Stuart Clark was among the adoring masses in the Olympia...
Standing in front of a Franz Ferdinand banner which borrows its lettering from their beloved hometown venue, the Barrowlands, Alex Kapranos looks like a genetic splicing of young Elvis and Let's Dance-era Bowie with his newly peroxided quiff, razor sharp suit, and 45-year-old hips that still impressively swivel.
In the five years they've been away, Alex and fellow Franz founder member Bob Hardy - they're joined tonight by three whippersnapper new recruits - have morphed into elder statesmen. Not wanting it to be all about the old days, though, they kick off with 'Lazy Boy', their funky divil of a current single, which is as perfect a four minutes of pop as the trademark hits, which quickly follow.
Working every inch of the Olympia stage, Kapranos looks as lean and indie rock mean as he did when we first spied him fifteen odd years ago in the Dublin Mean Fiddler. You sense that Franz Ferdinand are back because they want to be, rather than having to find money to settle divorce cases or pay their kids' ludicrously expensive public school fees.
An elongated 'Do You Want To' - yes, we most certainly do - allows them to milk the sellout crowd's adulation, while the swoonsome 'When You Walk Away' is a reminder that Mr. Kapranos also authors a damn fine love song.
Brought up proper by his parents, Alex remembers to thank tonight's local support, Fontaines D.C., whose 'Hurricane Laughter' is the best thing a real Dublin rock band's done in a decade. With his nods to Mark E. Smith, Shaun Ryder, John Cooper Clarke and the Sleaford Mods, singer/very loud talker Grian won't be everyone's cup of Marmite but with so many killer riffs emanating from the boys behind him (their drummer is feckin' awesome too) you sense that biggish things await the abrasive quintet.
While not welcomed with the same deranged screams as 'Matinee' and 'Take Me Out', which have lost none of their youthful chutzpah, the title-track from Franz's Always Ascending comeback succeeds in turning this patch of Dublin 2 into a massive, seething dancefloor. "Donna Summer meets Talking Heads round at Scott Walker's gaff" is what I rather pretentiously have written in my notebook and, the morning after the night before, I'm sticking to it.
Given that they're in James Joyce's old manor, 'Ulysses' gets an encore run out alongside a stunning call and response version of 'This Fire', which Alex refuses to bring to climax until we all hunker down on the floor and wave our arms around in flame-like fashion.
Welcome back gents, it really has been too long...
Another knowing song from FFS.Read More
'Johnny Delusional' is our second taste of FFS.Read More
We're not April Fooling...Read More
The brilliantly-monikered FFS.Read More
A black and white affair for 'Fresh Strawberries' today.Read More
Franz Ferdinand prove to be cunning linguists with new German language track ‘Erdbeer Mund’, which comes with a fabulously psychedelic video.Read More
Following on from their rabble rousing Electric Picnic appearance last year, Franz Ferdinand have confirmed a headlining March 23 show in the Dublin Olympia. Tickets are €28.40.Read More
They've gone all Grindhouse...Read More
Stirring Comeback From Indie Heroes...Read More
Starring Franz Ferdinand, Bob Dylan, Volcano Choir, Halves and a great deal more...Read More
Franz Ferdinand whet appetites for their new album with Come Home, Practically All, Is Nearly Forgiven, a 15-minute ‘Making Of’ short, which is worth watching for the glimpse of Alex Kapranos’ hairy legs alone.Read More
Yep, all of it.Read More
Alex Kapranos has been talking to Hot Press ahead of Franz Ferdinand’s visit to Electric Picnic where he’s hoping to catch Giorgio Moroder.Read More
Just over three-quarters of an hour of art-pop goodness.Read More
Check out ‘Right Action’ here...Read More
The Scottish art-rockers have debuted two new tunes.Read More
The Electric Picnic headliners have announced the release of their fourth studio album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action,.Read More
Job well and truly done.Read More
A trio of shows on the horizon...Read More
Check out LCD Soundsystem version of 'Live Alone'.Read More
Franz Ferdinand attempt to put some dub in the music and end up with (re)mixed resultsRead More
Four middle-aged men discover a dance element to their music... and it’s good!Read More
Already set to play two Irish dates in the coming months, the Scottish rockers have now added a Belfast date to their upcoming tour.Read More
Franz Ferdinand have just announced a full UK and Irish tour for 2009, including a date in Limerick in February and Dublin in March.Read More
With that long awaited third album in the pipeline, and an imminent Electric Picnic slot, Franz Ferdinad's Alex Kapranos talks to us about utilizing the doppler effect.Read More
Which member of Franz Ferdinand is taking a break from band duties to play a DJ set in Dublin?Read More
In what turned out to be a pretty well-kept secret, Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square was the venue on Thursday August 31 for Franz Ferdinand’s free Channel 4 Vodafone TBA gig.Read More
