Red Socks PugieAntidotes
Olympic AirwaysAntidotes
InhalerHoly Fire
Late NightHoly Fire
Spanish SaharaTotal Life Forever
What Went DownWhat Went Down
Snake OilWhat Went Down
White OnionsEverything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1
The RunnerEverything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2
Two Steps, TwiceAntidotes

Foals photo 1

Foals (l-r): Edwin Congreave, Yannis Philippakis,
Jimmy Smith, Jack Bevan (photo: Julien Mignot 2019)



Foals playlist



Contributor: Damien Joyce

After more than 100 years of recorded music, music still remains as important to people, helping them through their day. But, boy do I miss live music right now.

“At its absolute best, live music plays a unique role in modern society. In a world of shrinking sacred spaces, concerts are one of the last places where groups of strangers can gather and experience, together, something transcendental, something other and beyond.” (Source: Underwater Sunshine Fest)

Classical cellist Steven Isserlis also recently mentioned in a FT interview that “Music can be transmitted by recordings — thank God for them — but its most supremely satisfying realisation by far is via live concerts.”

When it comes to live concerts, and big guitar, bass lines, Foals are top of my list as these Oxford mates never fail to deliver and, quite simply, have been a phenomenal live act since 2007!

Foals, and especially Greek born frontman Yannis Philippakis, get totally rambunctious performing to a live audience, with their frenetic energy and gigantic riffs, endorphin, dopamine, and adrenaline levels surging with excitement!

Hystriciasis is an old word for body hairs standing on their ends, (apparently it derives from the Greek word for a porcupine) and that’s what happens to Foals’ fans with their unbridled enthusiasm for this band.

So, when I was ruminating on what band I would really love to see first when concerts return, Foals sprang to mind instantly and I deliberated over the task of having to whittle down my favourite selections to just 10 songs, finding myself in a right old quandary, but I based my picks on what I think would to be their ultimate live setlist.

My first selection casualty was Hummer which Foals themselves left off their debut record Antidotes (and also Mathletics) even though they were two of the most popular songs. They were later added back in re-release versions of that album.

There is a raw energy on this record, which includes great tracks like Cassius, The French Open, Balloons but I went for Red Socks Pugie for its danceable tempo and Olympic Airways for singing along with, “Dis-a-ppe-ar, dis-a-ppe-ar … Dis-a-ppe-ar, dis-a-ppe-ar”!!

After their tamer second album Total Life Forever, the release of Holy Fire saw the band begin to grow in confidence and stature, and it includes their most popular track to date with My Number. However, I don’t think this track best represents them although it has opened many doors with global radio stations playing it regularly. (I feel similarly about what the track Sit Down has done for James). With that in mind, I excluded My Number but really felt gutted having to omit Out Of The Woods, Providence, Everytime, Bad Habit, and I picked Inhaler for its killer riffs and Jack Bevan’s drums.

To provide some respite from the initial galloping onslaught, I selected the stunning slow burner Late Night along with Spanish Sahara from their sophomore release.

To pick up the pace again, the task didn’t get any easier with what I believe to be their most complete album, What Went Down. I went back and forth on what tracks to select, regretfully omitting the sublime Mountain At My Gates in favour of the title track and the snarling Snake Oil, but I could have picked a bunch more from that record.

For my final choices I initially cherry-picked On The Luna from Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, but I went back and overturned that with White Onions which could also have missed out for Exits, leaving me with the agonising single pick from Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part II and, in the end, I favoured the exquisite The Runner. Check out this splendid rendition on Later With Jools.

My 10 favourite Foals Playlist concludes with their very special encore track Two Steps, Twice again from their debut record which, when played live, is normally an extended edition which leaves the audience with that track reverberating through their heads … “Ba-ba-da, ba-ba-da, ba-ba-da, ba-ba”.

Foals are meant to be played loud and, hopefully, this playlist will provide a glimpse for the uninitiated into their boundless energy. Alternatively, check out their Rip Up The Road documentary which is available on Amazon Prime.

My goodness, their first gig back will be something special!



Foals poster


The official website of Foals

Foals Discography

Foals biography (AllMusic)

Damien Joyce can be found on Twitter @damienjoyce and on his blog.

TopperPost #959

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