Indie-dance always runs the risk of sounding slightly dated the moment it comes out of the can (remember The Music?), but Foals skirt that pitfall by infusing their music with heavy doses of both adrenaline and euphoria. The crowd at Brixton tonight are massively up for both, it seems, judging by the atmosphere when the lights go down. There are a few moments of cracking anticipation, when only the band’s name – spelt out in huge letters on the stage backdrop – is visible, hanging in a ghostly blue haze. Then over an extended opening, the vocals of ‘Blue Blood’ ring out, pure and clear, and when the beat drops the mosh pit extends half way to the back of the Academy.
With the band in silhouette and strobe, ‘Cassius’ rips out into the crowd, not quite loud enough for some but still thrillingly visceral. There’re a liberal amount of instrumental wig-outs in the set, but Foals stay just the right side of self-indulgent, before the majestic high point of the night – an awesome ‘Spanish Sahara’, Yannis’ vocals sounding almost celestial as the song builds to an intense crescendo. Doing poise and restraint as well as they do high-bpm mayhem, Foals are as fresh as ever.
By Chris Watkeys
Originally published in issue 23 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. November 2010