LIVE: Future Islands – The Roundhouse, London 30.03.15

Twelve months ago Future Islands made their career-altering network television debut on the time honoured David Letterman Show, fast forward to the present day and the Baltimore based synth-pop trio are about to start a two night spell at iconic London venue The Roundhouse. These two shows signalling their biggest UK gigs to date.

As soon as the band takes to the stage there’s real sense of belonging. There will be no heckles or jeers here this evening: this is an audience ready to be entertained.

Starting the set with the brooding ‘Back in the Tall Grass’ and then the anthemic ‘Dream of Me and You’, both from their latest album Singles, the audience are already in the palm of front man Samuel T. Herring’s sweaty hand.

Accompanied by Gerrit Wilmer’s harmonious eighties synth melodies and William Cashion’s throbbing bass-lines, the show develops into an impressive mixture of old and new, capturing the best from their, possibly overlooked, four album back catalogue. High points include ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ with all its passion and intensity and the swirling, organ driven ‘Walking Through That Door’ from their 2010 album In Evening Air.

As the songs from the latest album come and go, the crowd appear to cheer more and more for the performing antics of the band’s bewitching singer; a reaction possibly deriving from the three million plus views The Letterman Show performance has generated online. Every nimble whirl and gyration applauded and admired, Herring gives the fans what they want as he stares menacingly, thumping his chest and prowling across the stage, presenting every quality of a competent front man. Herring has a powerful and bewitching stage presence, a persona so strong that even his trousers can’t handle it, splitting half way through the set to cheers of delight.

In the twelve months since Future Islands jettisoned themselves into our musical conscience, they have become one of the hardest working bands on the touring circuit. Tirelessly touring and developing their musical craft to perfection, it’s time the band reaped the acclaim they richly deserve.

It’s clear tonight’s audience were more familiar with the band’s most current material but nevertheless, this sold out venue appreciated every synth note, guttural growl and pulsing beat and rhythm that emanated from Herring and his equally talented band mates.

Closing the show with the powerful ‘Fall From Grace’, the band have given their patient UK fans exactly what they wanted and have most importantly shown that they can hold their own in a venue of this size.

So, perhaps its time we moved on from those YouTube clips, because there is more to Future Islands than meets the eye.

Go Listen.

Dan Smith


Dan Smith

Dan Smith

Dan Smith

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