Kodaline are a guilty pleasure. This was my first thought walking into the sold out Manchester Apollo. Before the gig their Wikipedia page told me they got their break coming runners up in a talent show and their borderline annoyingly catchy tunes regularly soundtrack American film and television. These are components of a band’s rise that can provoke prejudice and I had definitely judged far too soon. The band from Dublin definitely know how to put on a show and I was pleasantly surprised with how many songs I somehow knew, as if I’d heard them in my sleep but clearly this wasn’t the case and I must have heard them on the radio or out shopping. Catchy pop songs are like tha. They find a way for you to hear them. At a certain point they’re inescapable. Kodaline’s singles have this power.

Sometimes lead singer Steve Garrison’s showmanship leads much to be desired and at other times, letting the audience repeat back vocals, he skirts close to tribute act at a wedding but he’s an impressive talent. His vocals held up to the record, which is no easy feat considering the high notes in 'High' Hopes. Irish flags were flying in the Apollo and for the devoted it was clearly a memorable night. For the less informed like myself, it was still time very well spent. For a band with only two albums they really know how to write a pop song and I look forward to their next release.

Support act Aine Cahill had great, effortless vocals and relaxed in between song banter that started the night off brilliantly. Her track 'Blood Diamonds' felt like an odd, brilliant mash up of Rihanna and Adele.

Highlights of the night include 'Brand New Day', 'Love Like This', 'High Hopes' and Cahill’s latest single 'Blood Diamonds'.

Photographs by Marie Hazelwood

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