Review & Photo Gallery: Foals @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – 11/02/2014

Oxford’s favourite mathletes rocked up at O2 Academy Birmingham ready to cause havoc and left a little to be desired.

There is no doubting the talent that Foals have. Their ability to mix funky riffs and melodic, moody tunes has made them one of the best bands in the country at the moment. But on a cold Tuesday night in the second city – they seemed a little stale.

All the songs were there, Prelude set up Hummer perfectly but a lot of the tunes, such as Blue Blood and Olympic Airways were strung out a little too long. At one point it was clear that the audience were starting to get restless and the chatter of the crowd could be heard over the brooding, sometimes haunting music.

Frontman Yannis Philippakis promised the crowd they were going to be savage but once again, their penchant for extending songs and showing off their skills took hold, and had good parts of the crowd losing concentration.

However, Foals are arguably the kings of the crescendo and for all the build up, as always, there is something quite epic at the end.

Spanish Sahara itself has a beautiful crescendo which picked the crowd up, while Red Socks Pugie and Inhaler had much of the crowd bouncing, even if it was to get in on one of Yannis’ many forays into his baying fans.

It was back to basics with the encore. The tuneful, chanting French Open was a perfect set up for Two Steps Twice, which they gleefully smashed down the middle of the court. Yannis was on his travels once again, this time up to the balcony where he threatened to jump before he was brought down by a steward to boos of the crowd, but after what seemed like an age, the beat dropped, Yannis screamed and all was well in the world once again.

Maybe some of the crowd were a little impatient or had wanted to hear more of their favourite songs rather than long, drawn out solos, but on a frosty night – Foals blew more hot than cold.

Foals were supported by Cage the Elephant.

Photos: Andy Hughes

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