hmv.com reviews… Franz Ferdinand @ London's Somerset House
Franz Ferdinand, indie rock quartet hailing from Glasgow
Somerset House, London
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The courtyard at Somerset House is quite a big space, but even so the crowd managed to fill pretty much every corner of it. The audience themselves were a bit of an odd mix; back when Franz Ferdinand first arrived on the scene in 2002 they were, for a while, the choice du jour for hipsters and too-cool-to-dance indie kids, and it seems their fans have grown with them over the last decade or so. Then, on top of that, there were a few guys dotted around looking as though they’d gone straight there after a shift at the bank. There was some pretty awkward dad-dancing going on…
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The band kicked off a career-spanning set with a lively rendition of ‘No You Girls’, followed swiftly by ‘The Dark of the Matinee’, both of which had the crowd moving right from the get-go. A rousing ‘Do You Want To’ saw the band camping it up a bit, milking the breakdown and getting the crowd singing along with them.
‘Right Action’ was one of the newer songs that really got the crowd into gear, but most of the serious dance moves were being busted out during their older songs, particularly the ones from their eponymous debut. The band’s storming run through of ‘Michael’ followed immediately by ‘Take Me Out’ were two cases in point here.
Any good between song banter?
Not much actually, although singer Alex Kapranos did take a moment to thank everyone for coming, as well as thanking the support act Francois & The Atlas Mountains, but other than that the chat was kept to a minimum.
Did they put on much of a show?
After a tough few years when the band were, by their own admission, a little burnt out from relentless touring commitments, last year’s album release seems to show that the band have found a new lease of life and it was obvious that they’re really enjoying playing together again. Kapranos and guitarist Nick McCarthy were both decked out in some snazzy black and white suits, while bassist Bob Hardy either didn’t get the memo or declined to join in. Either way, the band were exuberant and full of energy throughout.
What was the highlight of their set?
It’s the obvious choice, but ‘Take Me Out’ easily drew the biggest reaction from the crowd. It was belting live rendition of one of their best songs and even ten years on from its release it’s still a crowd pleaser.
Where can I catch them next?
They’re off to play a few days in France starting on July 18th in Carhaix, then they’ll be jetting off to Japan to appear at the Fuji Rock Festival, followed by shows in South America, so it may be a while yet before they’re back on British shores.