Hmm. It has to be said, the main stage at Leeds is not kind to the acts that have risen through their tented ranks. The indie superstars are either too fond of milking it or too inexperienced to know when to make their outdoor debut, but the overlong, jazzy, blue-lighted opening is in threat of becoming more wanky than Fuck Buttons‘ midnight DJ set the night before.
Of course that is not possible, but the previous frenzied hipsterama of past Leeds Festival sets have certainly been called in for their new rock chic glamour. Recent track ‘My Number‘ is suitably jaunty fun, but the omission of past crowd favourite ‘Cassius‘ is saddening. Yes, ‘Inhaler‘ is a great soon-to-be-arena soundtrack, but there is no medley of madness, none of that old indie punk vibe that they had going on. This isn’t necessarily a problem with Foals, but an issue with the alienating distance the outdoor main stage promotes among bands that rose through close, underground-style shows.
It’s a shame that their previous NME/Radio 1 staged tricks are just not as translatable to the main stage, and frontman Yannis Philippakis seems to feel the pressure. “This [last song] is called Two Steps Twice, bitcheeez,” he says, to immediate apparent regret and embarrassment. To rectify, he guitars his way down to the barrier to crowd surf as per his usual ways; the result is just not the same. No, Foals need to find a way to reach their now sizeable audience without counting on their normal material.