franz-ferdinand– ACADEMY 1, MANCHESTER –

Franz Ferdinand released their self titled first album in 2004. That’s the same year as Rammstein’s Amerika and Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot. Feeling old yet?

Ten years later they’re headlining Manchester Academy, supported by the Eagulls, soaring into their new single ‘Bullet,’ a raucous sing-along performed with a higher dose of energy than a bucket full of Red Bull.

Styled in black and white coordinated shirts, they cut a fashionable four piece. Front man Alex Kapranos is an audience’s dream as he leaps and struts across the stage.

Striking into the intro to ‘Take Me Out,’ the band revel in the room’s buzz as arms fly uncontrollably into the air and awkward, shuffling men suddenly believe they have the ability to dance. It’s the band’s older songs that gain this sort of reaction, seeing them ticking off hit after hit in the gigs first half.

The songs are perfectly executed. The ten years since their debut album have allowed them to fine tune their act, the vocals are pitch perfect and the riffs are slick and sharp leaving ‘The Dark Of The Matinée’ and ‘Do You Want To’  to whizz by to a gleeful reception.

The familiar sounds of ‘Michael’ remain undated, the fierce guitar echoing as clearly as it did when it was fresh, delivering a healthy dose of bass that you can feel thumping in your chest. Having polished off the majority of their best-loved, they launch into ‘Outsiders’ with an extended drum solo which sees the band circling around the drum kit and masterfully pounding it into submission.

Finishing on a down-beat ‘Goodbye Lovers and Friends,’ it’s evident that Franz Ferdinand have pinned their own quirky genre down and continue to surf on its wave. And, it’s safe to say that they are the only band off my ‘Now That’s What I Call Music 57’ CD that remain relevant today.

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