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An afternoon with Yannis Philippakis (of The Foals), in Olympos, Karpathos

During this visit of mine in November, I came across Yannis Philippakis, whose father comes from Olympos. At the time I knew nothing either of Yannis or of the group The Foals, despite living in the UK for five years. The Foals were formed in 2005, by which time I had returned to Greece.

Yannis Philippakis (Foals) at Olympos, Karpathos isnald, Greece, by photographer George Tatakis
Yannis Philippakis at Olympos, Karpathos

I did, however, hear others refer to him as ‘the rock star’, mostly in jest, which piqued my curiosity. I was told that The Foals are a very well-known band in the UK, whose concerts attract thousands. Afterwards, I naturally looked Yiannis up on the internet and I even became a fan of the Foals.

Yannis Philippakis (Foals) around Olympos in Karpathos island, Greece, by photographer George Tatakis
Yannis Philippakis (Foals) around Olympos

Some facts about Yannis Philippakis (src. Wikipedia) --

Yannis Philippakis was born on April 23, 1986, and is the lead singer and guitarist of the British indie rock band Foals. He lived his first four years in Greece, born to a Greek father and a South African Jewish mother. They moved then to South Africa and his parents were divorced after a year. His father played a significant role in his life regarding music, teaching him traditional Greek songs. Philippakis was raised in the Greek Orthodox religion.

Philippakis was educated at Magdalen College School. There he had met all of the requirements for an assisted place at Magdalen, where he had taken classes on French, literature, and art. While attending school, Philippakis faced many difficulties due to his father's absence; he would get into trouble with the teachers and was ill-tempered. This led to his being suspended twice. Philippakis then went on to study English literature at St John's College, Oxford; he dropped out before completing his degree to focus on the band.

Philippakis formed FOALS in 2005 with friend and former Youthmovies frontman Andrew Mears after the break-up of his former band The Edmund Fitzgerald, which also featured his Foals bandmate, drummer Jack Bevan.

Yannis Philippakis (Foals) around Olympos in Karpathos island, Greece, by photographer George Tatakis
Yannis Philippakis (Foals) at the church of the Christ in Olympos

Meeting Yannis Philippakis of the Foals.

I had, however, already met Yiannis through common acquaintances and so I asked whether he would be willing for me to take some pictures of him in the village, which he willingly agreed to. After the shoot, we returned to the Parthenon, the local café that we frequented on the main square of Olympos, where Yiannis’ father happened to be with his group of friends, where he was playing the lyra and singing mantinades. Yiannis sat with his father and sang. I took my last photo, which I think is my favourite.

Yannis Philippakis (Foals) singing Mantinades with his father, in Olympos, Karpahots island, Greece, by photographer George Tatakis
Yannis Philippakis (Foals) singing Mantinades with his father



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