If we were to follow Foals’ (yes it is just Foals, there is no ‘the’ – this was confirmed by a source close to the band, rather vehemently) rise to fame from a purely Nottingham-centric perspective, we would start with their performance at Liars club just over 18 months ago. They then returned to headline Rescue Rooms, and between that outing and their next at Trent Union, they lent their sounds to e4’s Skins adverts. It may then be no surprise that when they returned once again they did so to an effectively sold out main hall in Rock City.
When the band took the stage, the anticipation in a packed Rock City main hall was broken with the opening track being ground out with machine-like precision to the delight of surprisingly diverse and highly animated crowd. The blend of razor sharp guitars with a heavy drum groove and rhythmic yet intriguingly melodic vocals was received with impressive enthusiasm from the audience who jumped and (tried to) dance as energetically at the beginning of the set as at the end. They performed without the brass section which was so well received in previous gigs but modified album tracks to add highly danceable instrumental interludes.
Foals have been brave in their definition of their sound, Yanis and Jack’s previous experiments are often classified as ‘math rock’, and remnants of this are certainly present in Foals’ music, however the shift has been to add a certain amount of pop sensibility to the sharp, rhythmic and precise foundations. Their somewhat surprising universal appeal has proven this experiment to be a success.