THEY have spent the past year travelling the world, selling out venues from the USA and Mexico to Japan.

But tonight Oxford band Foals return to their roots for a surprise show for fans in the venue where they began – the O2 Academy in Cowley Road.

The show is ridiculously intimate for the band, and marks their first show in their home city since they played a warm-up show at the same venue in 2014.

Tickets for the gig went on sale on Monday morning and instantly sold out, leaving thousands of fans disappointed.

The show celebrates the launch of the second part of their new album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost.

Yannis Philippakis, Jimmy Smith, Edwin Congreave and Jack Bevan met in Oxford and began their careers in the city – playing the O2 Academy (and the Zodaic before that) and the now-closed Cellar, off Cornmarket.

The band have also announced a documentary and concert film based on this year’s world tour, which will be available to watch on Prime Video next month.

Talking exclusively to the Oxford Mail, drummer Jack said: “I’m really excited about coming back to Oxford. It’s going to be one hell of a party.

“We wanted to put on an extra show to promote the record as it’s on target to get to number one if we do everything we can – and this was the obvious place.”

He had sympathy for fans who missed out on tickets, but said: “I always find it exciting when stuff sells out quickly. You never get used to it.”

Read more: Foals to appear in 'rock-umentary' of world tour

The show follows a triumphant headline set at Truck Festival, in Steventon, in July. They have previously also played on the main stage at Glastonbury and headlined Reading and other major festivals.


Jack said: “Truck was one of my favourite shows ever; definitely in my top 10. Truck was the first festival I ever went to and the first festival the band ever played. I loved it and the crowd was amazing. We felt the love coming back at us. That’s why we wanted to come back to Oxford again. This is where we grew up and we have been talking about going back to some of our favourite places – like Mario’s for a pizza or The Star for ‘Jager bombs’.

“We have good memories of playing Oxford – and especially the O2.”

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Jack recalled playing the venue with Foals and with his and Yannis’s previous band The Edmund Fitzgerald. He said: “We must’ve played that place 10 times. It’s the same with The Cellar. It was really sad when it closed. I had so many great memories of playing there, but it was more than that; I also had so many good nights out there. When somewhere closes, it also closes a chapter in your life, and you can’t go back.

“As places like that close there’s an increasingly bleak outlook for new bands. I am hoping there’s a way of things changing.”

So what can fans expect from tonight’s show? “We are going to have a banging set,” he said. “If anything Part 2 of the album lends itself to being played live more than the first. Some of the songs really do bang live!”