Kodaline- “I hope that I can say…When all my days are done…We were just having fun”

Kodaline– O2 Shepard’s Bush, London

(Nov 10, 2013)

It was one of the last nights at the Great Escape music festival in Brighton, and I has been encouraged by some others to go see an Irish indie/folk rock band by the name of Kodaline. I remember noticing their name pop up here and there on festival lineups and I figured I’d check out what the “hype” was all about. Plus, Little Green Cars (another Irish band I had been meaning to see) was playing on the same stage right before them, and I couldn’t pass up this double whammy. BOTH BANDS exceeded my expectations (see my page for Little Green Cars), and I remembered leaving that venue with even more respect for Irish musicians and their innate musical talents.

The first Kodaline song that had me stop dead in my tracks was ‘Pray,’ and although I didn’t get it on video, it was one of my favorites to later play over and over, as it had a bit of a Radiohead feel and these haunting, cyclical rhythms that just lock you in a trance. I also loved ‘All Comes Down To You‘ and ‘Love Like This,’ two songs that were new at the time and had not yet been released (see video below). The harmonica and mandolin in ‘Love Like This’ (my personal favorite) get me revved up, and the energy this track generates is mad contagious! Also, Steve’s belt at the end is EPIC.

Next in their set came the song (‘All I Want‘) that MADE THEM FAMOUS, and you could see WHY. Steve introduced this song by saying it was about his ex-girlfriend, and a dude in the audience ROARED “She’s A BEAST!” He assured everyone that she was not, but the audience could not help but laugh hysterically (including me). With lyrics like “Cause if I could see your face once more, I could die a happy man I’m sure” and “When you said your last goodbye, I died a little bit inside…I lay in tears in bed all night, alone without you by my side” you can’t help by feel your heart being ripped FOR STEVE, and you suddenly find yourself vehemently shouting out the chorus, as if you’ve been crushed by someone as well (and maybe you have):

“But if you loved me
Why’d you leave me?
Take my body
Take my body
All I want is,
And all I need is
To find somebody.
I’ll find somebody like you.”

My line that slays me the most in that song is: “So you brought out the best of me, a part of me I’ve never seen,” especially since most guys would never admit that a lady brought out the best in them. I love the build and raw intensity of this song, and the honest/vulnerable lyrics definitely dig the deep. In the category of heartbreak songs, this is one of the best new ones I’ve heard.

By the end of the set, my cheeks were permanently flushed. Kodaline has charm, talent, looks, AND an Irish accent. No wonder why they reel in a huge sea of young girls! This was much more obvious six months later when I saw them at a sold out O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire gig, and found it difficult to hear Steve voice over thousands of screaming girls. A much different atmosphere compared to the small, intimate crowd at the Great Escape, but I guess that’s what happens when bands BLOW UP.

As part of their encore at O2 Shepard’s Bush, Kodaline surprised us all when they  performed a cover of Sam Cooke‘s ‘Bring It On Home to Me,’  from the balcony of the crowd (see video below). Steve introduced this cover as one of their “old time favorite love songs.” It’s pretty impressive that they were able to silence and entire crowd of 2,000+ screaming fans to be heard without microphones. I’m seeing artists do this more and more and I LOVE IT. Keeps us fans on our toes! x

Other favorite songs: The Answer, All My Friends, High Hopes, Way Back When

VIDEOS:

 Bring It On Home (Sam Cooke cover):

PICTURES:

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Kodaline– The Great Escape, Brighton

(May 17, 2013)

VIDEOS:

All Comes Down to You:

Love Like This:

All I Want:

PICTURES:


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Half Moon Run- “She wants to know just who I am…She can make you work for the worth that she has”

Half Moon Run– Rough Trade, London

(January 31, 2013)

Half Moon Run (my favorite new disocvery of 2013) is a talented young band from Canada that was born out of hardships/desperation in Montreal’s Mile-End district. The original trio (now quartet) were motivated to create a unique sound restless indie, pop and folk layered with beautiful rhythmic harmonies, delicate guitar lines and subtle electronica.

