To warm up for their World Tour and celebrate the release of fifth record ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ (Part 1). Foals storm the intimate surroundings of EartH Hackney with a blistering performance.
Tickets for Foals intimate Hackney gig sold out in a mere 30 seconds as people rushed to see the indie titans perform in EartH Hackney’s 1,200 capacity basement. It’s in these small spaces where Foals and particularly frontman Yannis Philippakis’s intensity is at its strongest. The groups Reading headline slot was epic but nothing truly beats an in your face, sweaty gig in a London basement.
This intimate run of shows, comes before a huge world tour with over 150 dates already penciled in, all in support of their latest record ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’. Part 1 of the project is released today with the second instalment coming later in the year. The new record gets ample opportunity to prove its worth against long embedded Foals fan favourites. ‘On The Luna’ opens the set perfectly. built for those summer shows it’s an eclectic mix of tropical melodies with an alternative rock grit. First single ‘Exits’ finds new depths when performed live, all of its layers unravelling in front of your eyes, it’s not just a delight to hear its clearly one to perform as each member grins and swaggers through its verses.
There’s something to say about a band that can place some of its biggest hits so early on as well, both ‘Mountain At My Gates’ and ‘My Number’ come thick and fast early on. Sending the crowd into a manic frenzy. The only moment of tranquility arriving during the atmospheric and emotional charged ‘Spanish Sahara’.
Yannis is known for his wild and raucous ventures into the crowd but not even he could have predicted the moment during ‘Providence’ in which he tripped off the stage, violently whacking the crowd barrier, bandmates rushing to assistance as the sound of his guitar cut short. In true Foals fashion however he stayed down for not even a moment as he rushed to his feet and dived into the crowd, they jubilantly held their idol aloft their heads as he broke out into a triumphant guitar solo.
That’s what Foals bring best to a live experience, though there may be a physical barrier (which is constantly circumvented by the group), there isn’t an emotional one. The group have such an effortless connection to their audience its simply electric. Each and every word is sung back to the with fanatic abandon and its hard not to get lost in the room’s euphoria.
As the night drew on more new tracks got their London debut with Yannis sarcastically remarking to go get the album today at your nearest “non-existent record store”, he’s painfully right but the sharp decline in physical media is another conversation completely. Two new songs in particular stood out amongst the crowd, ‘In Degrees’ is a dance, dare I say disco tinged, rave infused slice of joy, your body can’t help but move along to punchy beat. Whilst ‘White Onions’ which opened the encore feels fresh and exciting, straddling the line between heavy rock and festival anthem that Foals do so well.
The finale itself was breathless a one-two punch of ‘What Went Down’ and ‘Two Steps Twice’ moved along at a frantic pace with Yannis performing the songs from a variety of angles, whether it was in the crowd, on top of them or even jumping on the bar for a quick drink. I’ve seen Foals many times now, but tonight felt different, a decade on from their debut, the band are refreshed and raring to go… more than ever before.
Photos: (c) Philip Giouras @ The Perfect Tempo