From an NME show to a house party in one night. Prepare for eviction, pronto

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Foals: Shepherds Bush Empire/houseparty in Camberwell, London, Monday, February 26


Foals: Shepherds Bush Empire/houseparty in Camberwell, London, Monday, February 26

“It’s fine, we’re being evicted tomorrow” smiles one temporary resident staring at the gas boiler precariously dangling from the wall, and a council serving notice nailed to the door. Just as well, because down in her bare-bricked basement, Transgressive indie-techno futurists Foals are throwing a claustrophobic DIY disco. In pitch black.

Rewind a few hours and the Oxford fivesome are storming the opening slot at The Young Knives’ Shockwaves NME Awards Show. “We’re playing a house party later,” coos chess-club-chic spokesperson Yannis, wearing his guitar like a bow tie before launching into the nuclear hussle of ‘Two Steps Twice’, its shrill electronic harmonics filling every crack of the historic venue. They exit with Fruit Pastilles and lots of new fans.

A short hop on the Foals “love bus” and we arrive in south London in very different circumstances. The lighting rig is a single bulb (soon shattered), the DJ booth a fold-out picnic table and soundsystem a cranky ghettoblaster which pipes out smoke. But it doesn’t stop Foals rocking like The Knife, Fugazi and The Rapture battered on ginger-rum cocktails. Those not standing on the toes of the band are sending fire extinguishers through the walls. Shitdisco and Mystery Jets are, like the rest of us, hanging on to the ceiling for dear life as guitarist Jimmy burrows through the crowd during the disfigured disco of ‘Hummer’ and Trojan horsepower of ‘Mathletics’, both instrumental after Yannis’ microphone substitute gets trampled.

“It’s fucking trashed!” the same girl shrieks, as the cellar empties out… “Brilliant.”

Greg Cochrane