When you trek out to the Manchester Apollo on a cold miserable night you hope the journey is going to be worth the effort.
In the case of Future Islands on Friday evening every frozen bone was worth it.
The band, originally from Greenville North Carolina but now based in Baltimore Maryland, are being called one of the best live acts around, and in front man Samuel T Herring they have a superb charismatic performer who’s intense almost hypnotic delivery of some dark emotional lyrics is almost hidden by poppy synthesizers and thumping bass lines. Its almost like the crowd are dancing to Herring’s anguish.
Future Islands have been together since 2006 although Herring, keyboard player Gerrit Welmers, bass and guitar player William Cashion have known each other since school, and since the departure of original drummer Erick Morillo they have remained a three piece outfit using a touring drummer(tonight it was Michael Lowry).
Having just played three consecutive sold out nights at Brixton Academy you might think the band would be suffering from both mental and physical fatigue, but no sign of it tonight as Herring greets an ecstatic crowd with a big grin on his face, they have after played over 1000 live shows in the past few years.
Kicking off with In The Fall from a 2010 EP, Future Islands speed thorough a lengthy set list covering all of their five albums with the latest The Far Field and the previous Singles album taking the biggest hits. Herring is truly an amazing front man,swooping and swerving across the stage with almost unlimited energy. When the band play Seasons(Waiting For You) probably the best known Future Islands song at the moment the crowd erupts. This song from 2014’s Singles album was voted best song of the year by many music critics and following a live performance on the Late Show with David Letterman became an internet sensation in part due to Herring’s amazing performance.
Future Islands however are in no way a one song band and the latest album The Far Field is doing well and tracks like Aladdin, North Star and Beauty Of The Road are already becoming classics.
The band is clearly on an upward spiral and I guess tonight might have been one of the last chances to catch them in a more intimate setting, unfortunately the arenas are beckoning, hopefully the songs will keep coming and Samuel T Herring will keep dancing.