It’s the first time I’ve seen indie art rock pop band Foals perform live and I can’t help but feel excited. 

Their first album, Antidotes, had me dancing around the kitchen, circa 2008, throwing shapes of all dimensions, but subsequent albums passed me by due to the arrival of smallies and a change in life.

But now I’m back in the groove and catching up with an act who have grown considerably in that time too.

The spindly-legged young foals have gained in stature and sound since their spiky first album came out. Their second LP Total Life Forever saw them build their sound and style, while Holy Fire and What Went Down saw the band put meat on their bones and move away from art funk pop to a funk rock.

They’ve also grown their fan base and following to become one of the hottest headliner and stadium acts around. And here they are, playing an almost packed-to- capacity big tent on a Tuesday night in Cork.

It’s the coolest crowd I’ve seen at a show in Cork this year and the Live at the Marquee bar area could be mistaken for Williamsburg bloc party in Brooklyn, New York, considering the cool haircuts, skinny jeans, and trendy T-shirts that are knocking about.

Amy Carroll, aged 21, from Lucan, Co Dublin, has seen the band “at least 10 times” and travelled from Dublin to catch them in Cork.

Owen Duignan from Roscommon and Ellen McGuinness from Louth.
Owen Duignan from Roscommon and Ellen McGuinness from Louth.

“I haven’t missed them in Ireland yet. They’re fantastic live and give it their all, whether they’re playing a big or a small venue,” she said. Older revellers, Niall and Sheila O’Mahony, aged in their 60s, from Skibbereen, West Cork, had seen the band’s Glastonbury performance on TV and decided to check them out live in Cork.

“We like to keep up with young, new bands and we liked their energy and the sound they produced when we saw them on TV. The seemed to enjoy themselves,” said Sheila.

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Foals Live at the Marquee, Cork

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And energy is something that isn’t lacking at their Live at the Marquee show.

Opening with ‘Snake Oil from What Went Down, Foals then deftly transitioned to dance hits from Antidotes and kept up the momentum with a colourful strobe-laser light show to hit track ‘My Number’.

An appreciative crowd went wild when frontman and lead vocalist Yannis Philippakis apologised for having taken so long to play Cork.

Claire Crowley, Amy Ring, and Tadgh Crowley from Midleton pictured at Foals’ first concert in Cork.
Claire Crowley, Amy Ring, and Tadgh Crowley from Midleton pictured at Foals’ first concert in Cork.

“We’re gonna make up for it by having some craic tonight,” he said , before leading into emotive fan favourite ‘Spanish Sahara’.

Foals are no one-trick pony and we hope they come back soon.


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