Foals

Foals, Cage The Elephant and That Fucking Tank

Fresh from winning the fly awards Artist of the Year, Foals come to the Manchester Apollo for two nights of rock ‘n’ roll. I’ve seen Foals a few times before and so I’m confident I’m in for a good night. As I arrive at the venue the live music is already in full flow.

Using a baritone guitar and a set of drums, That Fucking Tank certainly create a thumping bass track, but lots of the sound is pre-recorded and being played in over the top. It wasn’t horrible, but I wasn’t disappointed when it came to an end. The band didn’t seem to feel the need to speak to the crowd at all and they left the stage with a pre-recorded voice claiming we were “the best audience”, which feels a tad insincere when it’s been queued up before the evening even began.

The second act on the bill is Cage The Elephant. Coming on stage to play their opening song with an over-the-top vocal effect dominating the sound, I am fearful that this could be a long set. Thankfully things look up pretty quickly, second song of the performance ‘In One Ear’ sounds much better and lead singer Matthew Shultz takes his first of many dives into the crowd. Demonstrating his local knowledge, Shultz soon announces he’ll be heading to Big Hands and Abdul’s later, leaving me suspecting Cage The Elephant have mainly played Academy venues in Manchester.

Cage The Elephant

There was a time when I purchased a Cage The Elephant album based almost entirely on the track ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked’, I still love that song and it was performed masterfully tonight. As we approach the end of the performance, ‘Come A Little Closer’ even sees a break out of a circle pit, proof if any were needed that the crowd is well up for this. It was a high energy performance that went down really well, and I really enjoyed being part of the audience.

With around 3,500 people now awaiting the arrival of Foals, the place already feels ready to burst. Opening their set with ‘Prelude’ from latest album Holy Fire the band are already storming the place. It was third track ‘Total Life Forever’ that saw the night’s first mass-singalong, following that with ‘My Number’ it was all getting a little too much for some people. The whole place was stirred up into a frenzy and while playing ‘Providence’ frontman Yannis Philippakis makes his first venture into the crowd.

FoalsBack on the stage, next up is ‘Spanish Sahara’, the slower start to the song feels almost like a comedown, though in the most euphoric sense of the word, the energy is back before the song is over though and the place is smashed to pieces all over again. ‘Inhaler’ is the last track before the band leave the stage and everyone gets a chance to take a breath. We know there is going to be an encore, of course there’ll be an encore, why wouldn’t there be an encore? Still, as one we stand in front of the stage begging for more.

Coming back for the final two songs, Philippakis comments on how rowdy Manchester crowds are. The band are clearly enjoying themselves and after starting the final song ‘Two Steps, Twice’ one more entry to the crowd is in order. After a minute or so, without having reappeared, the security seem to be getting a little worried about our missing band member. I did see one of the security signalling to the rest of band to stop playing, they ignored his request and a few more minutes later Philippakis finally came back over the top of the crowd. He had gone in there with a guitar, he returned without – I have no idea what happened to it, but it didn’t make it back to the stage before I left the venue.

There aren’t many superlatives I couldn’t throw at the performance, it was a fantastic night of entertainment and it is easy to see why the fly awards awarded them Act Of The Year. If they keep this level of performance up, I’m sure many more similar accolades will be coming their way before the year is out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>