Hard-haul Bal­ti­more band sees the fu­ture, and it’s all good

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - Jim Car­roll on mu­sic For more see irish­times.com/blogs/ ontherecord

There is one mu­sic story to glad­den the heart this year. It’s one of those all-round favourites, the tale of a band who’ve be­come an overnight suc­cess af­ter nu­mer­ous al­bums, tours and years on the go. It’s also the story of how a ran­dom TV ap­pear­ance can do won­ders for you.

US syn­th­pop­pers Fu­ture Is­lands went from “who dat?” to “WTF!” af­ter a March 3rd ap­pear­ance on The Late Show with David Let­ter­man. For­get about the three al­bums be­fore Sin­gles came along. For­get about the end­less shows. (In Ir­ish in­die cir­cles, their first head­lin­ing 2009 show in Whelan’s has be­come the GPO of Easter 1916 in Ir­ish in­die cir­cles.) For­get about ev­ery­thing, bar those three min­utes and 40 sec­onds on the TV.

It’s rare to see an ac­tual tip­ping point hap­pen in front of your very eyes. We’ve seen acts like The Na­tional go large af­ter years and years of try­ing, but can’t at­tribute that to one ap­pear­ance. But Fu­ture Is­lands did it with hun­dreds of thou­sands of people at homse watch­ing Sam Her­ring’s vis­ceral and un­stop­pable per­for­mance.

As their pro­file has soared, crowds have been turn­ing out at nu­mer­ous fes­ti­vals just to seem them. From SXSW in March to the Great Es­cape ear­lier this month, Fu­ture Is­lands have be­come the hottest ticket around. There was so much de­mand for their Ir­ish show in Vicar Street later this year that an­other one was added.

Fu­ture Is­lands are reap­ing the re­wards of the long run. But it’s also an in­di­ca­tion that, even in a time when so­cial me­dia and new mar­ket­ing machi­na­tions are the way of the walk, some­thing as old-fash­ioned as a knockout ap­pear­ance on a TV chat show can have the most amaz­ing knock-on ef­fects.

David Let­ter­man with Fu­ture Is­lands

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