REVIEW: Foals prove stadium ready during Cambridge Corn Exchange show - the last of their current UK tour

Foals, Cambridge Corn Exchange, November 16

Foals, Cambridge Corn Exchange, November 16 - Credit: Archant

It’s no secret that Foals are one of the UK’s best live bands, and tonight Cambridge’s energetic audience - as many teens as adults - proved they can be just as rowdy as anywhere else in the world.


Ben Jolley

The Oxford-born world-conquering rock quintet delivered another impressive performance, proving that they’re more than ready for February’s arena tour.

From the ferocious riffs of Mountain At My Gates, which arrive just two tracks in, to the more reflective, atmospheric “one for all the lovers” Blue Blood, they’re endlessly captivating to watch.

Just five men, their instruments and effortlessly charismatic frontman Yannis Philippakis - with his Mick Jagger-like swagger - is all Foals need. No gimmicks, between-song chatter is kept minimal and there’s barely any stage production. Foals’ songs speak for themselves.

The heaviest moments come from Inhaler, Red Socks Pugie and their encore, with the majority of the crowd one foot in the air at most times, beer cups flying and at one point a rogue Converse ascends as the Corn Exchange crowd devotedly sing back the lyrics.

Most Read

During Spanish Sahara’s epic climax teenagers are passed around overhead, but it’s when the encore comes that the gig reaches its peak. Yannis, having already stage-dived into the crowd (whilst still playing his guitar!) and referring to Cambridge as the “UK massive”, is guided hurriedly through the crowd after a raucous rendition of their massive single What Went Down.

Where’s he going? Not a clue.

That is, until he appears directly above us, given a leg up to cling on to the side of a balcony during set closer Two Steps Twice.

Taking the leap of faith, backwards, he entrusts the crowd below to catch him when he falls; which of course, everyone does.

Who said rock was dead?

Rolling back to the stage over everyone’s heads it’s a powerful end to this comparatively intimate tour, because what awaits is audiences ten times the size of tonight’s - including a show at Wembley’s SSE Arena.

But for Foals, they’re more than capable.