Foals / Alexandra Palace, London – February 14th 2014

Since their debut album, Antidotes, was released back in 2008; I’ve been wanting to see Foals live. It only took me 6 years but last week, I witnessed one of the most incredible gigs I think KNOW I’ll ever see.

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Despite not being right at the front like a true little fanboy/girl would; I could still feel the energy and adoration each member of the band was prepared to pour in to this performance from the second they graced the stage to Prelude, the introduction track to their phenomenal third album, Holy Fire. There was clearly a lot of love in the room. After all, it was Valentine’s Day! That and Yannis is an absolute dreamboat!

From this, they were straight in to Hummer and Olympic Airways which were played with such passion and commitment; it was evident the band were enjoying playing to us as much as we were watching them! Maybe other bands could take note!

My Number. A track that I imagine a lot of the sold out crowd were there for but a track that every Foals fan has embraced, danced to and loved. I’m no exception to the rule and happily sang and bopped along to my favourite song of 2013, only taking a break in my simulation of being on the phone and knocking on doors to actually use my phone to ring my little sister who had requested I do so when this track came on. After the phone call, I received a text which simply said “OH MY GOD. THEY SOUND FUCKING AMAZING!” – Maybe I should’ve just put that for this review? Unfortunately for you, we’re both too far in now!

Before we even got to London, I jokingly said to my girlfriend that I’ll probably feel like crying when they perform Spanish Sahara

I’m pleased to report that I didn’t make an absolute mockery of myself when I noticed the subtle sound of the sea that serves as an introduction to this beautiful track and I managed to hold the tears back. I may have been able to control my tear ducts but controlling every hair on my body proved to be more of a challenge and this was the first time I experienced every hair on my body stand up at a gig; a very rare, euphoric moment. A moment I can’t see happening again anytime soon.

Other tracks which stood out for me were Late Night, Blue Blood and Inhaler. Each of these sound brilliant on the albums they feature on but hearing these live gives a further dimension to them in terms of sound and meaning. Although; if you add lasers to anything, it instantaneously makes it better. That’s just a fact. (Don’t quote me though!)

With a perfect amalgamation of old and new material, this gig had something for everyone. I particularly enjoyed hearing archetypal tracks such as Hummer and Two Steps, Twice. The latter had the chindie (chavvy-indie) guys in attendance moshing about like we were watching Slipknot perform but not even an irritation like that could collapse the atmosphere and everyone in the room sang along, especially when it came to the chorus build-up. “Babada babada! Babada baba!”

Foals are currently at the forefront of the British indie scene and after spectating such a flawless performance, its conspicuous to me that they’re going to be there for a very long time. If you’ve never seen Foals live, do yourself a favour and do! Don’t worry about cost, venue, company, weather; etc…just do it (Nike, don’t sue me!)

Words by Robert Smith (@robertmsmith)

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