Foals @ Birmingham Academy, 4th November 2010


When Trophy Wife took the stage in front of a half full crowd, I spotted an electric drum kit. Oh dear. If there’s one thing that annoys me, takes the feeling out of music then it’s that. Rocking the geek sheek look, and recreating a surf rock sound similar to headliners Foals, the first song was impressive, maybe verging on pleasant with only the vocals struggling to find their way through the mix. But then each song began to blend into one another, the same formula being used for each and every song which became dull and repetitive. Highlighting new single “Microlite”, it unfortunately doesn’t stand out from any other song.


Making a bang, literally, from the moment Toro Y Moi emerged it was clear that someone had turned up the volume knob a little too much, but this was soon sorted. Originating from a typical poppy sound, it has a sense of freeness and happiness to it with quite a complex sound for only a three piece. A funky keyboard sound, made the atmosphere ripe and ultimately very danceable. You can consider me a new fan I’m sure.


Obviously, it’s hard to highlight Foals as being anything new in today’s world, but it’s fair to say that they are at the forefront of what they are doing in the old indie-electro world. Also doing a brave feat in completely changing their direction on new album Total Life Forever, this translates well into the live arena. With a splendid light show, they manage to perfectly match the fast paced anthems of old such as Cassius and Balloons with the slow burners such as opener Blue Blood and the ever fabulous Spanish Sahara.


It’s clear that fans feel a lot more comfortable singing and dancing to the more lively numbers, with Miami proving to be a personal highlight. At two points during tonight’s show, front man Yannis breaks the barrier between band and audience by taking to the balcony and making sure that no-one feels quite left out. An evening of anthems, dancing and friendliness shows just why Foals are rising as being a recognised live act.

Review – Dan Earl
Photographer – Ian Dunn

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