Gig review: Franz Ferdinand, Glasgow

Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos. Picture: Robert Perry
Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos. Picture: Robert Perry
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10 years ago Franz Ferdinand played this same venue, as support to indie/post-punk peers since become where-are-they-nows Hot Hot Heat.

Franz Ferdinand

Glasgow QMU

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But as if stunned by the enormous success that subsequently followed as their self-titled debut album swept them to becoming for a time one of the world’s biggest bands, the Glasgow-formed four piece have struggled to find focus throughout the last decade, almost to their demise.

Out next week, album four Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is the overwhelmingly affirmative step - actually, make that a strut - in the right direction that Alex Kapranos and co have long sought.

Rediscovering a certain vital spark has been key to Franz’s renaissance - opener Right Action is their sparkiest and best single since 2005’s Do You Want To?, which follows a couple of songs later in jubilantly wonky style. But progress plays its part too. Stand on the Horizon is precisely the sort of thing you want to hear them writing this deep into their career - that bit more sophisticated with ts shifting structure and wistful coda, but still a party song and no doubt.

A hometown crowd were always going to welcome the band warmly tonight (everyone’s invited to wave to Kapranos’s mum up on the balcony at one point), and right enough Matinee and This Fire are greeted like long-lost relatives. Still few songs make a crowd bounce quite like Take Me Out.

New album closer Goodbye Lovers and Friends seems a logical endpoint, but instead Lucid Dreams, from Franz’s stodgy second-to-latest set Tonight, follows, dramatically re-imagined replete with a four-way drum work-out (think Stomp in fashionable shirts). A fittingly bold finale from a band very much back on the beat.