Foal review live at Glastonbury: fair praise


“Glastonbury, we’re going to have a fucking crazy one tonight,” said Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis, headlining Glasto’s Other Stage for the first time in his career. The last time they played before The xx headlined the stage, after the hit ‘Holy Fire’ in 2013 that crowned them saviors of British rock, the mood was a little different. . They were still proving themselves. Tonight, all that matters is “having a fucking crazy one”.

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A few hours earlier, the seventh album “Life Is Yours” narrowly missed the number one spot against Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House”. No matter. Stepping onto the stage with the disco rock abandon of “Wake Me Up,” Foals makes it clear that the party-hungry spirit that drives their latest album hasn’t been dampened by the bad news.

As Yannis explains to the crowd, these songs were written in confinement to be ready “for the emergence of the world” and prepared for us to “come together” in spaces like this. When he sings “It’s 2am and I’m gone and lost my friends,” you can feel the collective nod of those about to get a little carried away at Block9. Judging by the deft moves of guitarist Jimmy Smith and drummer Jack Bevan who spends almost as much time running away from his kit as sitting behind it, these guys could end up with a similar fate tonight.

An early disco indie release ‘My Number’ after a confetti-laden ‘In Degrees’ (now played with a trance release that gives it a gnarly treatment that somehow leaves the record version somewhat lacking), Foals has set a relentless pace. The bangers keep coming, from dance numbers to riffing beasts, with the only respite allowed for the cinematic epic “Spanish Sahara” – but even that comes with maximum crowd participation with the audience invited to descend.

The colts live at Glastonbury 2022. Credit: Andy Ford for NME

“ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?” cries Philippakis. “Come on, we were here before we had done six now – you can do better than that.” Turns out we might, as the savage “Inhaler” begins a race of runaway rock beasts. It’s not a blind surrender, through.

Presenting “What Went Down”, Yannis shares his anger at conservative corruption and today’s heartbreaking American news on Roe v Wade when he says, “This song is about men who lie, and it seems there have a lot of men lying on this side and on the other side of the Atlantic and they have to walk the plank.

Complete with a Pyramid Stage-worthy light show, it showcases the Foals’ innate knack for heckling any crowd. A heavy finale of “Two Steps, Twice” ends a set suited to these times – letting the good outweigh the bad. Here are many more nights like this. Next stop: the Pyramid Stage.

The crowd of Colts live at Glastonbury 2022. Credit: Andy Ford for NME
The crowd of Colts live at Glastonbury 2022. Credit: Andy Ford for NME

Foals played:

‘Wake me up’
“Mountain at my doorstep”
‘The runner’
‘My number’
“In degrees”
“Spanish Sahara”
‘Black Bull’
“What happened”
“Two Steps, Twice”

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