Devon Portielje’s remarkable voice is beautifully backed up by Connor Molander and Dylan Phillips. Phillips often plays drums and keys simultaneously as Molander and Portielje shuffle between guitar, keys, samplers, and percussion. Just last year (2013), picked up a 4th member, multi-instrumentlist Isaac Symonds, who adds vocals, guitar, mandolin, keyboards and percussion. Altogether, the create a soundscape of folk harmonies with psychedelic arrangements and a hint of Radiohead-esque electronica. The selling point for me was when they used TRIPLE DRUMS (staggered “hocketing” style) for their huge hit, ‘Call Me in the Afternoon.’  The only other bands I have seen do triple drums since then are The Boxer Rebellion (song called ‘New York’) and Wild Cub (song called ‘Thunder Clatter’). I am STILL LEVITATING from their performance at Village Underground (first time I saw them), and had to see them THREE MORE TIMES (Green Man, O2 Shepard’s Bush, Rough Trade East) when they were touring through the UK that same year.

They are just an insanely talented musicians with siiiiiiick stage presence and dramatic gestures that ooze all sort of sexiness. They seem SO COMFORTABLE with the crowd (always engaging with us), and it might have something to do with the fact that they toured for a few years in Canada before they came over here to play.  And there are so many layers of sounds that I never know what beat to move my body to! It’s hard to pick favorites, but I must say that Call Me In the Afternoon, She Wants to Know, Give Up, Judgement, Full Circle, Fire Escape, and 21 Gun Salute are on the top. I also really enjoy their acoustic, folk-driven cover of Pink Mountaintop‘s Creature, which they always save for the end and bring a wooden board out on stage to create fierce, feverish STOMPS. Plus, it’s one of the only songs they whip out the lovely mandolin for.

It happened to be CRAZY ODDS that my FAVORITE NEW BAND of 2013 (Half Moon Run) were playing ON MY BIRTHDAY (see videos/pics of the O2 Shepard’s Bush gig in November). Very lucky lady indeed! My head was BOBBING AROUND non-stop (like a true Bobblehead) from all the hypnotic beats, seductive guitar lines, and sexy vocals. Restless elements of indie, pop, & folk fused together to create an irresistible sound. Not to mention that they could basically win an academy award for their animation on stage. Devon (lead vocals) was SLAYING HIS GUITAR so hard that he actually CUT HIS FINGERS on the strings and continued to play with BLOOD SMEARING ALL ACROSS THE SHAFT. That’s DIE HARD right there, and I was right in front to see it unfold before my eyes. 

In the end, I was VERY LUCKY to have met these magic makers (see pic of me and Devon below) at both Green Man and Rough Trade East, and I CAN’T WAIT to see them again when they play the British Summertime Festival at Hyde park this Saturday (July 12, 2014) with Neil Young, The National, Tom Odell, and Lucy Rose.

VIDEOS:

21 Guns Salute:

Judgement:

Unofferable:

Call Me in the Afternoon:

She Wants to Know:

PICTURES:

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Half Moon Run– O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire, London

(Nov 18, 2103)

BEST BIRTHDAY TREAT EVER!!! Front & center for my FAVORITE NEW BAND OF 2103. ❤

VIDEOS:

Turn Your Love:

Unofferable:

Need it:

Give Up:

Full Circle:

She Wants to Know (beginning):

Vampire (Pink Mountaintop cover):

PICTURES:

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Half Moon Run– Green Man, Wales (Aug 18, 2103)

VIDEOS:

Full Circle:

PICTURES:

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Half Moon Run– Village Underground, London

(June 25, 2013)

VIDEOS:

Call me in the Afternoon:   (MY FAVORITE!)

Nerve:

Judgement:

Drug You:

Give Up:

She Wants to Know:

Vampire (Pink Mountain cover):

PICTURES:

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