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Foals announce return of bassist Walter Gervers

'Rejoining for all the coming shows & into the future,' says frontman Yannis Philippakis

By Joe Goggins

Foals in the pub with Walter Gervers, 2023
Gervers departed Foals in January 2018. (Photo: Yannis Philippakis)

Walter Gervers has rejoined Foals, according to a new Instagram post from frontman Yannis Philippakis.

Bassist Gervers was a founding member of the Oxford outfit back in 2005 and played on 2008’s Antidotes, 2010’s Total Life Forever, 2013’s Holy Fire and 2015’s What Went Down before departing after finishing the touring cycle for the latter. His amicable parting of ways with the band was announced in January 2018, and the group went on to make both parts of 2019’s Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost without him, as well as last year’s Life Is Yours.

At the time, the group said only that Gervers was leaving to “pursue a new life”, adding in a post on Instagram: “The parting has been so sad but we remain firm friends, he’ll always be our brother, we love him and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Now, though, Gervers has made a permanent return to the fold. On his personal Instagram account today (May 2), Philippakis posted a photo of Gervers, guitarist Jimmy Smith and drummer Jack Bevan catching up over a pint, with the caption: “After 6 years in the alpine wilderness guess who’s back in the band?!! Walter is back & better than ever. Rejoining for all the coming shows & into the future. Get ready, the boys are back in business.”

The band then briefly took to Instagram Live to stream footage of them jamming the Holy Fire deep cut ‘Milk and Black Spiders’ with Gervers. It means they are again a four-piece, having briefly been reduced to a trio with the departure in September 2021 of keyboardist Edwin Congreave, who cited academic pursuits as well as concerns over the environmental impact of global touring as his reasons for stepping back from the group.

Gervers will make his second live debut with Foals on Thursday (May 4), when they kick off a run of intimate club shows in Southampton – you can see the full dates below. The band have a busy summer in prospect, with a slew of European shows, support slots to Paramore in the US, and a host of festivals in August, including headline turns at Reading and Leeds.

Foals, May 2023:

4 – Southampton, Engine Rooms [matinee and evening shows]

5 – Liverpool, O2 Academy 2 Liverpool [matinee and evening shows]

7 – Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms [matinee and evening shows]

8 – Glasgow, SWG3 Warehouse [matinee and evening shows]

9 – Oxford, O2 Academy Oxford

11 – Kingston-Upon-Thames, PRYZM [matinee and evening shows]