Foals | Live Review

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We can only hope that they’ll remember how fun these intimate shows are; for our own sake.

It feels like a bloody long time since Foals were last here dishing out tracks from ‘Holy Fire’. They’ve taken their time with the follow up album and this has almost certainly paid-off. Now they’re back for a brutally intimate show promoting that vital new record ‘What Went Down’.

There’s no denying the expectation behind this one, you could probably even say that it’s the most talked about show in Bristol this year. Regardless, they’ve still got to deliver. Although in-truth, there was little doubt about that considering the live reputation the Oxford bunch have clocked up over their career.

Frontman Yannis Philippakis feels dangerous from the moment they take to the stage for ‘Snake Oil’. Much like on track, their live set provides beautiful, soaring highs and messy squalid lows. A sign of a great artist is one who can command a room with his voice alone, but what makes Yannis special is how he gets stuck into the emotion of the night.

Although Foals are a band who continue to develop from album to album, it’s striking how well the material old and new sit next to each other tonight. Favourites from their sweaty club days are met with massive enthusiasm. Particularly strong examples of these are ‘Olympic Airways’ and ‘Red Socks Pugie’. One of the nights more impacting moments comes with ‘Spanish Sahara’ where everyone in the crowd simultaneously drops to the floor while Yannis sings that emotionally grappling intro.

The band offer a nod to Big Jeff following their encore, “This one goes out to Jeff who’s been to every one of our shows here in Bristol.” It’s a nice gesture, especially considering they then play the warm and beautiful ‘London Thunder’. This is hastily followed by ‘What Went Down’ and the notorious set ender ‘Two Steps Twice’. In essence it’s amazing to see how Foals have grown as a band in the last few years; they will assuredly be heading for even further wide-scale fame after their upcoming arena tour. We can only hope that they’ll remember how fun these intimate shows are; for our own sake.

Check out ‘Mountain At My Gates’ right here: