You couldn’t get much more hyped than this. Saturday was
Oxford’s chance to sample the sound of the much acclaimed
four-piece from Glasgow at a sold-out Oxford Brookes gig. As
Fiery Furnaces ended a lively support set, it remained to be seen
if Franz Ferdinand could give anything more than the
retro-reproductive music that has assaulted the indie scene
recently. Sashaying onto the stage, with unbelievably tight,
high-waisted trousers, shirts that bordered on garish, haircuts
that your mum would be proud of, pointy boots and glittery
guitars, the band cut a fine figure. As they warmed up the crowd
with the acerbic ‘Cheating on You’, any scepticism
melted away with each toetap. Their energetic and technically flawless set held some real
gems. The floor bounced to the insistent beats of ‘Take Me
Out’ and ‘Jacqueline’ and the audience drooled as
FF played, and posed along to, the homoerotic, Blondieesque,
‘Michael’ about four “beautiful boys on a
beautiful dancefloor”. When the lights dimmed for ‘Matinee’ (an anthem
worthy of comparison with Pulp’s Common People and Electric
Six’s Gay Bar), all eyes were on lead singer Alex Kapranos.
Combining the cool indifference of Jarvis Cocker, a dry, almost
soporific, voice reminiscent of Neil Hannon, with just a dash of
energy and sincerity he complimented Nick McCarthy on guitar, who
managed to make school disco shuffle-dancing look chic. It is refreshing when a group lives up to their reputation and
delivers on all the promise and potential that their scene
assigns to them. In short, Franz Ferdinand did just that in an
electrifying live act. They proved why they are hot property and
deserve to be around for a while. With catchy pop tunes and an effortlessly cool,
pretension-free image, these guys met every expectation going,
and how!ARCHIVE: 1st week TT 2004 

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