THE hype frenzy of Franz Ferdinand’s early years has passed and their seemingly unstoppable momentum has been challenged somewhat by the wait for their current album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. But woe to anyone at this concert attempting to argue that Franz have already peaked. This homecoming was simply triumphant.
Franz Ferdinand - Barrowlands, Glasgow
What could be better than their short, sharp sets of old? How about a long, sharp set? With four albums in the bank, Franz can now offer quantity with no adverse effect on quality.
Their ability to deliver a punchy performance remains undimmed but the greater pool of material allowed for an epic set of songs that were hits interspersed with songs that sounded like hits.
They flew out of the blocks with the frenetic Bullet, switched mood and momentum with Matinée and kept a firm grip on the tiller throughout, although they were never so rigorously drilled that they forgot to have fun along the way with the relatively disposable, schlocky Evil Eye or the trademark audacious strut of Do You Want To?
The swaggering Take Me Out just never seems to lose its mojo but the same could be said for any of the older songs in the show, while the newer numbers held their own in enviable company, from the bubblegum pop of current single Fresh Strawberries to the strapping Love Illumination, relatively blokey by Franz standards but playfully tempered by a foppish synth line.
Nick McCarthy was in his element when he stepped behind the keyboard, overseeing a burst of disco classic I Feel Love on Can’t Stop Feeling, jammed out into an invigorating techno epic.
Successive crescendos were followed by contrasting treats, and the gems kept coming long after other bands would have been flagging – a tightly coiled Michael, a pert Right Action and rampaging This Fire bringing them up to the valedictory flourish of Goodbye Lovers & Friends.
With a set as consistently killer as this, there was no need to save up the big familiar favourite number for the encore. Every song here was greeted like a lover or friend, and there were still other contenders left on the subs’ bench should Franz wish to play around with their setlist – enough to deliver infinite configurations of brilliance.