By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)
If you can name a better way to spend a balmy summer’s evening than going to a park somewhere in London to watch Oxford mathletes Foals headline the sort-of-well-know-but-I’ve-never-fucking-heard-of-it Citadel Festival, I’d like to hear it, pal. Of course, the set didn’t end in the way I was anticipating, but that’s how these reviews work. You’ve gotta get stuck in to accurately take the temperature of a gig.
Do Foals really need any introduction? Since the release of 2007’s Antidotes, they’ve moved from alt-cult heroes to mainstream magnates, all the while keeping their funky, dancy, mathematical musical identity. Right, there we are.
Coming out and kicking off with Moutain at my Gates off their most recent album, What Went Down, Yannis Phillipakis and his Almighty Greek Beard meant business. The crowd were in a wide array of patterned shirts and other various fuckboi attires, and couldn’t mosh to save their lives. If you’re gonna do it, do it properly, this was just a bunch of indie kids trying to imitate what they’d seen on TV. Pricks.
The best bit about a Foals gig is they’re not afraid to mix it up a little, and take their cues from across their back catalogue, with tracks like the unforgettable-because-you’ve-heard-it-a-million-times like My Number and new-ish number Night Swimmers rubbing shoulders with Olympic Airways and Black Gold, but still dropping wall-to-wall bangers, because they’re fucking Foals.
Still can’t get over Yannis’ beard. It’s just so well grown, and he should be more proud of that than what he’s achieved with Foals, if you ask me. It was around the time of Spanish Sahara that I rejoined my friends, only to discover them discussing beards with some new friends. One gentleman declared that I had the best beard, and shook my hand. Where he went, I don’t know, but bless him and his tasteful choice of shirt. There were a lot of patterned shirts at this gig. Some people looked like dicks in them, others really owned the Paisley. And I’ve got a lot of time for a Paisley shirt.
Despite only having just over an hour and a half to play a comprehensive set, they didn’t dick about, effectively selling the brand-new-ish-well-it’s-the-most-recent-album What Went Down, whilst also blowing the back catalogue wide open, culminating in a grande finale that began with Inhaler. Whilst they’d always been popular in one way shape or form, Holy Fire really blew Foals up, with Inhaler producing the biggest bang.
Again with the moshpitting being fucking dire, as at this point, I was pushed over a girl who’d fallen over,which those dicks failed to pick up quickly landing on the ramp thing that carries the cables between the stage and the sound tent, smacking my back and head, and at that point, I realised I was in some big trouble, as I couldn’t get up. I also, worryingly, couldn’t move my legs, but that was because someone had fallen on top of me. If you’re reading this, with your oversized cardigan and shite haircut, learn to fucking mosh; keep it steady, keep it safe, pick your fallen friends up first before getting stuck back in. It isn’t diffuclt, you cunts. The lass I fell on was a star though, making sure I was alright. She gets a 10/10 for being a wonderful human.
Then they played What Went Down, and what went down was me, because I kept blacking out for momentary periods, but if there was ever an Antidote (GEDDIT HAHA BE MY FRIEND YANNIS), for a crushed vertabrae and sever concussion was the almighty Two Steps Twice, which managed to get me back on a level playing field for about two minutes.
All in all, injuries aside, it’s fair to say that there’s no such thing as a bad Foals set, and their inevitable fifth album will catapult them to greater heights, bigger festival headline slots, and get more people groovin’.