Thetford Forest Live review: Foals create a wonderful wall of noise in the woods

Foals at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org

Foals at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org - Credit: Archant

There cannot have been many noisier gigs at High Lodge during it's 15 or so years as a gig venue, as Foals brought their brilliant indie rock/dance crossover to Norfolk.

Yak at Thetford Forest for Forest Live Credit: Steve Hunt stevehuntphoto.org

Yak at Thetford Forest for Forest Live Credit: Steve Hunt stevehuntphoto.org - Credit: Archant

In the past decade the band have developed a reputation as one of the best live acts around, thanks to their ability to take a riff or melody and build it into a pulsating groove to get the body moving.

They head to the forest on the back of their most recent, and fifth, album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1, many tracks from which get a play tonight. My favourites are singles Exits and In Degrees, which very much tick the Foals box of creating a wonderful wall of noise to lose yourself in.

And therein lies the key ingredient to the success of Foals live, their ability to take songs to an epic level so that often they sound almost nothing like they do on record - but in a very good way.

This happens in Mountain At My Gates, played early to really get the 5,000-plus crowd going, while other highlights include a raucous My Number and set closer Two Steps, Twice, a nine-minute epic in which almost every member of the crowd appears to be bouncing or grooving along.

Support act Kiev at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org

Support act Kiev at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org - Credit: Archant


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As a long-term fan, there are a few great songs missing, but that's always the case once a band starts to build up a back catalogue.

It's still a superb 100-minute set and the band are on great form, in good voice and at the top of their game. They've not quite hit the heights commercially some may have expected when they initially came onto the scene, but on their live showings at least that's not because of a lack of quality.

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* Good support bands always add to a gig and in opener Kiev and then Yak the evening definitely delivers. US band Kiev bring chilled out summer vibes to High Lodge, an excellent third on the bill in the fading sun. Meanwhile trio Yak are already building a good reputation on the indie scene with their fuzzy rock and they draw people in early delivering a surprisingly intense set considering the surroundings.

Foals at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org

Foals at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org - Credit: Archant

Foals at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org

Foals at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org - Credit: Archant

Foals at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org

Foals at Thetford Forest for Forest Live 2019 Credit: Steve Hunt - stevehuntphoto.org - Credit: Archant

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