Franz Ferdinand rules
Avalon, Boston, June 16, 2004
By Jeffrey B. Remz
BOSTON - The buzz on Scottish band Franz Ferdinand has been quite big this year. A fine album put out on a British label gets picked up by the Sony conglomerate for big bucks. Earlier this year, the quartet launched their maiden foray into the States, also well received.
So now the band, named for the assassinated Austrian ruler that precipitated World War I, is back on a second go-round playing bigger places with all shows reportedly sold out.
What Franz Ferdinand brings to the table live is a well put together set playing a bunch of generally propulsive dance pop songs with some edge to them and not overstaying their welcome.
Alexander Kapranos handles most of the lead singing chores, and he is well suited to the role. Not at all over the top, just like the rest of the band, Kapranos brings the songs home effectively.
Perhaps more important is the guitar work of Nick McCarthy, who took an occasional turn on vocals. Along with drummer Paul Thomson, he helps set the beat and styling of each song. And the songs tend to take off and get listeners shaking and bopping along to the sound. "The Dark of the Matinee" proved to be a fine example of that.
Franz Ferdinand didn't overstay their welcome either. Considering that they have but one album out in the States, an hour's worth of their time was about enough.
After all, why not give 'em enough to be satiated without padding a set with mediocre songs?
FF also proved to have a winning stage presence. They would talk every so often, appreciative of the crowd and how far they have come in so short a time (when Kapranos asked if anyone in the crowd had seen their show in late February at the 300-person TT the Bear's club in Cambridge, not that many shouts could be heard among the 2,000 fans in attendance)
Who knows where this group can play next time. Many times, the buzz on the other side of the Pond seems big. Often, said group never takes off on this side. The jury is still out, of course, on Franz Ferdinand, but there was nothing based on their outing on this particular night to show FF deserves a one-way ticket back to their homeland.
Franz Ferdinand rules.