FOALS know a trick or two about tension. They keep the crowd in suspense with a drawn out, droning introduction, lights muted and chords pulsing. It's enough swell to push the crowd to the balls of their feet and then, as the first chords kick in, start them jumping. They do not stop.
Five trendies in their late twenties, Foals can now sell out the Albert Hall in 15 minutes and can tick "festival headliners" from their To Do list. Another thing they can do is play to reach the very back corners of a venue - and play boldly, they certainly do. The set is a relentless hour of determined, raucous guitar screech with violent lighting and a determined beat.
Olympic Airways has the crowd chanting along to the hook on the word "disappear" while My Number adds a little jaunty, Talking Heads-esque, post punk to proceedings. The accompanying light show is a spectacular, seizure-inducing ray of colours that stroke the ceiling while the sound slaps the rafters.
It dims mildly for Spanish Sahara, which comes as a gulp of clear air among the pounding drums and crunching guitars, but Late Night and Inhaler bring the levels back up to 11.
All are richly multi-layered, and delivered with a deal of showmanship, from frontman Yannis Philippakis, who is still in the privileged position of playing festivals and crowds small enough to make out the faces.
As the encore of the rhythmic explosion Two Steps, Twice batters the building, the crowd and, doubtless, the cars going by in the street outside, one is left bruised, dazzled and wondering if the whole thing was not just a trick of the light.