Foals conquer Lincoln’s Engine Shed

— John Fernandez contributed with this report.

Foals have been nominated for the Mercury Prize and have produced arguably two of the best indie albums in the last three years. 

Yet for some reason they failed to sell out the Engine Shed for their November 11th show. There’s something wrong here.

However, a depleted crowd meant nothing to the Oxford 5-piece. Before Foals, though, was the turn of indie hardcore mob Pulled Apart by Horses, playing tracks from their new album “I Punched a Lion in the Throat”.

Being the first band on is hardly a fun task. Nobody really cares what you are doing, and most people are quite comfortable just leaning on the bar.

Pulled Apart by Horses break the first band stereotype and even manage to get the first circle pit of the night with their unique brand of big riffs and catchy lyrics.

Second on is synth rockers Crystal Fighters, whose main appeal appears to be the whole “wow there’s a girl on stage” deal. They manage to keep the crowd going for their relatively short set, but let’s just say while the band look the new indie package they lack some serious tunes to back it up.

Headline act Foals, however, look the part and have the tunes. The frenzy kicked up as frontman Yannis Philippakis enters the stage and picks up his guitar is amazing. “Hi” is all he needs to say to get the crowd screaming in his direction.


Foals last played in Lincoln two years ago. Photo: Samuel Cox

Opener “Blue Blood” floats brilliantly across the crowd, and from there they have the crowd in the palm of their hands.

“Olympic Airways” has the entire crowd dancing in unison, Philippakis choreographing from the stage, then suddenly the pace changes and they roar into the title track for their new album “Total Life Forever”.

The gig isn’t just about their most recent success, though. Foals are able to dip into their previous record “Antidotes” and pull out arguably the best moment of the night with lead single “Cassius” and fan live-favourite “Balloons”.

As expected, the fans go mad for it and from there you know that Foals have conquered Lincoln, there’s no going back. Everybody in that room has been immediately taken in by their charm, and who can blame them?

Foals are a band with limitless appeal and a band who from Thursday’s showing look like nothing can get in their way.

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