Franz Ferdinand at Brixton Academy for NME Awards Shows 2018
Tonight, the folks of London are lucky to be at a Franz Ferdinand gig supported by Albert Hammond Jr. The Strokes’ former guitarist lures in a crowd that reaches maximum capacity. The cover artwork of his upcoming album, Francis Trouble, shines behind him and his setlist consists of several songs from it, including recently released track Far Away Truths.
The songs are in harmony with the sort of rhythms found in Franz Ferdinand’s work, so Hammond Jr’s music is ideal as a starter. The man himself performs with great enthusiasm, confident in his material, which the world will hear in a few days. He’s the perfect supporting act for the headliners – it’s just a shame that, likely due to an unfamiliarity with the new music, the audience seems afraid to dance.
Everyone in the venue makes themselves heard when the Scottish rockers take the stage. Suited and booted, frontman Alex Kapranos motions for all to raise their hands for the build-up of Always Ascending, the rocking titular track from their latest album. The second tune is a throwback, The Dark of the Matinée, the third single of their career. Tonight’s playlist is a zesty mix of new and old. Hands in the crowd stay raised throughout, getting higher as the evening goes on. In other words, they’re always ascending.
To newcomers, Franz Ferdinand could easily be confused as a single entity rather than a band due to their name. If there’s a particular individual who stands out, it’s Kapranos. The lead singer is beyond self-assured in his abilities to ensure everyone enjoys themselves, dazzling with his eternally stentorian voice whilst prancing with his guitar. He can’t stop even himself from frolicking when it’s time for the vigorous Jacqueline.
As well as Jacqueline, it’s the older stuff such as the timeless Take Me Out that inspires the most jumping around, as none of the new melodies have managed to attain the same “instant classic” status. That doesn’t hinder the overall performance from being so much fun, which is exemplified best when the final encore number, This Fire, runs past the curfew time.
Earlier in the evening, after an exuberant rendition of Do You Want To, Kapranos declared that he’s lucky to be performing, lucky to have a sold out show, and lucky to have brilliant opening acts. Well, we’re lucky to have seen Franz Ferdinand live at their best.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information and future events the Franz Ferdinand website here.
Watch the video for Feel the Love Go here: