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Having graduated from sweaty house parties to headlining festivals, Foals have also seen most of their 2000s contemporaries slowly vanish. Releasing a two-instalment album wiThthe restless energy of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Parts 1 And 2 typifies how they’ve stayed ahead of the pack. As the band tell John Earls: “We’re the last of a dying breed”

In rehearsals for their recent comeback shows, where they returned to small clubs for the first time in over a decade, Foals watched footage of their biggest moment to date: their headline set at Reading Festival from 2016. The gig cemented Foals’ status as one of a handful of acts in recent times to break through the cabal of perennial festival headliners: bands such as Foo Fighters, The Killers, Kings Of Leon, Coldplay…

Yet Foals remember very little of their triumph. “We’d forgotten what Reading was like,” admits guitarist Jimmy Smith. “Watching the footage, none of us could quite believe it had happened. We were watching it going, ‘There’s flames and everything. And so many people!’ The day itself was incredibly stressful, as everyone’s families were turning up. You’re thinking ‘Oh my God, we’re headlining Reading!’ and then your mum calls, asking ‘I’m at C Gate. Is that near you?’ Playing the show was actually the relaxing bit.”

That Foals take such a laidback stance to their rise typifies their attitude. For all the intensity of their music, the band themselves appear remarkably unruffled at how they make it. Jimmy and drummer Jack Bevan are boThself-deprecating, dealing wiTheverything from the departure of founding bassist Walter Gervers to how they ended up making an 82-minute record after four years away wiThthe same casual humour. They also share the excitable energy more common in a new band, which may help explain how Foals’ music has stayed fresh since appearing wiThtheir fractious, spiky debut album Antidotes in 2008. In short, being in Foals seems as much fun as life in an unexpected festival headline band should be.

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