Franz Ferdinand : Cambridge Boat Race

Franz Ferdinand : Cambridge Boat Race

Bigger than war, cooler than bombs and kicking up a shitstorm in a toilet near you...

If ever history weighed heavily on the shoulders of one band it’d be boho-boppers [a]Franz Ferdinand[/a]. Not only are they named after the Austrian archduke whose assassination sparked WWI but they’re a group from Glasgow. Yes, the same city that’s the musical equivalent of ground zero, the one that forced upon us Simple Minds, Wet Wet Wet and Del Amitri (er, and a million other amazing bands – Ed). You wouldn’t even wish that history on Athlete, would you?

Not that this frightens Ze [a]Franz Ferdinand[/a], for they are a band that knows no fear. Only one single into their highly entertaining career (the highlights include getting addicted to Swedish liquorice, knitting 6 foot replicas of their girlfriends and guitarist Nick McCarthy getting held up at gun point in Cardiff) and they’re already selling out venues up and down the country in style. Tonight, they bring an enthusiasm to Britain’s toilet circuit last seen when Ewan MacGregor went for a dip in the men’s in Trainspotting.

For starters, ‘Cheating On You’ and ‘Better On Holiday’ are racing hairpin dramatic. ‘Shopping For Blood’ sees frontman Nick Kapronos camping up his dryer than Dracula stage-persona to great effect. Song of the night honours go the unspeakably mighty next single ‘Take Me Out’. It’s part [a]Rapture[/a], part [a]Blondie[/a], part disco and completely brilliant.

Add to the mix the odd-couple dynamic of Alex (think a camper Neil Tennant) and Nick (the German raised guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist zings around onstage being a complete freak) and the [a]Franz Ferdinand[/a] again underline why they’ll be one of the bands of 2004.

Bigger than war, cooler than bombs and kicking up a shitstorm in a toilet near you.

Primrose Hille