Music Review: Foals

foals leeds first direct arena 2016

Late last summer, or as I don't really like to think of it but often do, the death of summer – August bank holiday weekend – I found myself having a wonderful time enjoying the fresh (albeit a bit weed infected) air at Bramham Park. Yes, it was Leeds Festival time again and no, I haven't grown out of the Leeds/Reading stage despite being seven years older than the average attendee.

It was all going swimmingly, me and my cousin drove down after a few hiccups involving car park passes which almost ended in us purchasing train tickets, having breakdowns and giving up on the idea of the festival as a whole (as it turns out, they'd scrapped the whole car park pass system for 2015 – thanks for keeping us updated Festival Republic!).

We set up our cute little camp (well, a kind guy who saw us struggling with tent poles and instructions did), had some beverages, met up with some friends and saw some of our favourite bands. The weather was wonderful – it was bliss. Until we decided at some point in the middle of the Saturday (or Sunday, one of the two) that we'd pop to the car to bring back food supplies, and more importantly, charge our phones.

Halfway through the journey I heard some sweet, sweet music so I stopped in my tracks. 'What?' said my cousin. 'Omg,' said I, 'That song it's...' my mind went blank for a second, 'It's Foals!?' I said. Yep, they had turned up for a surprise set and despite the fact everyone else in the world seemed to have been prepared, due to our phone deaths we were not. And now we were too far from the stage to even contemplate catching them. 

I have never quite let this go (my FOMO issues are verging on clinically diagnosable) so when they announced a tour I jumped at the chance to attend, no way was I letting them pass me by twice. So there I was a couple of weeks ago at Leeds First Direct Arena finally watching them. Was it worth the emotional trauma I went through? Yes, I'd say so.

They played a bunch of songs I wasn't even familiar with because, to be honest, between Cassius and their current album I haven't been paying attention. But from Birch Tree to Mountain at my Gates they sparked something in the audience which made us all stand up, dance and sing along which are honestly things I rarely like to do. 

So hats off to you Foals, your music makes the unlikeliest of things happen.

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