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On the Fourth Day of Christmas, Gloucester Guildhall Will Give to Me...

On the fourth day of Christmas, 
the Guildhall will give to me,
One Jack Bevan,
One Jimmy Smith,
One Walter Gervers,
One Edwin Congreave,
and a Yannis Philippakis.

For the uninitiated, these five chaps make up Foals, NME Award Winners and floppy-haired indie rock extraordinaires.  Only the great Laura Marling can claim to have crooned more frequently in my Peugeot 206.  To come second only to the great Marling should be celebrated; such is my obsession with female singer-songwriters that if Foals' second album, Total Life Forever hadn't been so damn good, my Top Five Most Played would consist entirely of the fairer sex. 

So when I found out that Foals were playing Gloucester Guildhall - a venue that is less than a mile away from where I live - I almost fell over.  My excitement was by no means an isolated incident; the county went berserk when word got around.  When tickets went on sale at the Guildhall box office, they sold out in 20 minutes.  I was lucky enough to have heard about the pre-sale and already had secured some in advance.  Queue-jumping at its most legal.

In anticipation of Foals' performance at the Guildhall on 4 December, I thought I'd mark a month until the gig with a song of theirs that is so good that in 2010, NME awarded it Song of the Year.  I daresay that Foals surprised themselves when they pulled this masterpiece out of the bag. 

While it doesn't altogether fit the mood of this post, I'd nonetheless like to share a poem written by Simon Armitage called "The Foal" that caught my eye earlier this evening.  It appears in his 2004 collection, CloudCuckooLand, a book I'd stumbled upon in Oxfam and subsequently bought for 99 pence!  

The Foal

Love-child, possibly, born the wrong side of the blanket, 
left for dead, found on the gable-end one morning
slung across a hanging basket like a parachutist in a tree;
we took it in, gave it a meal in a cleaned-out ashtray.

The legs it came with were next to useless - four thin stalks.
We took it for short walks down to the farm, but quite frankly
the other horses didn't want to know.  In the field
it stands like an ironing board on a front-room carpet. 

So the calling birds, French hens, turtle doves and the partridge in that flipping pear tree can collectively do one - on the fourth day of Christmas, I'd much rather rock out to Foals!  I cannot wait. 


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