Franz Ferdinand yesterday (August 11) previewed much of forthcoming album ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’ during their performance at Hungary’s Sziget festival.
The band’s performance was preceded by some drama backstage at the bash, which takes place on an island in the Danube river in the city of Budapest. Alex Kapranos, who has a peanut allergy, had a reaction to a rice dish cooked in peanut oil and required medical attention, and was knocked out cold for at least an hour.
In spite of this, the frontman led his band through a highly energetic set, in which he praised the festival itself – and made no reference to peanuts. “This is our third time at Sziget festival and each time it gets better and better and better,” Kapranos said.
The set began with 2009’s ‘No You Girls’, recent single ‘Right Action’ and ‘The Dark Of The Matinee’ from 2004’s debut album. Following ‘Tell Her Tonight’, which saw keyboard player Nick McCarthy take lead vocals, another new track was aired: the funk and hip hop-influenced ‘Evil Eye’. The band changed the words of the following track, ‘Do You Want To’, to include the line, “Here we are, the Sziget party / I love your friends, they’re so arty,” then played a long, extended outro. Another new track, ‘Love Illumination’, followed, before ‘Walk Away’, which was dedicated to The Cribs. “This song’s for a band who are also playing today who are great friends of ours, the great Cribs,” said Kapranos.
After another new track, ‘Stand On The Horizon’, a long-extended ‘Can’t Stop Feeling’ was segued into a cover of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’ and The KLF’s ‘What Time Is Love?’. Following a run of hits that included ‘Michael’ and ‘Take Me Out’, ‘Outsiders’ culminated in the entire band bashing drummer Paul Thomson’s kit as the sun set over the festival. Returning to the stage for an encore, the band played ‘Jacqueline’, ‘The Fallen’, ‘Goodbye Lovers & Friends’ and ‘Uysses’.
Elsewhere on the final day of the festival, The Bots played an endearingly shambolic late afternoon set, during which singer Mikaiah Lei attempted to conclude one song with a roll on stage then apologised for not quite pulling it off. He also frequently checked how long they had left of their set. “So much time, so little songs to play!” he said.
Also found rolling around on the stage of the A38 tent were The Cribs, who ended a ferocious set with ‘City Of Bugs’ and rock ‘n’ roll chaos – first singer Ryan Jarman threw his guitar down, then drummer Ross writhed around on the floor, then the band exited with Ryan – having retrieved his guitar – soloing as bassist brother Gary carried him off. Their set included ‘Be Safe’, complete with a video projection of Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, who provides the song’s spoken word part, ‘Hey Scenester!’ and ‘Men’s Needs’. Ryan had the band cheer for the stricken Kapranos at one point.
As David Guetta closed the Pop Rock Main Stage with fireworks and flames, two Australian bands competed for attention: Empire Of The Sun brought a massive production involving dancers, costume changes, video screens, stairs and a riser for Luke ‘The Emperor’ Steele, allowing him to appear and disappear ominously between tracks. The set included ‘Walking On A Dream’ and ‘We Are The People’, and concluded with recent single ‘Alive’. At the A38 stage, Tame Impala provided more laidback thrills, appearing to an enthusiastic crowd who chanted “Fuck David Guetta! Fuck David Guetta!” before the band appeared.
Franz Ferdinand played:
‘No You Girls’
‘The Dark Of The Matinee’
‘Tell Her Tonight’
‘Do You Want To’
‘Stand On The Horizon’
‘Can’t Stop Feeling’/’I Feel Love’/’What Time Is Love?’
‘Take Me Out’
‘Goodbye Lovers & Friends’