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Review: Future Islands deliver the goods at Norwich’s UEA LCR

PUBLISHED: 10:21 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:21 27 November 2017

Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring led his band through a powerful set at the University of East Anglia. Pic: Nigel Pickover.

Future Islands frontman Samuel T Herring led his band through a powerful set at the University of East Anglia. Pic: Nigel Pickover.

Archant

American indie band Future Islands delivered a wonderful Sunday night show in front of 1,400 people at Norwich’s UEA LCR last night.

Despite this being the final night in what they admitted had been a gruelling tour, the foursome delivered a tight 1 hour 45 set of melodic synth-led rock to an appreciative crowd.

Future IslandsFuture Islands

American indie band Future Islands delivered a wonderful Sunday night show in front of 1,400 people at Norwich’s UEA LCR last night.

Despite this being the final night in what they admitted had been a gruelling tour, the foursome delivered a tight 1 hour 45 set of melodic synth-led rock to an appreciative crowd.

Praise in particular for lead singer Sam Herring who stole the show with an intense performance of passion, the likes of which has become his trademark as the band have risen to fame in recent years.

For the uninitiated, Future Islands toiled for years with only limited success, before a now famous performance of Seasons (Waiting On You) on The Late Show With David Letterman captured the attention of music fans in the US and UK. They are now five albums in and their stock is on the rise.

It’s praise indeed that tonight that song is just one of many highlights in a set which contained few, if any, fillers.

Herring was on typical form and had the crowd mesmerised with his unique voice and even more unique moves.

He lives every lyric, looking at times agonised by their meaning. One minute he prowls the stage like a big cat stalking his prey, the next he’s all arms and legs as his body moves to the music.

It’s no wonder he complains his knees are suffering from so many gigs in this tour.

In contrast, the rest of the band barely even glance up from their instruments and you can’t help but wonder whether they are either a little shy of the limelight - or just worn out at the end of the tour.

It didn’t bother me though, because Herring takes the limelight while they do what they do best - play the music.

The atmospheric synth keyboards from Gerrit Welmers which define the sound. Meanwhile, with no lead guitarist in the band, bassist William Cashion and drummer Michael Lowry are vital to pulling it all together, which they do with aplomb.

There’s something a bit 80s about them and to give you an idea of the sound, many tracks wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack of current television favourite Stranger Things.

My highlights include A Dream of Me and You, Tin Man, Fall from Grace and Spirit, but I enjoyed every moment and came away thinking they are one of those bands whose songs are greatly enhanced when played live.

This was their first ever Norwich gig, they said, I just hope it won’t be their last.

* A few words of praise for support band Zack Mexico And their brilliant spaced-out 70s psychedelic rock outs. Just as I’d been bemoaning the lack of decent support bands at gigs of late, they went and broke the mould. Keep an eye out for them as I predict they’ll be back soon enough playing Norwich Arts Centre - and then who knows where next.

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