Foals at Rough Trade East
Foals played to a packed out Rough Trade East on Monday night to celebrate the release of their new album, Holy Fire. The current eminence of the band is such that eager fans had already managed to grab all the wristbands available by early morning, hoping to get as close to the stage as possible to see the quintet from Oxford.
Since the release of their debut LP Antidotes in 2008, Foals have been regarded as trendsetters due to their impact on youth fashion in the mid noughties and their heavy influence on the resurgence of math rock. Add those attributes the fact that the band and frontman Yannis Philippakis are an enigma among the British press, and you have a cocktail that explains the excitement that surrounded this gig.
Philippakis did not fail to thank the crowd who had braved the snow to come and see Foals play. Indeed the band was more open, and seemed to have shed the pretentious demeanour for which they are perhaps unfairly known. Beginning with the album opener Prelude, Foals set the proceedings off with an air of controlled intensity, before breaking into heavily distorted guitar playing and reverbed vocal lines. My Number had all the 80s pop credentials of a Duran Duran track, mixed with a touch of Klaxon harmony. Providence embodied the Foals sound of earlier records; with drummer Jack Bevan showing just why he is as highly rated as the song became rapidly more aggressive.
Inhaler is the first single to have been released from Holy Fire and signifies a different approach – almost mimicking the Deftones. Foals have incorporated an edgier hard rock sound to their arsenal, and while it contrasts with their usual style, it works well. The band ended the set with a crescendo and the very popular Spanish Sahara, which eventually climbed to its euphoric heights and had the diehards singing in unison. Foals are incredibly tight as a band and may find that Holy Fire will come across best live, as this performance proved.
For further information and future events visit Foals’ website here.
Watch the video for Inhaler here: