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Live: ISLAND // Islington Assembly Hall, London

Heavenly melodies and soaring soundscapes, ISLAND’s hometown show was a real midweek treat for all gathered at Islington Assembly Hall.

Bringing a grand finale to their intimate UK tour, ISLAND cast a spell on the crowd which filled up the Islington Assembly Hall last Wednesday night. With a set that captured and dazzled with every song they played, it was a very special evening that cemented the London-based four-piece as one of the most exciting bands on the UK music scene.

Ever since their debut single Stargazer was released in 2015, ISLAND have never compromised their values, cultivating their musical vision and sticking to what they do best. Delivering a couple of EPs and their debut album, Feels Like Air, along the way, they’ve continued to grow and expand their sound without ever undermining their integrity and authenticity. Here at GIG GOER, it seems like we’ve supported the band since the very start, but the fact that they still manage to impress us says quite a lot.

ISLAND’s show surely is not your average head-banging and moshing-inducing gig, more of a spiritual experience where the time stops and you can escape the outside world for a brief moment. Mellow harmonies, sentimental hooks and introspective lyrics, all mixed with a pure passion create wonders.

Gearing up to release their brand new EP this Spring, the band graced us with some new tracks, intensifying All In My Head and brooding Just That Time Of The Night, with the latter being one of the stand-out moments of the whole set. Serving us a great dose of daydreaming, as they do, there was an intangible feel to the track as the wistful undertones pierced right through. 

It’s been almost a year since they released their debut album, yet it still strongly resonates with their listeners. From the sparkling guitars in Ride to the thriving rhythmics in The Day I Die, the song compositions wonderfully translate into the live arrangement. Marrying delicate instrumentation with impassioned vocals is what’s been setting hearts racing this whole time.

Elsewhere in the set, oozing with vibrancy and a breezy feel, Waves seemed to reflect its swaying dynamics in the audience, whilst All You Ever Needed Was Love brought along a jaw-dropping instrumental outro, just before we were hit with the magnitude of Stargazer. In their signature atmospheric glow, Spotless Mind was a cherry on top as it rounded off the show.

With a flair for balancing on the verge of fantasy and reality, ISLAND create music that resonates and soothes even the most troubled souls. There’s a tinge of nostalgia embedded in their sonics, and an airy quality to it that makes the whole live experience so palpable and out of reach at the same time. Leaving their audience in awe of their performances, they’re set to have yet another exciting year ahead of them.

Photos: Kasia Osowiecka