Experimentalist oddballs Of Montreal supported Franz at the Shockwaves NME Awards Show this week (January 20). We gave the band a video camera to blog from backstage - check out NME.COM/BLOGS tomorrow (Friday) to see what they got up to... Pic: Tom Oxley
A suitably excited looking crowd at Heaven this week as Franz Ferdinand and Of Montreal play the first Shockwaves NME Awards show of 2009. Pic: Tom Oxley
Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes is currently also working with MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden on a project called Blikk Fang. Expect material later this year. Pic: Tom Oxley
Typically flamboyant footwear from Of Montreal, Franz's support band this week.
Franz Ferdinand and Of Montreal played the first Shockwaves NME Awards show this week. The shows are bigger and better than before this year, and now take in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and Belfast as we count down to the awards themselves. Not only are a whole host of big hitters lined up to play, but there's plenty of brand new bands for you to discover live too, including The Golden Silvers, Passion Pit, The Soft Pack and Amazing Baby. Check out nme.com/gigs for full details. Pic: Tom Oxley
Of Montreal delved into the dressing up box once again for their Franz Ferdinand support slot this week. The band are still cruising round the UK so check out their nme.com/artists page for the last few dates. Pic: Tom Oxley
Franz proved this week that a three and-a-bit year gap between albums number two and three was no issue this week as they played to a packed Heaven in central London. Head to NME.COM/VIDEO for an interview with Alex Kapranos, recorded backstage before the Heaven gig.
Bassist Bob Hardy cuts a dashing figure in blue during Franz's set, which give a live airing to much of their new album 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand'. Incidentally, 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand' was written with the help of human bones and a microphone swinging from the ceiling of their studio. Get this week's NME to find out more. Pic: Tom Oxley
"God bless the internet for leaking the fucking album, because everyone knew the tunes," Alex Kapranos joked to us after the gig. "That was great, actually! To see people jumping up and down to 'What She Came For' was, like, 'Wow!'" The band have just joined the line-up for our Big Gig at London's O2 Arena along with Crystal Castles, White Lies, and of course Godlike Geniuses The Cure. Pic: Tom Oxley
Checked shirts and angular haircuts were in abundance as Franz stormed Heaven this week. Alex Kapranos joked to the audience: "I've always wanted to see you in Heaven." Pic: Tom Oxley
There were glitterbombs and white balloons aplenty as Franz declared the Shockwaves NME Awards Shows GO this week. The balloons dropped and the glitterbombs were fired after set closer 'This Fire'. Pic: Tom Oxley
The band congregate around Paul Thomson's drum kit for 'Outsiders' from their second album, 2005's 'You Could Have It So Much Better'. Last year Thomson took part in an art exhibition in London which invited the public to create their own drum track for a Franz song.
Franz leave the stage at Heaven on Tuesday night. The band are lined up for the NME Big Gig at London's O2 Arena on February 26 with The Cure, Crystal Castles and White Lies. Go to NME.COM/BIGGIG for tickets. Pic: Tom Oxley
After making "music to make girls dance" (album #1) and "music for girls to cry to" (#2), Alex Kapranos calls the band's third album "music for the night: for the dancefloor...for the chemical surge in your bloodstream". No-one at Heaven this week was arguing with that when they premiered some new tracks off the album. Pic: Tom Oxley
Franz played a number of tracks from their new NME-rated 8/10 album 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand' this week, including 'No New Girls', 'What She Came For' and recent single 'Ulysses'. Check out this week's mag for the verdict on the full LP. Pic: Tom Oxley
Bassist Bob Hardy during Franz Ferdinand's Shockwaves NME Awards Show at Heaven this week (Tuesday). During the set Alex Kapranos attempted to play Hendrix style behind his head, but Bob kept things simple. Pic: Tom Oxley
Franz Ferdinand's Shockwaves NME Awards Show this week saw them test run a batch of new material in preparation for their UK tour, which kicks off in Limerick on Feb 28 and takes in Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London before finishing in Southampton on March 10. Go to nme.com/gigs for more details and tickets. Pic: Tom Oxley
Franz Ferdinand's new album saw the band collaborate with superproducer Dan Carey, who's worked magic on a variety of indie favourites from CSS' 'Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above' to Hot Chip's 'Shake A Fist'. Pic: Tom Oxley
Behind the head guitar histrionics? Must be '40Ft', which preceded arguably Franz's best song 'Michael'. The art-rockers initially tried working with Girls Aloud production team Xenomania on their new album, but the collaboration fell through after a couple of days.
Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos told us their Shockwaves NME Awards Show this week was "like meeting up with an ex again". "We haven't seen a crowd like that - that close up - for ages," he added. Head to NME.COM/VIDEO for a backstage interview with Alex Kapranos. Pic: Tom Oxley