Now I know I may be becoming a little Foals obsessed, but the fact is I already was. I went to see Foals for the second time on Saturday night and it was “sick”. More to come on that.
The Invisible, a Mercury-nominated support act, were incredible. I know I’ve vaguely heard of them before, but it comes down to the classic situation of “never actually listening”. The mix of fairly chilled electronica and alt-pop perfectly balanced Foals’ more hardcore set and the band were obviously set well as musicians, playing complex layers around a spinning drum set and mixing up some very cool synthesised sounds. I especially enjoyed the last piece of the set; covering Pink Floyd is not the easiest task, but the fact that The Invisible’s sound is so different from the original really made it work. The band were also standing in the foyer on the way in (the friend I went with is to thank for pointing that out) – no band who consider themselves more than they actually are ever seem to stand around and talk to fans.
Foals are nothing more than a fairly obscure (although I admit they’re getting considerably more well-known) band, formed in Oxford and having released their debut album, Antidotes, in 2008. Everyone I know who is a fan, is a fan. There is no “oh I kind of like them, yeah” when it comes to Foals and you have to acknowledge this when planning on seeing them live. The set, despite recordings, comes across as heavy and so much moshing ensues. Hits like Two Step Twice, Blue Blood, My Number and Providence rock the venue and deafen your eardrums, counteracting their traditionally indie label by being so much more punchy than one could originally imagine.
Despite their small appearances, they’ve also obviously thought about the set – weighed out slow and quick along with a stunning light set – it’s trippy hearing lyrics about the sun rising with yellow-orange strobes flashing around you, especially when you’re fully aware of your dingy surroundings. Yannis is a crowd favourite (definitely a few “I love you” screams), and at one point climbed a stack of 5 speakers to view the crowd, in addition to crowd surfing and appearing on the balcony. Security had a hard time. Band friends Pulled Apart By Horses also joined them (they’re originally from Leeds so it kind of fits), with the guitarist joining Foals for the finale and the rest of the band meeting and greeting in the foyer again upon exit.
Definitely a band to revise and see. One of the best gigs I’ve been to as long as you don’t mind getting covered in other peoples’ sweat and beer.