Saturday, 12 December 2015


6th December 2015

Glasgow O2 Academy

As Son drifted further and further into his teens, I began to believe he had somehow missed out on the Anderson Music-Obsession gene, he remaining resolutely indifferent to any of the musical delights I would play at anyone who happened to be in the house with me at the time.  Indeed, he and I really did have that inverted cliché conversation once, with him coming into my study and requesting I “turn that bloody music down”.

However, upon reaching the age of 18 or so into his life came Irish band Kodaline - pronounced Koda-Line NOT Koda-Lean, I learned this evening.  And as any late convertee should, he embraced things with an almost messianic fervour as their music became pretty much the 24/7 backdrop to his life.  He even announced he was planning a trip to London to catch a gig.  That’s my Boy.

I casually investigated the band in an attempt to suss out what all the fuss was about, but came away just a touch underwhelmed.  For despite the fact the majority of the songs I listened to appeared guitar driven, there was very much a Coldplay vibe going on – albeit one shorn of Chris Martin’s memorable hooks.

So I am sure my invitation along to this gig in Glasgow was, as with Daughter’s invite to Fightstar earlier, less due to kindred spirit than to travel logistics.

Kodaline - Glasgow December 2015

My first impressions once the gig started were that the band had clearly invested a lot of money in their light show.  OK, we were not talking Pink Floyd here, but the leccy bill alone for the evening I am sure would have gouged a fair wodge out of the door takings.

The set-opener Ready had a pleasant Eighties feel to it; the sort of stuff The Mighty Lemon Drops were peddling back then.  The next few just sort of washed over me before the quirky keyboard intro to Lost grabbed my attention.  I liked this one.

There was short acoustic interlude mid-set, and proceedings thereafter were rather innocuously enjoyable.  Love Like This and Coming Alive both shone, but once again each appeared, to my ears anyway, to hark back musically to a time before these guys were probably born.  Regretfully the main set closer, Love Will Set You Free, layered on the saccharine to toe-curling effect.

The three encores were all suitably rousing; All I Want in particular with its “Whoa, Whoa” refrain taking me back to those “Big Music” bands of my youth: The Alarm, Runrig, Big Country and the like.  But it is an impressive set closer for all that.  Although I was a touch embarrassed to learn from Son afterwards that the second encore played had actually been a medley of three different songs.  Something I had failed to divine.

But for all the rousing selection of self-penned tunes, there is no doubt Kodaline’s main asset is charismatic front man Steve Garrigan, who has plainly learned his craft from studying Bono.  He had most of the Glasgow audience in the palm of his hand this evening.  Which is no mean feat.  The chap clearly knew what he was doing, often achieving the desired effect by the simple expedient of interjecting the work ”Glasgow” into his lyrics on a number of well-chosen occasions.  Between songs he also sounded remarkably like Bono; not really too surprising I suppose, given the pair were born just a few miles part….and everyone so loves a Dublin accent.

On a number of occasions Steve invited us all to “Sing along as loud as you can”, to slower songs.  But with the exception of the band’s signature tune High Hopes, these appeared such dirges only the truly devoted obliged, leaving the majority of the less committed to indulge in that profoundly irritating chattering thing, I have come to loathe at gigs.

But I did appreciate his self-effacing choice of words with “Thanks for coming along to check us out”, as if the two thousand odd attendees had all just dropped by on a whim.  

Which when I think about it, is exactly what I had done.


Way Back When 
One Day 
High Hopes 
Brand New Day 
The One 
Love Like This 
Coming Alive 
All Comes Down 
Love Will Set You Free 
Everything Works Out in the End 
Big Bad World / Talk / Perfect World 
All I Want

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