Opening the evening’s proceedings, Meggie Brown leaves no doubt as to why she’s currently making waves with her debut single Coming Back Again. Produced by Alex Kapranos at Edwyn Collins’ studio, its credentials can’t be argued with and its pure, dark sounds are echoed throughout a strong set. Next up, Albert Hammond takes centre stage and offers up a very personal new departure, receiving a great response to material from his forthcoming album Francis Trouble.
And finally the headliners hit the stage. Masters of dramatic intros and addictive hooks, Franz Ferdinand have a vast back catalogue of incredible songs. Their latest album Always Ascending only serves to add to the list with a string of impending classics complete with electro beats and sultry sax. Back on the road, the band finish the UK leg of their tour at Brighton Dome, arriving to a huge welcome from the crowd, easily sustained as they take us on a rollercoaster of memories past and future; personal favourites Walk Away and Huck And Jim showcasing the complex, multi-layered deftness of their writing and performance. Songs within songs, emotions hidden under more emotions. The five piece line up provides a deeper musical contrast live and draws much love, not to mention dubious backing vocals and a bouncing floor, from the audience. And as if the setlist doesn’t contain enough killer tunes, we are gifted an encore – a much underused commodity these days – with another seamless blend of old and new starting with the beautiful Glimpse of Love and ending the party with This Fire. Exuberant, enigmatic and entertaining, unmistakably Franz Ferdinand but with a big new kick. It’s like finding your favourite jeans are back in stock; they still fit perfectly and now they have even better sized pockets. Always Ascending indeed.
Words & Pictures by 16 Beasley St