Tour ends on a high

There is no special guest, lousy obligatory cover version or any other shtick in sight (well, apart from lasers, but everyone likes lasers, right?) at Foals’ UK tour closer at Brixton Academy in London in front of a young and enthusiastic audience of hipster teens. It would be difficult for the Oxford band to mess up in this scenario and, unsurprisingly, they don’t; instead they let the music do all the talking.

Their setlist is immaculately cherry picked – playing enough new material to satisfy recent fans (which there are several more of following their Mercury Prize nomination in September) and plenty of older tunes to please long-timers. From the former, ‘Total Life Forever’s’ title track gets a loud singalong whilst What Remains is allowed to wash over the auditorium and let everybody take a breather.

From the latter, the one-two hit of Red Sock Pugie and Electric Bloom sets the audience off like fireworks – creating a spark of frenetic activity amongst the devoted at the front. Sometimes, their songs can make people both at ease and singing at the top of the lungs at the same time, which is exactly what happens during opener Blue Blood and the glorious seven minutes of Spanish Sahara.

The band themselves are a tight live unit – they may not say much or resort to cliché ‘rock star moves’ but their intensity onstage is all they need. Contrary to what their musical evolutions may suggest, this is a band that are made for theatres, so how they would fare in an arena setting – which is the next step from here, you would think – is intriguing but, truth be told, no one is thinking about it just yet. Foals have ended their 2010 with a satisfying, triumphant and celebratory curtain call.

Words by Max Raymond
Photo by Helen F Kennedy

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.