Live Review: Samizdat presents Foals, The Kazimier

Posted on 1 May 2010
By Dom Martin
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Foals, The Kazimier, 29, April

The punters gathered at The Kazimier on a drizzly Thursday looked worryingly fresh-faced. Three day hangovers and quarter life meltdowns yet to hit them, they were here to dance, and dance they did.

Opening the proceedings were Oxford tropical popstrels Jonquil. They seem to be moving into a more definitive direction than demonstrated on debut LP ‘Lions’. The new material is more indebted to lilting afrobeat. Nothing new then, but a pleasant sound nonetheless.

After what seemed like an eternity, the stage was appropriately rigged and Foals arrived onstage. They opened with Total Life Forever, which seemed to bridge the first and second album’s effectively. The frentic energy is still present in this tune, but lyrically, a less obtuse, more celebratory approach. Cassius came up next, landing the first knockout blow of the evening. A more than familiar tune for the sweaty throng, and the first crowdsurfer of the gig. Given there is no security protecting the stage at The Kazimier, it means the first row have to keep things under control – power to the people and all that, and also a few less hi-vis knuckleheads beefed up on man chemicals ruining it for everyone.

Olympic Airways sounded fresher than ever, with an amusing YMCA/voguing style accompaniment from Yannis. New single Western Feeling opens with those beautiful ‘woo-oh’ two-part harmonies at the start, which would sound great in one big loop. It’s a surefire hit at this summer’s festivals, and surprisingly rousing.

Introducing Miami as a ‘song about being betrayed on a beach’, a laid-back, funky bass line and a slower tempo marks the newer Foals as a band stepping away from the schizoid math/dance rock tag. The new grander, more soulful sound will translate well sales wise, but what could have been if they had gone the other way and gone heavier?

Spanish Sahara is an absolute belter. There’s no two ways about it. It builds and builds and builds into a huge wall of sound and sounds bloody briiliant live (get on the chilled dub remix by Mount Kimbie too). Foals sophomore album will do well and will feature some epic, sweeping tunes. Let’s just hope the nervous, fidgeting intensity hasn’t been consigned to the waste dump.



Total Life Forever is released 10, May and can be bought here: