ournemouth 02 Academy

Future Islands

This year has seen a tremendous rise in popularity for North Carolina’s Future Islands after a successful appearance on the BBC’s Jools Holland show and a “Sold Out” tour, including two dates at London’s prestigious Brixton Academy. The band have extended their UK tour to include a few extra dates. Tonight’s show is completely sold out, which is in stark contrast to their first show in Bournemouth in August 2007 when there was only a handful of people in attendance.

Future Islands have brought along on tour with them their fellow North Carolina residents “Zack Mexico”, a band that feature a bass player, two drummers and three electric guitarists. After doing a little research on them beforehand I knew to expect something quite special. The band stroll on stage to a warm south coast welcome and immediately create a huge wall of psychedelic sound. The two drummers are completely in sync, hitting each beat simultaneously. The three guitarists all have their own induvial, considerable styles which merge together like an epic progressive jam.

Zack Mexico
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The bass player just stands on stage casually nodding in time, playing some effortlessly exceptional basslines. The whole energetic performance is just a joy to watch with lots of different textures and sounds and the band putting the emphasis on the music, as opposed to the understated vocals. The six-piece arrived on stage with few of the audience even knowing who they were and left the stage impressing virtually everyone here.

As the roadies prepare the stage for the main attraction, this elegant building began to come alive with a beautiful atmosphere of anticipation. The audience unusually is a complete mix of all ages, from people in their 60’s who waited all day to get the front row and young teenagers wanting to discover some new music. The band arrive on stage to a huge welcome and it was as if they were in their hometown; with the biggest cheers saved for the entrance of frontman Sam Herring, who randomly reminds me of my history teacher “Mr Williams” for some strange reason. The band kick off with “In The Fall” and have a really unique sound provided by Synths, bass and drums – a bit like The Killers without guitars with some darker tones, which remind me a little of The Cure.

Future Islands
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Sam stalks the stage thrilling every member of the audience with his very own version of Dad Dancing; his movements are fast and deliberate, sometime aggressive. With each song he gets right inside it acting out parts in his own original way, reminding me of Morrissey and a dash of Ian Curtis! He’s a showman and really knows how to whip up and entertain the audience with some nice soulful vocal delivery. The band play tunes from virtually all areas of their career; taking us on a journey of synth melodies, coupled with perfect rhythms. You cannot fault them musically, there is not one lull in their unshakable momentum with beautiful songs like “North Star” and the very passionate “A Song for Our Grandfathers”.

The band leave the stage and the crowd go absolutely wild – stomping, cheering and clapping demanding an encore. They dutifully return and they all seem genuinely moved by the amount of adulation that they have been given tonight from this sold out crowd. The evening ends with two more considerable tunes before Sam puts his hand on his heart and emotionally thanks the audience for their amazing support. This is certainly a band on the way up and if they keep up this momentum, we should see the band playing larger venues and major festivals in 2018

Set Lists
Future Islands
In The Fall
Beauty on the Road
A Dream of You and Me
Time on her Side
Walking Through That Door
North Star
Long Flight
Before the Bridge
Through the Roses
A Song for Our Grandfathers
Ancient Water
Inch of Dust
Seasons (Waiting on You)
Tin Man

Back in the Tall Grass
Vireo’s Eye
Little Dreamer

Zack Mexico
Weird Reef
Call Me Back
Meric Clanson



Words by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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