It’s been a busy year for Oxford quintet Foals. As well as releasing their sophomore effort ‘Total Life Forever’, they also managed to turn in a triumphant Glastonbury outing, and get themselves nominated for the Mercury Music prize along the way. They might have lost out on the latter to The XX, but any Saturday night in Manchester is plenty justification for a wild celebration, let alone it being Halloween weekend.
Having missed Pet Moon, Toro y Moi served as my openers. Neither impressing, nor doing themselves a disservice, despite their distinct style; a concoction of funk, synth and pop, there was nothing quite instant enough to make a lasting impression.
In contrast, Foals really have honed their live show. ‘Blue Blood’ was a natural opener, with ‘Olympic Airwaves’, ‘Total Life Forever’ and mega hit ‘Cassius’ ensuring proceedings got off to a frenetic and unrelenting start. More impressive was the band’s ability to maintain this level of momentum throughout the rest of the set. With no festive shenanigans in sight, true to form Yannis and co were all business; ‘Spanish Sahara’ proving to be as breathtaking live as on record, whilst ‘Hummer’ was a welcomed surprise in the encore; the band themselves admitting it’s been a while since it last got an airing. Consider 2010 a success Foals. I can’t wait to hear whatever 2011 may bring.