Franz Ferdinand’s Nick McCarthy writes album for Shakespeare puppet show

Franz man cites ‘Grease’ and ‘Flight Of The Concords’ as influences for ‘The Tempest Puppet Music Show’ score

Richard Johnson
Pic: Richard Johnson
Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy has composed a soundtrack album featuring new material for a Shakespeare puppet show.

Speaking to NME, McCarthy revealed that he had been working on The Tempest Puppet Music Show with actor Philipp Plessmann and designer Hank Schmidt-in-der-Beek for three years – and that the score was influenced by musicals such as Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as the sitcom Flight Of The Concords.

The score – which was co-written by McCarthy and Plessmann – will be performed live during showings of The Tempest Puppet Music Show, which runs from September 7 9 at London's Wilton’s Music Hall, but the guitarist hinted it could also be released as an album, too.

He said:

We’ve been writing the songs on and off for the last three years but I’ve only just had time to actually put it on the stage. So yes, there are new songs. We’ve written an album’s worth and you’ll be able to get that at a computer near you soon. I think it’s a beautiful album. That’s why it’s worth putting on stage.


He added:

I’ve been playing music with Philipp since I was a teenager. We wrote the songs together in Glasgow and the words to the songs fit our music. We couldn’t believe it. The music is in the tradition of 70s TV musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair and Grease, with a bit of Simon and Garfunkel thrown in and newer stuff like Flight Of The Conchords.


When asked about his personal experiences with Shakespeare, meanwhile, he replied:

I didn’t get dragged through it at school, so I don’t mind him. I don’t like the Globe [theatre] and all that fake traditional bullshit. I am allergic to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’m not proud of him, but I think there’s a possibility of getting some rock and roll out of him – and that is of the essence.


For more information, see Wiltons.org.uk.

McCarthy’s side-project Box Codax released their second album ‘Hellabuster’ in May of this year, while Franz Ferdinand are currently working on their fourth LP. Last year, singer Alex Kapranos pledged that the band would “do things in a different way” for the record, which will be the follow-up to 2009's ‘Tonight… Franz Ferdinand’ effort.

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