Foals / Youthmovies @ Birmingham Academy 2, 12/3/08

As support bands go you can’t ask for much more than what Youthmovies provided. Revealed later on to be Foals’ favourite band, they were a diverting hotch potch of styles and genres. Their set included some Money Mark-stle keyboards, the guitarist abandoning his guitar to be a second drummer and an LCD Soundystem-esque finale. A few of the crowd bounced about enthusiastically in thanks. I’d probably not go out of my way to see them again but in terms of a warm-up they hit the spot.

While we waited for Foals to appear the tension ratcheted up notch by notch, with a premature cheer erupting when some stage lights were flicked on. The school party front-right of stage amused themselves chucking glitter in the air. I amused myself by noting that Foals fans have the most incredible array of truly awful haircuts.

When the band did arrive on stage the combustible crowd ignited to first song ‘The French Open’. The semi-skanking intro sparking into the song’s intricate yet danceable refrain and Lacoste ad-inspired lyrics.

The sounds was a bit muted for my liking and lacked a bit of punch, although whatever was causing that was solved in time for a rapturously received ‘Cassius’, segueing into a jagged ‘Olympic Airways’. ‘Balloons’ had Birmingham’s hipsters shaking their tail feathers so vigorously the floor bowed and shook.

Unfortunately for the crowd surfers, and there were many, the front few rows were too busy dancing to notice anyone coming their way so a fair few dropped like stones just short of the amused security staff.

By the way, having sneered slightly at the kids chucking glitter over each other down the front (don’t they know how hard it is to get rid of that stuff?) I have to say it came into it’s own – raised arms twinkled and the soles of crowd surfers’ shoes sparkled in the lights.

‘Hummer’ was great, ‘Red Socks Pugie’ was great. The encore of (I think, embarrassingly my memory’s a bit hazy) ‘Mathletics’ was great too. I admit I was sceptical about Foals initially, writing them off as Bloc Party with tighter jeans, but after ignoring the ‘hotly tipped’ this and ‘one to watch’ that I was won over to their take on the formula. After seeing this set I’m now also pretty confident that they’ll be the toast of this summer’s festival circuit.

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.