Frank Turner, FFS and Future Islands open first day of Zagreb’s InMusic festival

The 10th edition of the annual Croatian event kicked off on Monday (June 22)

FFS, the collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, closed the first day of the 10th annual InMusic festival in Zagreb on Monday night (June 22).

Their Main Stage performance was the fourth of a European tour that kicked off at Glasgow School of Art the previous week. The Glaswegian indie quartet and Californian art-rock oddballs – whose album as FFS was released this month – opened with the proggy ‘Johnny Delusional’, setting the tone for a camp and kitsch gig.

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Keyboardist and Sparks member Ron Mael remained comically still throughout the band’s cavorting, save for one moment where they all pounded on bass drums in the background as he leapt about in the foreground.

In addition to FFS tunes, the supergroup played a handful of Sparks songs (including a delicately harmonised ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us’) and tore into Franz Ferdinand anthems ‘Do You Want To’, ‘Michael’ and ‘Take Me Out’. Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos high-kicked his way through the set, which concluded with the defiant ‘Piss Off’.

FFS played:

‘Johnny Delusional’
‘The Man Without A Tan’
‘Do You Want To’ (Franz Ferdinand)
‘Save Me From Myself’
‘Collaborations Don’t Work’
‘The Power Couple’
‘Dictator’s Son’
‘Things I Won’t Get’
‘When Do I Get To Sing ‘My Way’’ (Sparks)
‘Call Girl’
‘Sõ Desu Ne’
‘Number One Song In Heaven’ (Sparks)
‘Michael’ (Franz Ferdinand)
‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us’ (Sparks)
‘Police Encounters’
‘Take Me Out’ (Franz Ferdinand)
‘Piss Off’

Earlier in the evening, Katalina Kicks singer Ian George maintained energy and passion through a no-frills garage rock set, as the London group ploughed through fuzzy guitars riffs and chanted choruses. George winced against the sun, smirking that “The weather’s shit in London”, and there was a scramble on the front row when drummer Jase Wilkinson chucked out his sticks.

Punk rock troubadour Frank Turner, and his four-piece band The Sleeping Souls, took to the Main Stage straight afterwards. The band launched into 2013 single ‘Recovery’ to kick off a career-spanning set which took in early acoustic work such as ‘Love And Ire Song’ and new material including the frenetic ‘Out Of Breath’, which will feature on Turner’s upcoming sixth album. Most striking was the band’s rendition of ‘Eulogy’ (from 2011 album ‘England Keep My Bones’), which Turner delivered in Croatian.

On the World Stage, Baltimore group Future Islands rolled out their smooth synthpop sound while vocalist Samuel T Herring alternated between a bark and a croon. At one point he fell across the stage but laughed it off and said: “I just busted my fucking ass!” The set drew heavily on fourth album ‘Singles’ though included new songs ‘The Chase’ and ‘Haunted By You’, which introduced a lilting, mellow quality to the show.

South London poet and rapper Kate Tempest had the Hidden Stage enthralled with her slice-of-life rhymes. She blew kisses to the crowd and greeted the “ladies and gentleman and all the lovely people in between”. During latest single ‘Bad Place For A Good Time’, taken from last year’s Mercury Prize-nominated debut album ‘Everybody Down’, she rapped the lyrics “Scream that you hear me” and the crowd did just that.