hmv reviews… Foals @ London's Alexandra Palace
After five years of critical acclaim, hard touring and climbing, inch by inch, up festival bills, it feels like Foals are starting to be taken seriously as future arena and festival headliners. Capping off their biggest UK tour in support of their third album Holy Fire with two sold-out shows at Alexandra Palace feels like a statement of intent, let's see how they got on…
Foals. Oxford indie fivesome. Megastars in waiting.
Alexandra Palace. Big ol' venue up in North London.
Any good supports?
Cage The Elephant, who are on a high after putting out this great new album called Melophobia. They were superb, full of energy and vigour, running through the finest cuts of their new album plus a smattering of hits from their earlier records including a barnstorming 'Shake Me Down' and a rollicking 'Ain't No Rest For The Wicked'.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
It was sold out and very busy indeed. As for the crowd, it's usually a sure sign that a band are on the way to being very big indeed when their audience moves beyond serious muso types and into beery lads and hooks in the kind of fan who attends two or three gigs tops, which is actually the make up of Saturday's assembled mass. They did their job though, with plenty of dodgy dancing and singing along…
So what was the set like? What did they play?
It was superb, rhythmic and meticulous, but, if we've got one criticism, it was a little on the brief side. In the end, the band only played 13 songs, but each one of those was delivered flawlessly. Opening with a thumping, menacing 'Prelude' before going straight into 'Total Life Forever', the band kept the intensity up throughout their hour and 20 minutes. 'Inhaler' sounded colossal, 'Olympics Airways' was beautiful and the closing pair of 'Hummer' and 'Two Steps Twice' sent everyone home delirious.
Any good between song banter?
Almost nothing. Singer Yannis Philippakis thanked the crowd and told them they were amazing (Thanks man!) a few times, but no profound statements or angry rants this time…
Did they much on much of a show?
They really did. The light show was absolutely spectacular, with an enormous laser shows beaming out throughout. It was especially glorious during 'Spanish Sahara' when the lights made the whole ceiling look like a scowling sky.
What was the highlight of the set?
'Spanish Sahara' was dreamy as you like, 'My Number' scored the biggest sing-a-long, but it was actually recent single 'Late Night' that really sang, it just built and built before eventually hammering into this incredible crescendo, totally mesmerising.
Where can I catch them next?
If you live in Japan or America, in the next two months, after that, it currently looks like their next UK show will be at Bestival.