Search

Future Islands at All Points East: Wild frontman lifts pedestrian rock songs to impressive heights

PUBLISHED: 13:30 04 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:40 04 June 2018

Samuel T Herring on stage with Future Islands at All Points East in Victoria Park on Saturday. Picture: Louise Morris

Samuel T Herring on stage with Future Islands at All Points East in Victoria Park on Saturday. Picture: Louise Morris

© 2014 Louise Morris

Part Godfather, part screaming death metal demon, Samuel T Herring channels so many wildly divergent influences that it can be downright confusing to watch him.

But Future Islands’ frontman is also one of the most compelling rock singers around, roaring his way through an hour-long set while deploying moves that evoke everything from disco-dancing dad to violent despair in the space of seconds.

Periodically he pounds his chest so hard the thud is clearly audible through the mic he holds more than a foot away. Then, seconds later, he’s goofing around asking the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to keyboardist Gerrit Welmers, like we didn’t all just witness something dark and animalistic breaking out of him.

There’s plenty to enjoy, with old favourite Balance and newer song Time on Her Side among the highlights – not to mention the 2014 single that broke them into the just-about-big time, Seasons (Waiting on You).

But this mechanically precise band and its theatrical, perplexing singer make every moment worth watching, even for someone who isn’t usually the biggest fan of their material. If you can bring casual viewers along for a ride this eccentric, you’d be a sound addition to any festival lineup.

Birthdays aside, Herring’s between-song banter is peculiarly formal, even reverent, something like James Stewart doing a Sean Connery impression, or perhaps vice versa. He’s so well mannered as to be an anachronism, and plenty humble – he seems a lot more surprised than we are that Future Islands are so high up the bill for the festival’s main stage.

If there’s a complaint, it’s that the band seem to have found a groove that works for them and appear reluctant to push out of it. The riffs sparkle out of the mix, the choruses are hooky if a bit strange, and Herring gives everything 110 per cent. But just as on record, the band’s 1980s-tinged guitar plod can be a little samey, even pedestrian, though Herring’s throaty delivery undoubtedly lifts Future Islands out of the crowd.

But you can’t fault them as performers. With the sunshine beating down on Victoria Park, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

3/5

Related articles

Latest East London Entertainment Stories

Friday, September 14, 2018

Artists are throwing open their studio doors to the public in east London this weekend as part of a free ‘open studios’ event for the 50th anniversary of the Space arts organisation.

Friday, September 14, 2018

A choir that takes on new members without auditions is recruiting for its Christmas concert performance in Limehouse.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A family history event is being staged to help anyone who thinks their ancestors may have been East End suffragettes fighting for votes for women more than 100 years ago.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Troxy is slipping back through a timewarp on September 23 with a nostalgic performance on its historic Wurlitzer theatre organ.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Top fashion returns to Canary Wharf later this month with three days of catwalk shows, pop-up boutiques, live music and enticing discounts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Secondary school pupils from east London have met the cast of Dreamgirls stage production in the West End in a move to inspire the next generation of theatre talent.

Friday, September 7, 2018

One lovable pussy-cat is taking over the iconic Tower Bridge for the day when a new feline adventure book comes out.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Some of the ‘Little Ships’ that took part in the Dunkirk wartime military evacuations are among vintage sailing and motor boats taking part in a floating festival at St Katharine Docks this weekend.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now