live review... Foals
Walking into any venue for a long awaited gig is always a special feeling but walking into Cambridge Corn Exchange to see one of the most talked about live bands of the year had an edge over any other. The crowd seems so varied in age and yet everyone in the audience looks as pumped as each other and there's a shared feeling that this is going to be something special. Foals waste no time after appearing on stage before bursting into a rowdy and intense Snake Oil from their newest album, quickly followed by single Mountain at my Gates and old favourites Olympics Airways and My Number. All of these, despite the age gap, produce the same amazing, enthusiastic and frankly exhausting reaction from the crowd.
After giving their fans a thorough work out, Foals slide into the slower yet still as powerful section of their set. “This next song is about the end of the world,” Yannis tells the crowd as he introduces another newer song from their LP What Went Down, A Knife in the Ocean. It soon comes to that inevitable time in the set for Spanish Sahara. Slow background wave sounds absorb the audience and everyone begins to sit down. Some on laps, some on the ground but everyone is low enough to have an iconic view of the band. There are some murmurs of “is this really necessary,” but this is one of those extraordinary moments when in the same six and a half minutes, a band can be bringing people quietly to tears and then have them brutally throw themselves into a mosh pit. Maybe not necessary, but fucking wonderful.
After Red Socks Pugie and Late Night, closers Providence and Inhaler leave the Cambridge crowd well and truly battered but there's no way they're done yet. The crowd have delighted in mosh pit after mosh pit and a series of screaming lyrics but are given only a minute or two of a break before Foals return for their encore beginning with London Thunder, a calm start to what would prove to be a chaotic next few minutes. The beginning tremors of What Went Down cause a surge of energy and anticipation before Yannis has even uttered the first line. Listening to What Went Down comfortably sitting at home or on the bus takes you for a ride on its own but experiencing the builds and incredible vocals live is almost indescribable.
This being the final date of Foals tour, rumours and videos of Yannis' finale during Two Steps Twice simply leave the crowd looking frantically around the venue for his jumping point. Attention is soon directed at the balcony staircase bannister where sure enough, the front man is preparing the eager crowd underneath him. He teases the audience with chants and fist pumps before giving them what they want. He leaps. Tumbles quickly over people's heads and confidently finds himself back on stage to finish their final song.
Foals, great on the albums, unreal live.