Miriam Doona caught up with Mark Prendergast of Kodaline for a quick interview.
Over 2,000 guests attended the event. Official ceremonies were promptly followed by the Irish American Flag Football Classic. Embassy diplomats, marines and Gaelic, rugby and soccer players took part in the sports event.
Half-time entertainment was provided by Irish acoustic folk-rock quartet Kodaline.
The band consists of Northsiders Jason Boland, Vinny May, Mark Prendergast and Stephen Garrigan.
Arguably, the current Irish music scene is in a state of evolution and metamorphosis. There is an influx of sublimely talented young Irish musicians arriving on the scene before our eyes – and Kodaline are very much a part of this army of new talent.
The Dublin band were originally called 21 Demands and under that name they made chart history in 2007: their debut single ‘Give Me a Minute’ was the first independently released track to top the Irish singles chart.
As Kodaline, the band released their debut album In a Perfect World in Ireland on June 14, and in just under a week, it hit the number one spot on the Irish albums chart.
The atmosphere at their American embassy performance was very relaxed.
Guitarist Mark Prendergast explained how surreal things have been for them. They were just fresh from a 2pm slot at Glastonbury festival, which was full to capacity and he relayed how delighted they were with this amplitude, as their stage time overlapped with Jake Bugg’s performance.
Mark said the band was “enjoying the festival lifestyle and hanging out with other bands”.
Kodaline’s manager Duncan Eliis said: “They will be busy, with a four weeks headline tour in the States anticipated in September and October.”
For their half-time performance, Kodaline did four numbers – ‘Love Like This’, ‘High Hopes’, ‘All Comes Down To’ and ‘All I Want’ – all of which were received to the delight of the accumulated crowd.
It was an intimate performance by a band full of heart with sincere lyrics, emotional vocals and a nice screaming harmonica presence.
All dressed in black and denim, Kodaline have been friends since they were young(er) and that fact was very obvious, considering the chemistry of this band was so good.
I had pondered if they played four songs had any significance to the Fourth of July and the fact that it was the fourth annual event of this nature in the Ambassador’s residence.
However this was not the case, as Mark explained
“It was we all could do,” he said, “because we had just over one hour to get to the airport after the four songs and catch a flight to London to do a gig there that night.”
In true rock ‘n’ roll style, the band had a garda escort waiting to accompany them and get them there on time. Respect.