- 07 Feb 15
The first 400 people to buy albums in HMV's Dublin stores were treated to a fine set on a unique Saturday afternoon in the capital...
Whelan's. Saturday afternoon. Four hundred Kodaline fans - the first through the doors to buy copies of Coming Up For Air in HMV's Dublin stores on Friday - gathered for a very special gig.
Full gallery of festivities here by Hot Press' Kathrin Baumbach
Special wristbands had been allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, and the lucky fans with the 'bands queued outside the Camden St venue from early morning. Fresh from their interview with Ryan Tubridy - and the attendant live performance - on The Late Late Show the previous night, the band were in rocking form. As a result, fans were treated to a wonderful, intimate 40-minute acoustic performance Swords finest...
Before taking to the stage, the Dublin superstars-in-the-making hosted a brief backstage press conference, during which they spoke about working on the new album with ac producer Jacknife Lee - best known for his work with Snow Patrol and U2. "We didn't really know if things were going to work out," offered lead singer Steve Garrigan. "We went out there almost as an experiment, to see what might happen. But we hit it off and it turned into a really fruitful relationship."
Asked by Hot Press whether they had any fears about recreating some of the more processed sonic textures of the album on stage, guitarist Mark Prendergast shrugged. "Not really," he said. "When we started into rehearsals we decided that all we're gonna do is an interpretation of the songs, rather than trying to mimic the sound of the album. It was quite exciting actually. We used a lot of new toys in the studio in the making of it - pedals, electronic drums etc - and, in the end,inevitably we bring some of that to the live show. But there's still only four of us onstage and it's us that you hear - nothing else."
There were chuckles all round when they were asked if the album's title Coming Up For Air was a reference to the George Orwell novel of the same name. "No (laughter). It was more about the fact that we'd been out on tour for two and a half years and when we went into the studio we had a chance to write songs with no pressure. It was about just being able to breathe again."
As for the atmosphere in Whelan's, the air was mainly being expelled by the fans in the form of screams which went into overdrive when the four lads took to the stage a few minutes later. They performed a couple of tracks from the new album including the superb single 'Honesty', which is clearly a firm fan favourite already. But it was mainly a mini-greatest hits set that included, 'Love Like This' ,'All I Want' and the inevitable 'High Hopes'. After the show, the lads stayed on to chat to fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
It was one of those special gigs. See you at the Royal Hospital...