Future Islands @ The Haunt, Brighton on 9th March 2012 on Flickr.
I only became aware of Future Islands at the end of 2011 having seen them play at the ATP, Nightmare Before Xmas event in December. They’re a trio of a brilliant an understated bassist, a Chris Lowe-esque synth player, and crooning frontman Samuel T. Herring. Samuel T. Herring makes me think of Jaz Coleman’s younger, smaller, funkier brother. Same intensity, same passion, similar appearance - but Samuel is much more nimble on his feet. He’s a brilliant front man. Constantly moving. Very expressive and displaying an extraordinary range of emotions, with dramatic hand gestures, occasionally grinning like a madman, even slapping himself across the face now and then. There’s no half measures with Samuel T. Herring - he gives every line of every song everything he’s got. He’s also one of the best dancers I’ve ever seen. That alone would make Future Islands a compelling live experience however there’s more. Future Islands trade in a wonderful brand of splendid synthpop that’s chockablock with hooks and swelling melodies that generally seem to involve love, loss, yearning etc. It’s a heady brew.