Review: The Mispers supporting Kodaline at O2 Guildhall, Southampton (10/03/15)

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Chilly weather on a Tuesday night did not stop the audience from getting down early to the O2 Guildhall, as long queues had formed before the door was set to open.

Due to the aforementioned maniac queues, by the time I walked in White Chalk had already set up on the stage and were just about to perform their first song. They have seven members and I felt overwhelmed when their instruments and vocals meshed together, it took me about two songs to get used to what they had to offer then it got better from that point on. The Irish folk band seemed humble and gave all they could to the crowd, they certainly got the increasing number of audience members entering the venue clapping along to their loud drum beats. Despite the fact that the chorus of their single ‘Back To The Start’ oddly resembled Macklemore’s ‘Can’t Hold Us’ in my opinion, their upbeat music did start the night nicely.

Having seen The Mispers support Saint Raymond at The Joiners around a year ago I knew what to expect from their live set; full-on energy and attitude. I spoke with them right before that show and I found out where the energy came from. They are a friendly bunch, full of banter. They were even more energetic tonight then when I first saw them, delivering a very satisfying performance. They opened their set with their unique and intricate ‘Dark Bits’, the slightly punk tone in the track provided a grand entry for vocalist Jack Balfour-Scott. He makes The Mispers one of the best acts to see live, thrusting around the stage with different moves, interacting with the crowd constantly, and raising the mood to another high. It is not easy to pin down which genre their music belongs to, and I do not think there is any need to. They provide so much originality, and their out of the norm vibe made them extraordinary. I appreciate the way they are. They also performed their new single ‘Weekend’, their strongest track to date, with beautiful guitar and string arrangements, trademark catchy rhythm and meaningful memorable lyrics. Closing track ‘Trading Cards’ is a firm favourite of mine and left a lasting impression of their quality; buzzing and captivating.

Throughout their set, Kodaline repeated three times that this is the first time they ever played a show in Southampton and they are obviously taken aback by the very keen responses they were given the whole night. They opened with ‘Ready’, which is an immediate sing along with its echoing catchy chorus. They took a wide range of tracks from their debut album and their new album. They also shared personal stories of how the track ‘The One’ was actually a bespoke wedding gift for their close friends. Personal touches continued throughout the show as they got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to a member of the audience and dedicated their last song to another. All of these little things made them seem even more down to earth, their heartfelt lyrics altogether convincing and relatable. The crowd sang along to all of the songs, and at times front-man Steve Garrigan would even let the crowd sing a few lines entirely on their own before joining in later. An extended version of ‘All I Want’ ended a great night of music on a uplifting note, the whole experience was highly enjoyable and I would like to think Kodaline would like to perform at Southampton again for their loving audiences.

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tea & coffee fueled lifetime music fanatic and avid gig lover

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