Gig Review: Foals, Night & Day Café, Manchester, 28th Sept 2007

Another gig that we weren’t much looking forward to, this. Despite quite liking their “Hummer” single I was expecting another over-hyped indie electro band along the lines of New Young Pony Club. Expectations were confounded once again, however, as Foals put in a riotously good performance at the Night & Day.

I may have complained about how the air conditioning sucked away some of the atmosphere at the Twilight Sad gig a few weeks ago but a little bit of air con in the Night & Day would not be unwelcome. Even when it’s freezing outside, a full house means that the place resembles a sauna on Mercury. Foals mentioned the oppressive heat a couple of times during their performance but it didn’t seem to diminsh their energy levels one bit. From the off the guitarist and singer covered every inch of the stage while picking out their precision riffs, never deigning to play actual chords and rarely venturing lower than the twelfth fret. It’s this meticulous riffery that brings comparisons to math rock and one instrumental played on the night would not sound out of place on Battles’ excellent Mirrored album. Behind these two is a quite excellent rhythm section and a synth player who, while providing the band’s solid electro core, is happy to take a back seat let the guitars become the focal point for the audience.

The band’s energy was infectious and before long there was plenty of crowd-surfing and stage-diving going on in the extremely good-natured audience. During the closing mayhem of “Hummer” I swear I saw three crowd-surfers one on top of the other, the audience somehow managing to keep them afloat. On this evidence Foals’ Dave Sitek-produced debut album will be well worth getting hold of.

Foals – Hummer

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