Review: Scala & Kolacny Brothers at the Olympia, Dublin
In the age of “The Glee Effect”, newcomers could be forgiven for thinking that a troupe of 15 girls singing covers of rock songs would be gimmicky. However, Scala & Kolacny Brothers (Steven and Stijn) are anything but with classical roots that go back 16 years.
The Olympia was a perfect setting and it highlighted how much the venue in Cork had let their last performance here down. The varied setlist featured songs such as Marylin Manson‘s ‘Beautiful People‘ and Peter Gabriel‘s ‘Solsbury Hill’ with some Coldplay, Alanis Morisette, Radiohead, Sting and more besides. Some of my favourites turned out to be original compositions by accompanist Steven, in particular ‘Seashell‘ which makes a welcome reappearance on their latest album.
The simplicity of the arrangements of some songs including ‘Creep‘, ‘Nothing Else Matters‘ and ‘With Or Without You‘ were sublime. Their professional edge shone during acapella deliveries with perfect harmonies and wonderful stage presence. From the serene delicacy of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow‘, we’re taken to another extreme with a pulsating europop anthem penned by Steven with the full house clapping and whooping along. Mesmirising stuff.
Featuring on the soundtrack of Downton Abbey has won them a new wave of fans in Ireland and the UK but it is favour long overdue.
From the experience of being on both sides of the microphone, choral performances – be they rock, gospel, classical or otherwise – are difficult beasts to deliver while keeping the audience happy and entertained. This gang do it superbly, with a winning combination of a varied repertoire, pitch perfect delivery and subtle choreography.
Promising to return to the Olympia soon for a two night run before long, you can be guaranteed demand for tickets will be the same if not greater so keep your eyes peeled and make sure you don’t miss out.
You can check them out online at scalachoir.com, on Facebook and on Twitter @scala_kolacny. There’s plenty to get your teeth into on iTunes including their latest release, a self-titled ‘best of’ collection featuring a selection of their most popular pieces.