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FRANZ FERDINAND - London Brixton Academy - 28 October 2004   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Monday, 01 November 2004
There is no such thing as Indie anymore. No such thing as mainstream.I thought they didnít make em like this. But letís cut the bullshit.

 

Itís all Nirvanaís fault. And I ainít complaining. For too long, music has been a bland wasteland of overhyped and undertalented overachievers with the lyrical wit of a sloth and the stage presence of rabbits.

And at last, Franz Ferdinand arrive. In incredible style. Weíve already enjoyed the truly brilliant Bob Log The Third (a one man band who plays bluegrass metal whilst knocking out the drums with his feet and singing from inside a Evil-Kenivel suit and bikers helmet), and the tiresome Kills, a band  who take all the worst aspects of the jesus And Mary Chain, spotweld them to a indie guitarist who has spent WAY too long pulling faces in his bedroom mirror and a charmless, unmelodic chanteuse vocalist who is better off behind the bar, not  amicrophone.

Maybe Franz Ferdinand chose The Kills to make them look even better. Itís a well known trick, but they neednít have bothered. Franz Ferdinand donít need crap support acts to look good. They can give anyone a good run for their money.

As entrances go, it matches anyones. The band, shilouetted against a white sheet, lined up like a firing squad, riffs peelings out like fire. After that, it just gets better. For a band barely out of the gates on itís debut record, and playing for an hour and a half (with a forty minute record, no less), thereís no moment where you realise that theyíre got here by chance. No moment where the material suddenly sags into hastily-written-b-side-hell, no moment where the new songs are anything less than as good as anything else. Simply put : the new stuff sounds as good as the old stuff, and the old stuff is fantastic.

And to start your show with the four lead off singles from your album is a genius move. The crowd are eating out of their hands from the moment they come stage. And theyíre not just musicians : theyíre showmen. They know how to do it. Taking the very best ideas from old rock videos and a showmanship unparallelled, they command the stage. Even when the bloke playing the keyboard points at the crowd like the in-house band on Miami Vice and clicks his fingers like Feargal Sharkey.

You canít help but see the influence of the Eighties on these guys : they grew up there, and they come across as an unholy mix of Duran Duran, Blondie and something else altogether new. The devil does have the best tunes, after all. Thereís those genius/godawful lyrics that run the fine line between simple, stupid, and stupendous. Those descending guitar lines that sound like the best funkbass runs ever, yet all guitary. And a song in French.

Canít knock it. Franz Ferdinand are that most inspiring of bands : someone who takes all The Best Bits Of The Past, and make something altogether new and brilliant out of it. I can see them achieving a status as legendary as U2 if they fulfill the promise of their dazzling beginnings.

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