Foals – Live Review, Bristol Academy.

Foals have landed back on the academy circuit! With a sold out UK tour and a belter of a new album, it’s needless to say that most bands would lap up their current position.

I’m sure you can imagine, it’s an indie overdose when the Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis spontaneously launches himself overhead into the crowd. This hectic nature slapped alongside a setlist of anthems welcomed in a dreamy Monday night at Bristol’s beloved o2.

Opting to heavily laden the set with material from new release Holy Fire demonstrates their potential to execute with that killer bite without having to rely upon past hits. Prelude opens the proceedings and as the tender strings of the guitar intro swell around the academypeople stand taking it all in, with sense that this is only the beginning… and by the time a few swigs of lager can pass one’s throat, the thumping bass drums have begun to soar in. What a touching and impactful way to kick things off.

Following this dramatic opener the gig really hit the ground running with Olympic Airways. Instantly distinguishable by its angular guitar jangle and fast heavy drums. By the time the song had revealed itself, flat ciders were hurled, people fell over and shit got messy. Vigorous bass hooks ensured that this level of stamina and rowdiness was retained throughout the night.

During Spanish Sahara, Yannis shoots off a cold melancholic gaze into the crowd.  Imperatively giving off the message that Foals are a band who take themselves seriously and have left behind them the 2007 days of the choppy indie scene. Their playful side is unleashed whenever opportunity reveals itself, for Yannis to bung himself over the barrier and soak up the sweat and Tuborg remnants amongst the crowd.

The night also saw the live debut of Bad Habit which provided a great opportunity for the Oxford lads to showcase just how tight they can execute material from Holy Fire. To see fan footage of this track, click the link below.

It was relished every-time Yannis began sloshing his water across the front rows acting as though he’d just won the grand prix… rest assured it was bloody needed! The ballsy decision to ensure fan favourite Cassius played no part on the night’s agenda proves that Foals have the power to do as they please… I’m sure nobody noticed the absence of the track, as the night was filled with gems.

After a short departure the bass soaked, gutsy tune Inhaler spurred on the night’s biggest mosh-pit and the first of the evening’s crowd-surfers began to tumble over the barrier. Leaving on a high note with Two Steps, Twice, the emphatic energy continued until the guitars were put down once and for all. Foals smashed it. The substance they deliver throughout each song really manages to conjure why I’m so passionate about live music. I sincerely hope to see them again over the course of this summer’s festival season.

Remember the tour isn’t over yet! You can still catch Foals at one of their Royal Albert Hall dates where they will play an unusual matinee show. (see tour poster below)


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