With tickets for tonight’s gig at €13.00 (including booking fee) it is little surprise that Kodaline sold out The Button Factory. Support on the night came from the talented and charismatic Irish singer/songwriter Gavin James and the young English singer Lewis Watson who is enjoying a lot of international recognition lately. It was great value for a concert.
First up on stage was the young Dubliner Gavin James who recently supported Marina & the Diamonds in The Olympia. At just 20 years old Gavin seems well used to the music scene and his ability to hit a wide range of notes is evidence of his emerging talent. Within minutes of walking on stage he has anyone who isn’t standing at the bar eating out of his hands! Being a solo artist there is always the risk that he will be lost on a stage but his strong vocals and melodic guitar playing really stand out.
His infectiously catchy song “Say Hello” (Video Below) see’s the crowd really getting into his music. During his short set he informs the crowd about his new EP called ‘Say Hello’ (which I happily bought). His set comes to an end with Gavin asking the crowd to sing along to his final song. This was a bold move for the first act of the night! It says a lot for him that almost everyone in the crowd was singing towards the end. I will be keeping an eye on Gavin James over the next few months and with a headline slot in Whelans coming up he is sure to go from strength to strength.
Next up was Lewis Watson who is joined on stage by a drummer and a bassist/keyboardist. The young singer has supported Kodaline on their English dates and also has upcoming gigs in Australia supporting fellow British musician Birdy. The set starts off well with the crowd paying attention to the trio. For the third song Lewis is left on stage alone and preforms a cover of English band Bombay Bicycle Club’s song ‘Lamplight. This is the song that gained Lewis fame in the first place. In 2010 he uploaded his cover of the song to YouTube, which started his rise to fame. To close the set Lewis and his band continue the trend of crowd interaction when they eventually have the majority of the audience clapping along to their final song.
His new EP ‘Another Four Sad Songs’ is really worth a listen. This will not be the last you hear of Lewis Watson.
It eventually came time for the headline act of the night to grace us with their presence. Their debut EP ‘The Kodaline” only has 4 tracks on it so I was slightly worried that it would be a short and sweet set. Thankfully this wasn’t the case.
They opened with the song ‘Lose Your Mind’ which is much heavier live than it is on the EP. This was a great set opener and really had the crowd waiting for more. Well-known songs ‘Pray’ and ‘Perfect World’ came next. The harmonies that they used on all of these songs were fantastic and really show how polished a band they are.
The Button Factory was full of professional cameras on the night. It became clear why when lead singer Steve Garrigan informs the audience that they are recording the night for an upcoming project. He also tells us about a new eagerly awaited album that is due out in March 2013. The four-piece then launch into their new material which sends any fears of a short set out the door.
The new songs ‘High Hopes’, ‘Love Like This’ and ‘One Day’ are all brilliant and leave everyone present really anticipating the new EP. It also shows us the progression that they are making as a band. A mandolin and harmonica are new additions to the bands arsenal and really make the new songs stand out from the old ones.
With almost 1million views on their YouTube video for ‘All I Want’(Video Below) and its appearance on American TV show Greys Anatomy its no wonder that this song gets the biggest reception of the night. With the crowd holding cameras in the air the band launch into their biggest hit to date. The lights, the perfect sound in the Button Factory and the crowd all mix perfectly to create a spine tingling moment where everybody in the place is singing in unison. As the last note fades out the band leave, only to come back on 2 minutes later for an encore.
The encore is as special as the set that came before it. All 4 members of the band get the crowd snapping their fingers along with them in time to a beat. With just a guitar they launch into an almost acapella version on the Sam Cooke classic “Bring It On Home”. If you had any doubt about the voices of Kodaline listen to this cover and it will change your mind. The night ended with their song ‘The Answer’ being sung with impressive passion.
With tickets only €13 it was well worth it to see 3 brilliant acts that are only going to get bigger as times goes by.
For more information on Gavin James have a look here
More information on Lewis Watson can be found on his website