Monday, March 2, 2009

Franz Ferdinand impress in Dolan's Warehouse

So rare to get a chance to see a band of Franz Ferdinand's stature in a relatively small venue like Dolan's Warehouse. I mean 'small' in the best possible sense, and in this case, the venue came into its own in a way that defies recent memory.

300 odd sweaty and very happy people enjoying an hour and a half of quality music and performance, from no more than 10 feet away. It occurs to me that I might never have been closer than say, 100 feet, to a Franz Ferdinand performance in the past.

If even. I vaguely remember walking past Franz Ferdinand performances at recent festivals, without exhibiting much interest. Sometimes a tune or two, sometimes not. But when such a band come to town, to play in the local venue that you inhabit on a regular basis, then that's a different story altogether.

Now, I was a big fan of the Scottish rockers' eponymous debut. Sort of lost interest - like many - with the follow-up You Could Have It So Much Better. But it is strange how the songs from this album sound new and vibrant after not being heard in time, and also played live to an appreciative crowd.

In fact, all of the songs that FF play tonight sound new and fresh.

The racheting, military style precision drumming of Come on Home opens the show, ripping through the crowd like a knife - attention is immediately grabbed. The central motif to the song is a meandering keyboard scale that Kyle McLachlan-esque guitarist/keyboardist Nick McCarthy allows to hang in the air.

Blue light falls upon your perfect skin/Falls and you draw back again/Falls and this is how I fell..

There is a rush, an energy - no, a tautness about this four-piece, confidently exploring songs from their back catalogue, allowing them to sit comfortably alongside their new output, from third album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand.

Second on the list tonight is No You Girls, from Tonight, an ear-buzzer of a song that will grab you and won't let go.

Kiss me, flick your cigarette and kiss me.

The shouty chorus is an instant classic, popular with this audience.

Do you ever wonder? No you girls never know - how you make a boy feel.

Matinee and Do You Want To? follow in breathlessly quick fashion and the floorboards creak with the effort of 300 people jumping in unison. Not for a minute did I expect these songs to sound as good as they do, here and now.

Another new song follows, the organ driven Twilight Omens, Kapranos allowing the full range of his falsetto capabilities to stretch their vocal legs.

Walk Away follows, and it is clear the band are going to follow a sort-of one on, one off type strategy to their music, dipping in and out of the first two albums, alongside new material. Fine with us.

Line of the night arrives in the form of Bite Hard, another new song that stands up to the effervesence exhibited by material from album #1 and 2.
You don't the pseudonoyms I assume for you.

The peak of the set arrives with the effortless grind of Take Me Out, the two minute groove of Turn It On, 40', Michael and new single Ulysses, which throws a prog-rock sound into the angular rock mix.

After a brief walk-off the Scots return with first album classic Better On Holiday, new track What You Came For and finish with a roaring version of This Fire that sees all four members stand around drummer Paul Thomson's drums and bash the living daylights out them. Superb.


IndieLimerick said...

Great review, what a night! I have a review of the gig on my blog too,

aaron said...

I have some photos from the gig and after show on

Amazing night!