Kodaline showed once again why they’re one of the best young live bands around, with a confident and mature performance on their first trip to Southampton.
Indie-folk band White Chalk started off the night at a high tempo, with their melodic music perfectly complementing vocalist Conor Quinn’s eccentric and energetic performance. It’s surprising for a support act, especially the first of two, to have such a great reaction from the audience. The Irish band, consisting of seven members, are one to watch in the future.
The penultimate act of the night, The Mispers, despite being relatively unknown delivered an assured performance – consistently engaging the purring crowd. The six-piece featured Violinist Hannah van den Brul who added that sense of originality to the set with an almost unique-sounding backing noise, especially in the song ‘Brother’. Lead vocalist Jack Balfour Scott was the highlight though, owning the stage and genuinely having a great time at the Guildhall.
Kicking off with Shirley Ellis’ ‘The Clapping Song’ leading into ‘Ready’ was a surprising start for Kodaline that worked brilliantly – indicating that the sold out crowd were in for a special night. Next the unmistakable sound of a harmonica meant the immortal ‘Love Like This’ belted around the Guildhall. Other lead singles from their debut album, In A Perfect World, also sporadically appeared throughout the opening to their set, with particularly ‘One Day’ bringing a euphoric sing-a-long. These intertwined with new music created a great mix between their latest and debut material.
During a momentary pause, lead singer Steve Garrigan talked emotively about the inspiration for the next song, ‘The One’, being for Phil and Fiona on their wedding day, with the former being closely linked with the Irish band. Garrigan conveyed the emotional lyrics intensely for arguably their next single from new album Coming Up For Air. Initially thought to be a filler from the album, ‘Play The Game’ showed that it was written for being played live, with the audience going crazy for the guitar-heavy track – a personal highlight for me, as the infectious riff and stayed in my head throughout the rest of the concert!
The band returned for their encore with the lead single from the latest album ‘Honest’, which sadly didn’t sound as good live as the previous songs performed. This didn’t last long though as they quickly went into a medley involving three tracks from In A Perfect World which really set them up well for their final track of the night. An eight minute rendition of ‘All I Want’ capped a brilliant night at the Guildhall from all three acts, would recommend seeing any of them if you’ve got the chance.