Foals brought out hits, deep cuts and a huge ticker-tape finale for one of their last scheduled UK show of the year with an epic headline set at Citadel Festival last night. See footage, photos and the setlist below.
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Topping the bill at London’s Victoria Park after stellar sunset shows from Wild Beasts and Bonobo, Foals hit an early peak with the explosive opener of ‘Mountain At My Gates’ into a feral rendition of ‘Snake Oil’. “It’s good to be home,” frontman Yannis Philippakis told the crowd. From there, the band maintained momentum with a high-octane 15 song set that succinctly showcased why they’re one of the few British guitar bands of their generation to reach festival headline status.
While the big singles like ‘My Number’, ‘Late Night’ and the early era outings of ‘Olympic Airwaves’ and ‘Red Socks Pugie’ inspired the liveliest crowd reactions, much reverence was saved for lesser-played favourites like ‘Black Gold’ and ‘Heavy Water’.
“We’ve been trying to play song that have been neglected for a while,” Philippakis told NME ahead of the show, “so we’re playing songs of ‘What Went Down’ that we didn’t get round to playing on last year’s tour and then we called back some old tracks that we haven’t played for a long time so songs like ‘Black Gold’ and ‘Heavy Water’, some of which we haven’t played for over half a decade really and it’s just good to freshen it up and play some deeper tracks of the record. “
The balance of bangers alongside more tender tracks, big hitters and rarities showed all sides of Foals at their finest. The impact of the raucous finale of ‘Inhaler’ before the encore of ‘What Went Down’ and ‘Two Steps Twice’ and the sight of Victoria Park united in dance as ticker tape rained down was the sign of a band shaped by recent arena tours and topping the bill at Reading & Leeds. They’ve become a highly evolved rock beast. Headlining Glastonbury surely awaits, and if it’s anything like tonight, it’ll be one for all time.
Mountain at My Gates
Red Socks Pugie
A Knife In the Ocean
What Went Down
Two Steps, Twice
While Foals now have a fairly quiet tour schedule, Philippakis told us that they’re currently in the early stages of writing their next album.
“We’re in the marinating stage of thinking about getting onto the next record,” he said. “We have a couple of bits written but it’s in the very early stages. We’re in the conception stage, we’re not pregnant yet, we’re just trying to have the kid.
“I think it’s good to be hungry and want to make big leaps between records and keep things surprising and keep it unpredictable and to grow. It’s important for bands to evolve and I think it’s one of the reasons that it’s still exciting for us after having done four records. If we were just repeating the same thing and style, I think it would have got boring – but just making records to the reactions of the one that came before is probably not the healthiest thing because it’s throwing the baby out with the bath water. I think that was the knee-jerk reaction we had at the beginning. We’ve got to go through some sort of violent change for the record to be what we want it to be. I’m excited for it and we’re hungry for it. I’m excited to make a new body of work.”