Frolicking through greatest hits and brave attempts, Franz Ferdinand prove they’ve still got moves as they take on Oslo’s Sentrum Scene.
From the moment the looming intro swoops into a frenzy of flashing lights, it is clear that this will be a gig of danceable proportions. Franz Ferdinand, fronted by highly energetic Alex Kapranos, kick off with a confidence, swagger, rock’n’roll flair that immediately captures the Oslo crowd. “We’re Franz Ferdinand from Glasgow, and we are so so happy to be here”. And you do in fact believe them.
Their latest offering, Always Ascending, moves into a more synth-based territory, fused with a slight disco nerve. Their characteristics are still intact, and yet is clear that this material is potentially the weakest part of their set. Striving for so much, the new songs just do not click as well with the crowd as their more well-versed bangers.
This does, by no means, mean that Franz Ferdinand are a weak live band. As the hit tune, ‘The Dark of the Matinée’ kicks off it’s clear that the Glasgow gang possess everything needed to go down in rock and roll history. The slamming guitars, brooding darkness and a seductive edge are just what makes Franz Ferdinand so great. You truly live for those magical, brief, moments of the show when all the elements collide in a perfect concoction of ballsy indie-fused madness.
The set progresses with a mixture of live perfection and over-done crowd engagement. Kapranos does at time stretch out the sing-along moments to a point where it feels more self-indulgent than genuine.
Finally, the moment everyone in the room had been waiting for, the inevitable high of the night. As the well-known guitar slamming intro teases the crowd, the anticipation staggers to almost insane proportions. ‘Take Me Out’ is not only Franz Ferdinand’s eternal anthem; it is also perhaps one of the best history jokes in British indie. Fronting all their greatest asset, this song alone may stand as a bauta for the group for many years to come.
The following songs will unavoidably feel anticlimactic, and yet when the quintet rounds off with ‘This Fire’ you are actually sad to see them go. Through the 16 song set Franz Ferdinand have not only proved their continued relevance, but also highlighted how much we still need a crushing guitar act.