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Kaleo, O2 Institute, Birmingham - REVIEW

Entertainment | Published:

Rock 'n' roll is alive - you heard it here first.

I was introduced to Icelandic four-piece Kaleo only a few weeks ago, and instantly fell in love with their studio album A/B.

When the opportunity to see the folk/blues band at the O2 Institute in Birmingham on Saturday night came up I snatched at the chance - and was I glad I did.

The lights went out and remained low as the band came out and frontman Jökull Júlíusson's took to the microphone and started the haunting whistle of I Can't Go On Without You.

It is a slower track to start on, but builds into with a heavy blues chorus, before finishing with that same whistle.

I was completely gripped, as were most others around me.

Kaleo play through their repertoire of songs including the beautiful Automobile (my personal highlight of the night), the rocky No Good, and the hugely successful single Way Down We Go, which got by far the biggest sing along of the night.

Júlíusson's soulful and gritty voice is one of the strongest I have ever heard. That is no exaggeration.

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The Icelandic fans in the crowd were also in fine voice for Vor í Vaglaskógi the only song they sing in their native tongue.

A tremendous cover of Cher's Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) was also thrown in for good measure.

When the band went off stage at the end of the set the roar for an encore was deafening and the balcony was shaking under the stomping of feet. They of course obliged with one more song.

"Lets have some fun," shouted Júlíusson as the band crashed into their final song Rock 'n' Roller which had the crowd bouncing.

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Although a relatively short set of just under an hour and a half, no one left the building disappointed.

Everyone knew they had just sat and watched something special.

This is the start of a long career, and it won't be long before they are playing much bigger venues.

By Nathan Rowden

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