FRANZ PLAY ON IN JAPAN

But the band play on in style...

Franz Ferdinand bassist BOB HARDY has been hospitalised in Japan – leaving the group to play acoustic.

The group are currently out in the Far East playing shows on their year-long tour in support of their debut album.

At the show at the Nagoya Diamond Hall (November 28), following support from The Beat Up, singer Alex Kapranos and guitarist Nick McCarthy came onto the stage with a translator to explain that Bob was ill.

One fan told NME.COM: “When we turned up we were told Bob the bassist was sick and they weren’t sure if they would play. The doors opened an hour late and everyone shuffled in. We were given a note when we got inside explaining that if we weren’t satisfied with the performance we could get a refund of 2500 yen (almost half of the ticket cost).

”After support band The Beat Up, Alex and Nick came on with an interpreter to explain that they were going to do something they’ve never done before. The show was split into two halves, the first being an acoustic set and then a plugged-in set with Dino from The Beat Up on bass.”

The group played a number of new songs in the acoustic set, while the full band set featured hits including ‘Michael’, ‘Tell Her Tonight’ and ‘Take Me Out’.

Another fan at the gig said: “Dino could not have had long to learn the songs, and the band were joking they wanted him to cut his hair. Alex said at their first gig they only knew four songs, and found themselves in the same situation, so they played ‘Michael’ again, only this time joined by everyone from the The Beat Up.

“The band obviously really cared about the Nagoya crowd and tried the hardest to put on a special show which they certainly did. I haven’t sweated so much since Faith No More at Brixton Academy in 1990!”

A statement issued to NME.COM reads: “Franz Ferdinand bassist Bob Hardy was hospitalised on Saturday 27th November following a show at Osaka’s Mother Hall in Japan. He was diagnosed with a severe case of gastro-enteritis.

”Bob had started to feel ill on the Friday night during the journey to Osaka. He completed the show at the Mother Hall the following evening, Saturday, in considerable pain and for the most part seated. He was then taken to hospital in Osaka that evening where he was diagnosed and admitted for the night. He was then transferred to a Tokyo hospital on Sunday 28th November.

”The band performed at Nagoya’s Diamond Hall on the 28th November with the help of stand in bassist Dino from support act The Beat Up.

“The band performed four songs with Dino – ‘Michael’, ‘Take Me Out’, ‘Cheating On You’ and ‘Tell Her Tonight’. The remaining eight songs of the set were performed acoustically without a bassist and included two new songs ‘Walk Away’ and ‘Jeremy Fraser’.”

Bob is set to return and play the show tonight, at Tokyo’s Shibuya Ax venue. He will then return to hospital where he is scheduled to remain until December 2 when he will fly to New York and join the band on their US tour.

He will miss the band’s first two dates of their US tour, Detroit (December 1) and Philadelphia (2). He is expected to play in New Jersey (December 3). He will be replaced by Fiery Furnaces bassist Toshi Yano for the first two U.S. shows.