IN TERMS of popularity, Glasgow’s Franz Ferdinand and LA’s Sparks have both outgrown venues of this bijou size. But where better for these quintessential art-rock aesthetes to begin their first collaborative tour? For Franz especially, it’s a spiritual home.
Glasgow School of Art
The packed, sweaty confines added to a sense of joyous occasion, as the super-group chomped dramatically through the fruits of their labour.
The collaboration makes sense given Franz’s indebtedness to, not only Sparks, but also the art-glam/synth-pop acts they influenced. An equal partnership, it works beautifully. Franz provide Ron and Russell Mael with the kind of wired rock accompaniment they haven’t enjoyed in years, while the sexagenarian cult legends push their younger companions into more winningly preposterous shapes than they’re used to.
Russell’s extraordinary falsetto, blessedly undimmed with age, blends naturally with Alex Kapranos’ velveteen croon. Together they create an irresistible brew of Berlin Via Vegas electro-rock cabaret; camp, clever and contagious.
These days Russell resembles a healthy Liza Minnelli. Ron, of course, with his trademark deadpan glare and pencil moustache, resembles no-one else but Ron.
Though largely culled from their début album, inevitably the set was fleshed out with hits from their respective catalogues. As good as the new material is, the likes of Take Me Out and This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us were unbeatable highlights.
This witty meeting of minds is tremendous fun, which I believe was the whole point of this pop racket in the first place. More please.