Kodaline have High Hopes for City Gig

KODALINE just can't stop gigging.

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Kodaline say they might go busking in Glasgow
Kodaline say they might go busking in Glasgow

They are set to hit the Barrowland on Tuesday night for their biggest headline Scottish show yet.

But the High Hopes outfit are already aiming to fit in another gig on the same day - and might even busk in Buchanan Street if they have to.

"Busking is one of the hardest things to do, it can be intimidating just standing there and 90% of people are just going to walk by," says singer Steven Garrigan, who often busked on the band's American tour last year.

"That's similar to the music industry. Then you get others who stop and appreciate it, and that's what it's about.

"We might do it in Glasgow, I think every time we have played Glasgow we have gone to an acoustic night or a bar afterwards, or played outside the venue."

As Steven says, the band has history in putting on secret shows, including appearing at an East Kilbride bar last year as a warm-up for T In The Park.

At that stage in their career the Dublin foursome - Steven, Jason Boland, Vincent May, Mark Prendergrast - were on the rise, and they have just kept getting higher since then.

Debut album In A Perfect World went Top 3 in the charts, they have been picked to support Kings of Leon at the American rockers' upcoming Irish gig, and their American tour featured a string of sold-out gigs.

They have even been roped in to help boy band superstars One Direction for their next album.

Steven reckons it's all down to the emotion that runs through their songs, and he doesn't mind putting his personal feelings under the spotlight.

"Sometimes it's difficult to be singing the lyrics every night, but it's more daunting the first time I play them," he says.

"A song is like a brick wall, you can hide behind a song when you're pouring your heart out - people can be so opinionated about songs and like them in different ways, and when people like a song it's not really yours anymore."

For years the group felt like they were hitting a brick wall, not hiding behind it. Steven and school friend Mark formed pop band 21 Demand in their teens, even topping the Irish charts with single Give Me A Minute.

Yet they weren't happy, and formed Kodaline, placing more of an emphasis on big, anthemic tunes with huge sing-a-long choruses.

Their hard work has paid off, but focusing on music wasn't easy for Steven, who dropped out of college to follow his music dreams.

"I come from a college-orientated family and am the only one who's dropped out, so it was scary to tell my parents I'd done that," he says.

"When you think of the bigger picture though, there are bigger struggles than that going on in the world, and I'm fortunate to have good friends and family. So I took a step back and thought why am I worried about this? I switched off for a few months and then channelled that into the music."

Now the focus is on channelling his energy into their current tour and then a return to the studio, where they will start recording their second album in May.

Steven's optimistic their follow-up to In A Perfect World will move things forward for the group, without shaking the formula around too much.

"It's still lyrically about lots of things in the world from my point of view, but the sounds have changed," he adds.

"I'd like to think it's better because we are growing up as a band, we've travelled the world and met a lot of new people, so we could write an anthology about those experiences. It will be different but we're not going to do an instrumental funk album or anything like that."

As well as that they've helped to pen a tune or two for One Direction, but Steven's more enthused when it comes to talking about another passion of his - the supernatural.

A huge horror movie fan (he lists his favourite as classic chiller Rosemary's Baby) the singer has been looking out for ghosts and ghouls…

"I'm obsessed with the supernatural," he says.

"Some of the studios we have played in are apparently haunted, although I'm still sceptical.

"I did go searching around and into the basement to see if I could find anything but I didn't see any ghosts."

n Kodaline, tonight, Barrowland, sold out, 7pm

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