KODALINE, Brixton Academy – Evening Standard, 24 March 2014

Regardless of current theories about the waning popularity of guitar bands, there will always be an appetite for arms-aloft singalongs of any genre.

A family audience swayed and sang as one to the buoyant anthems of Kodaline, the young Irish quartet who have probably benefited the most from Coldplay’s recent absence.

Their debut album, In a Perfect World, was a No 1 in Ireland, top three here, and is currently rising up the US charts after a recent spot on American Idol. Once TV talent show entrants themselves, they have mass appeal thanks to a barrage of ballads that swell to powerful crescendos.

Singer Steve Garrigan wasn’t the most compelling frontman — if Brixton was asked if it was all right once, it was asked a thousand times — but his sweet voice handled the big moments in All Comes Down and Lose Your Mind capably.

An additional violinist added interesting textures on tracks such as Pray, and although they displayed fine taste with a cover of LCD Soundsystem’s All My Friends, theirs was a tame take that never really took off.

Almost inevitably for a band from just outside Dublin, there were hints of U2’s grandiosity in the epic sweep of more energetic songs such as After the Fall and Brand New Day. There was none of the charisma of the bigger boys, however, which Kodaline will need to rectify if they are to keep playing at the top.

July 11, Somerset House, WC2 (08444 999 990,somersethouse.org.uk/music