As the masses prepare to descend on Punchestown, we dispatch Hannah Hamilton to assess the festival fitness of one of this year's Oxegen buzz bands, Franz Ferdinand.Read More
In which prominent musicians fondle their crystal balls and deliver their World Cup predictions.Read More
Sorry not to get swept up in it all, but is the second Franz album really that good? To be honest, I’m not convinced and ‘Walk Away’ is not the kind of song to change my mind. It is a fairly dull mid-pacer that sounds positively pedestrian next to Maximo Park, Bloc Party et al.Read More
With strikingly disciplined ferocity, better melodies than the Manics, near-Teutonic efficiency and positively ballistic energy levels, it was hardly a massive shock that Franz blew the Point to shardsRead More
Franz Ferdinand gear up for release of their tour DVD.Read More
**View the corresponding photo gallery here**
A flyover near the old Harland & Wolff shipyard was the starting point for a remarkable three months that has seen Franz Ferdinand challenging U2 and Coldplay for the title of ‘Biggest Band In The World'. Daredevil photographic exploits completed, Hot Press jumped on their tour bus and got the lowdown on Snoop, Bono, Kanye West, Natasha Bedingfield and nights of debauchery with the Scissor Sisters.Read More
There’s always added value with hotpress.com, and while this issue's cover story of Scotland’s biggest stars has plenty of visual treats, we’ve packed even more into our EXCLUSIVE Franz photo gallery.Read More
With their newly-released second album flying off the shelves this week, Franz Ferdinand fever will reach another peak on November 14, when their DVD becomes available.Read More
You Could Have It So Much Better is no radical body swerve, just the gratifying sound of a band gaining in confidence and prowess.Read More
Tackling the compelling subject matter of, er, oral pleasure, Franz are back with a vengeance and a single of the same standard as ‘Take Me Out’, but crucially, without the self-consciousness. Instead, they’re having bags of fun and it can’t help but rub off. Though there’s little more than an insanely bouncy and kitsch melody, the simplistic take guarantees it a place on the indie dancefloor for years to come. We’re so lucky.Read More
Give praise then for those Franz Ferdinand boys. Because it is their presence, and theirs alone, that makes this particular shindig worth attending.Read More
As 40,000 very satisfied punters will know, Franz Ferdinand were gigging in Belfast and Dublin this week - and Hot Press was with them every step of the way.Read More
After winning over the crowd at Belfast's Botanic Gardens yesterday (23 August) and aiming to do the same at Lansdowne Road tonight, Scottish indie-popsters Franz Ferdinand have already made plans to return to the Emerald Isle.Read More
Having insisted that their new album would be colour coded rather than named, Franz Ferdinand have done a U-turn.Read More
Here's a sneaky peek at the new Franz Ferdinand album artwork - the first Irish viewing no less. And what's it all about, you ask?Read More
Franz Ferdinand are asking their army of Irish admirers to help them assemble their first DVD.Read More
The Lansdowne Road line-up will also appear at Belfast’s Botanic GardensRead More
The Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, Chemical Brothers and Basement Jaxx have been announced today for the BudRising Summer Music ShowsRead More
2004 was a bad year in politics. Maybe that’s why the music just got better.Read More
Top 30 albums & singles of 2004, as voted by our HP writers...Read More
Hotpress' exploitation of vulnerable musicians has reached new levels with us quite literally taking the shirt off Franz Ferdinand's back.Read More
If their rapid ascent has left Alex Kapranos & Co. gasping for air it doesn’t show as Franz Ferdinand launch into their Olympia set with a breakneck ‘Michael’. All that having to grab American audiences by the scruff of the neck has toughened them up to the point where on occasions they’re bizarrely redolent of Live & Dangerous-era Thin Lizzy.Read More
A kitschy-camp delight.Read More
“Desperate to get back in the studio,” this year’s hottest band Franz Ferdinand are not about to rest on their laurels.Read More
Franz Ferdinand have been confirmed for a series of dates in Ireland this coming October!Read More
A year ago they were being paid fifty quid a gig, now they’re one of the biggest rock ‘n’ roll bands on the planet and about to take the Oxegen main stage by storm. A pun loving Stuart Clark discovers how Franz Ferdinand have become Top of the Fops.Read More
As Franz fever spreads across town, the hotpress.com paparazzi found the band enjoying the Dublin sunshine earlier todayRead More
Eamon Sweeney rates the much hyped Franz Ferdinand debut.Read More
Never mind CD:UK, Top Of The Pops and Later With Jools – you really know you’ve made it when the phone rings and it’s Sparks telling you they love you. Stuart Clark hears about the irresistible rise of Glasgow hotshots Franz Ferdinand.Read More
April sees the anticipated return of Scottish rockers Franz FerdinandRead More