REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Foals Endorse Their 'Best Live Act' Title With UK Tour closer

Almost a year to the day since their last album was released, Foals returned to London to play their biggest ever headline show at the windswept Alexandra Palace.

urlIt’s been a busy twelve months for the five-piece, and one that frontman Yannis Philippakis admits “couldn’t have gone better”. At no point did it seem to have left the group drained however; the on-stage energy that Foals have become renowned for didn’t let up throughout the entire gig. The Oxford-group’s token sound - the dancing fret-boards and imperious rhythm from Jack Bevan (easily up there with Sam Doyle and Matt Helders as one of the UK’s best drummers) – was apparent from the off; the heavy beats of
Holy Fire’s ‘Prelude’s’ opening the show in dramatic fashion. Foals effortlessly threaded records from across their three albums into the set, slowing things down with the slow burning ‘Late Night’, or building up to the rich man’s Temper Trap with ‘Milk and Black Spiders’. As is the way with Ally Pally, the sheer size of the venue often leads to a Wembley-esque crowd murmur echoing throughout, although fortunately this is lost on the louder tracks. To counteract the minor drone is the lighting, which – as bizarre as it may sound – is always absolutely phenomenal at the hilltop setting. In fitting the rhythm of the tracks, it enhanced Foals’ live show supremely. Occasionally the show tiptoed from theatre into pantomime, with Yannis’ wandering around the crowd and the laboured introduction to ‘Inhaler’ seeming rather farcical, but for the most part Foals fully endorsed their recent title of the UK’s best live act. By the time ‘Two Steps, Twice’ brought the curtain down on the evening, the 10,000 strong crowd were left with “ba baduh ba ba” ringing in their ears. And loving every second of it. The only gripe with the gig would be the excessive instrumentals within Foals’ live tracks, which although impressive, took up set-time and resulted in the no-show of crowd favourites such as ‘Total Life Forever’, ‘Cassius’, ‘Miami’ and ‘Bad Habit’ (to name but a few). It’s credit to a band though when their back-catalogue becomes vast enough to render popular tracks superfluous to their shows. Arguably Foals could have a few more included into their set list, but leaving a crowd wanting more is what all entertainers strive for.
8/10 Links to Foals’ website and tickets for their current world tour can be found below.