Live Review: Island – Nottingham


Nottingham, Bodega, 7th November 2017

Words: Emily Leonard

On Tuesday the 7th of November in the charmingly compact upstairs space of Nottingham’s The Bodega, Leif Erickson joyously came on stage to invigourate the crowd’s spirits ready for ISLAND – and what a splendid job of doing so they did. The 5 piece indie rocker’s performed an array of songs from their debut self-titled album, starting off with arguably their most famous track Real Stuff before rocking out to another one of their better known tunes ‘Green Leaves’. The band also played the  softer melody of Jungle TV which allowed the room to fill with a magically mellow mood. In addition to this, we were lucky enough to hear two beautifully written new songs and with the tapping of toes and swaying of heads, everyone around seemed to approve.

As the lights in the room then went mysteriously dim, a tantalising interlude began to play, teasing us for what seemed a lot longer than the 30 seconds of reality. The charismatic four piece walked on stage and whilst the boys took their places, the roar of the audience echoed from the walls. Finally, the luxurious sound of ISLAND’s melodic music filled our ears and the band commenced with a glorious new tune named Horizon. To open up with a song that fans aren’t familiar with could be consider a risky move but I’d say it paid off as fans around were in a trance, taking in every nuance of rhythm and lyrics.

The audience’s ears and bodies instantly sprung up with the recognition of the music and lyrics to the ever popular Waves. The raspy vocals of Rollo Doherty clash with the happy guitar sounds from James Wolfe and Jack Reader, producing a harmonious and entrancing sound. Doherty then took the time to introduce Toby Richards and James Wolfe to the audience and with this came a cacophony of wolf whistles (no pun intended) and screams of endearment!

Proceeding with the music, a gentle yet powerful bassline began, allowing the crowd to feel in a spell-bound haze. The chorus lyrics The Day I Die, which is also the name of the track, deliver a strong message and alongside  Doherty’s husky and seductive vocals, the entirety of the track conveys an on going crescendo of emotion and intensity.

The set list then went on to provide a collection of previously released tracks, to which the audience appeared very enthusiastic  towards. I’ve Been Searching was up before  Come With Me and it was in this song the introduction for guitar player Jack Ryder was announced. They then seamlessly continued on to A Place You Like and this definitely appeared to be a firm fan favourite as, as far as I could see, all audience members were either singing or dancing along, or both.

Two new songs were next up – Ride, a tune that presented itself with happy and captivating vibes and Try which is the band’s first recently released single off their upcoming debut album Feels Like Air. After finishing their previous song, bass player, James Wolfe took the microphone from lead singer, Rollo Doherty, to announce that he had a stitch. The room then filled up with laughter and this brought a feeling of joy and intimacy to everyone around and the timing of which couldn’t have been better as the next song up was All You Ever Needed Was Love and with the main lyrics being the same words as the title of the song, the place felt full of love and positive vibes.

The evening was drawing to an end, but fortunately it wasn’t over just yet and the next song to be played, shared such beauty. Feels Like Air is one of my favourite songs by the band. The poignant elegance of the lyrics can’t help but touch your soul and the delicacy of the song transformed the audience into a state of reverence and it didn’t end there. Stargazer was next and the lights shone yellow, revealing a warm and happy glow around.

Before the conclusion of the night, ISLAND thanked us all for coming and shared one last song with us – Spotless Mind and with the soft intro of the song, the audience peacefully swayed along until boom! The chorus hit and everyone around was singing the passionate lyrics of “What if I never asked you your name” as the lights fiercely flashed between red and blue. The interaction between the band and the audience in this song made it the perfect way to end the show, leaving the crowd on an energetic high.

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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