London based band, Island, make Newcastle their second stop on their first ever headline tour. Reminding us all that four-piece indie bands might still have a place in 2017.
The night starts off quiet, as Island’s mates, Leif Erikson, open with cool atmospheric tunes reminiscent of an early, much less produced, The War on Drugs. Their songs comprise of raw riffs and quiet harmonic backing vocals. The venue starts to slowly fill up as a small crowd forms and people quietly nod and bob along hypnotised by Leif Erikson’s short but sweet set.
Think Tank begins to rise in temperature as more arrive, from older people quietly residing at the back, eager 14 year old girls at the front and mildly drunk students in the middle.
Without a hello, they kick-start into a jam and the crowd begins to energetically sway
Half an hour later, Island walk on stage to a short instrumental teaser track from their new album which gets released in April next year. Without a hello, they kick-start into a jam and the crowd begins to energetically sway. The long-haired drummer swings his head up and down to accompany his rock-n-roll-esque drum-heavy beginning before the rest of the band members begin to bounce around the stage. Lead singer and front man, Rollo Doherty, starts to introduce the band. James Wolfe, is on bass, with some hefty head-banging. Jack Raeder, is on lead guitar, and whilst he is being introduced breaks into an almighty riff to showcase his talent. And lastly, Toby Richards on drums, who throughout the set often uses multiple percussion which thickens the sound.
Throughout the set, the band played popular favourites such as the gentle and airy ‘Come With Me’ and slightly dramatic ‘Girl’, to which some of the crowd earnestly sing along to the lyrics in pure admiration. Personal favourite, ‘Dreaming Of’ was emotional and nostalgic with its high-pitched lead guitar similar to The XX, but with the indie-rock twist guaranteed to bring you right back to being 15.
Although they are at the beginning of their career, Island has already gained a following and have even sold out venues this early on. There’s a lot of promise for this band, as they provide both easy listening and more lairy numbers. Despite the issue that indie’s hey-dey might arguably been and gone, Island have found a small, comfortable spot for themselves in 2017.