenders but they have all the components for greatness, with choruses so beautiful and heart-wrenching that the drawing of thousands of people holding festival lighters singing in unison paints itself.