Entertainment, Review

Review: Kaleo at Manchester Albert Hall

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By Tom Potts


Kaleo have been progressively building their fan base, both in their homeland of Iceland and overseas, since they formed in 2012. Having had their track ‘Way Down We Go’ featured in the trailer for Logan, the latest film in the X-Men and Wolverine franchise, Kaleo are finding their name pushed further and further into the mainstream.

The band’s recent headlining spot at Manchester’s Albert Hall brought droves of Kaleo fans into the converted church hall turned music venue. Entering the massive floor space, I found myself surrounded by excited whispers from fans of all ages. There was a clear energy within the room as the minutes ticked by until the first support act, Mirror Fury, took on the role of entertaining the crowd.

Their eventual arrival was surprisingly well received for a first support act, suggesting a large crossover of the two fan bases. Frontwoman Carina Bragg, although admitting her nerves in the face of such an overwhelming audience, still managed to harness an immense voice throughout their set.

Kaleo’s entrance captured the ecstatic crowd immediately and the four piece wasted no time bursting into their first song, ‘Broken Bones’, taken from their new album A/B. It’s slow blues-inspired opening notes slowly built into a foot stomping chorus that acted as a perfect warm up for the rest of the night.

Kaleo certainly proved their commitment to their fans throughout the night with the audience consistently singing, dancing and bouncing to each of the tracks, giving even a huge venue like the Albert Hall a warm and welcoming feel. There were clear influences from the American South music scene, with a number of tracks, especially those from their more recent albums such as ‘Glass House’, displaying the energetic rock ‘n’ roll vibes of bands like Shinedown and Kings of Leon. Other tracks, such as ‘No Good’, and ‘I Can’t Go On Without You’, incorporated a more bluesy feel, which was particularly effective at encouraging the crowd to sing along. These styles blended smoothly throughout the night and, where other bands might have some issue with combining their differing sounds from a number of different albums, Kaleo manage to make it seem easy.

The band exhibited immense charisma on the night, particularly bassist Daniel Kristjansson, who alternated between multiple complex chords whilst simultaneously acting as a kind of hype man for the crowd. The commitment of him, and the entire band, was a real show stealer at this point. If the scream of the audience, as towels and drumsticks were thrown after their final track, didn’t illustrate Kaleo’s growing popularity, then nothing will. Kaleo’s music had a clear resounding effect on their entire crowd, from the young boys standing at the front singing their hearts out, to the older fans energetically dancing and swaying further back by the venue’s bar. It is this ability to easily interact with their audience that give Kaleo a head start on their competition and will continue to do so as they reach new audiences.

You can find out more about Kaleo on Facebook and Twitter.

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