You know those parties that you’ll remember forever, even if you don’t quite recall the specific details? Your 21st birthday. The house party where you finally got off with someone you’d fancied for years. That gathering upstairs in a pub where you got a bruise the shape of New Zealand on your arse after falling down the stairs. Well in the summer of 2007, Foals played one of those parties. The ‘secret’ bash took place in a cavernous old church in Bristol, and was ostensibly for the filming of a special 10 minute online episode of Channel 4’s cult show Skins, but instead summed up the glitter-splattered party ideal of the rock-rave generation in a single day.
It was magic, it was messy and it was definitely something to do with Myspace. I was there and to be honest with you, I think I still have a hangover. However, unlike most squat raves, this particular party started at 9am thanks to a tight filming schedule – which kind of explained the scene when I arrived in the afternoon to an array of rowdy teenagers wearing a hell of a lot of neon and in various states of disrepair thanks to a bathtub full of Bacardi Breezers; just as Foals took to the stage in the graffiti-covered, tumbledown venue. What else could I do but grab a full bottle of wine and join in the fun – see below for photographic evidence.
The stars of the first season were all there, with Mike Bailey (Sid) and Joe Dempsie (Chris) weaving their way through the throng and actually trying to do some work, while all around them chaos reigned and producers with clipboards looked increasingly frustrated. The young extras running around the place were all picked solely on the basis of their super cool Myspace profiles. They probably all have proper jobs in marketing now.
As well as the actors, Foals had to do a fair bit of hard graft that day too, spending three hours miming to their early single ‘Hummer’. Hilariously, they hadn’t actually ever seen the show before agreeing to take part in the episode. “I haven’t had a telly in five years, but we heard some kids on the bus saying it was cool,” admitted guitarist Edwin Congreave to me. “I’m only 23, but I feel really old today.”
“The show represents teenagers as they are,” a 17-year-old Nicholas Hoult told me that day, as he sipped a Red Bull. “Unlike Hollyoaks, it’s all very real, and doesn’t preach to anyone. Watching The OC is all very interesting, but it’s hard to relate to it.” 10 years down the line, it’s fair to say that there hasn’t been a show since that’s been so spot-on in its depiction of our gloriously messed-up, sexed up and drugged up youth. Or one that’s thrown such epic parties.