Foals: In Review at Huxleys Neue Welt

Tonight’s Foals show at Huxley’s Neue Welt is – in the word’s of frontman Yanis Philippakis – a “spicy” affair.

There’s a tropical feeling in the air, either from the tall greenery the band have installed around the stage or from the monsoon-esque conditions the audience had to battle through to reach the venue. (Isn’t it supposed to be summer already?) The gig is a sell-out and the crowd is sweaty before we get started.

Foals, visiting from their native Oxfordshire, UK, are playing the last show of their first mainland European tour since the release of their fifth album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, in March. Going on tonight’s performance, the newer material is more than ready for the summer festival circuit.

Few British bands of Foals’ generation have hit the same level of consistency.

Few British rock bands of Foals’ generation have hit the same level of consistency across their records, and this shows in the appreciation the crowd gives to the songs from the new album. The juddering, ryhthmic single ‘Exits’ and the arena-ready blare of ‘White Onions’ are all the injection needed to start the floor shaking and the drinks flying. The sound – sporadically unreliable at Huxleys – is spot-on tonight.

It’s the first album and tour that Foals have embarked on without bassist and founding member Walter Gervers. Jeremy Pritchard – previously most commonly found donning ridiculous stage costumes with Everything Everything – has stepped in for the current tour, and delivers his lines immaculately.

The brooding ‘Spanish Sahara’ is every bit as powerful as the raucous rendition of ‘Inhaler’.

The band smoothly traverse between their janglier indie numbers (‘My Number’, inevitably, gets a rapturous reception) and the heavy stuff. The brooding ‘Spanish Sahara’ from 2010’s Total Life Forever is every bit as powerful as the raucous rendition of ‘Inhaler’. In a nice nod to the long-time fans, ‘Olympic Airways’ from debut album Antidotes is given a new airing.

Philippakis isn’t averse to indulging his inner Dave Grohl at times, and starts a mild frenzy by strutting along the bartop to the back of the room, returning again to order a shot from the barman during the encore.

The energy doesn’t let up until the lights come on.

Luke began writing about music for his university paper while studying in England’s cold, post-industrial North. He became a regular reviewer of new releases, live shows, theatre and film, before moving to the big, grey blob of London. He has written indie and electronica reviews for indieBerlin since arriving in Berlin in 2017, while pursuing other freelance writing, editing and communications projects (and struggling to learn German). You can follow Luke here and read his recent reviews here.

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