In this job, it's not often that you get to make a dedication. When consider that I don't do this for a living, and am in fact a dedicated amateur, what follows might be even more surprising. My heralded trip to see Franz Ferdinand last night, and this post itself are dedicated to one Miss Lisa Pappenheim from the British North American Territories, whose birthday it was on Monday. Go forth and document the experience, she asked, and it is that that I do today.
I think it's only fitting to start with an update on my own curmudgeonly tendencies. The unfortunate thing about liking a band that has become a huge success is that there's only a limited number of aesthetes. Eventually, the fanbase is going to have to include a fair proportion of idiots. Alas, these were out in force last night, and directed most of their efforts at the first support act, The (almost impossible to research on Google) 1990's. Despite making some friends by throwing sweets into the crowd at the start of their set, elements in the crowd turned against them, when—I assume—they realised that this was not music that you could pick up at Tesco's. The music was none too exciting, but enjoyable enough, and I found myself liking it more, the harder a time they got from the crowd (a contrarian approach that led to me vastly preferring the Fire Engines over the Kaiser Chiefs when I saw Franz play the SECC last year; an opinion since rescinded).
Next on the bill were Editors, a band that had vaguely entered my consciousness as some big thing or other, and, given that every band of the last year is essentially derivative of a band from the last two years, I was looking for a succinct comparison, along the lines of, "If you liked Bloc Party/the Kaiser Chiefs/The Futureheads, then you'll love Editors." None was forthcoming on the promotional guff that they handed out inside the arena, so I was left, for once, to form my own judgement about the band. Herewith:
- If you like The Bravery, then you'll love Editors.
- If you like The Killers, but don't want to be associated with the homoerotic connotations lest someone calls you "gay", then you'll love Editors.
- If you like the music from the advert for Hollyoaks: Let Loose on E4, then you'll love Editors.
For me, it was proficiently-delivered music, but the only worthwhile hook in the whole set was a straightforward lift from An Honest Mistake, so I call them out as not being especially original.
To the main course, then! After a brief interlude, and a dance-a-long with the old chap sitting at the top of the lighting rig, on came our returning heroes, who launched straight into a rousing rendition of This Boy. As part of my assignment, I took some photos, though I had to rely on my familiarity with the songs so that I wasn't swept off my feet by a push for the stage. In a frankly manic crowd, I fancy myself as the personification of Brouwer's Fixed Point Theorem, adopting a zen-like calm and some questionable dance moves whilst chaos erupts around me. As to the set itself, it was a mix of old and new, with a slight bias towards the material from the new album. The very fact that I was more keen to hear the new songs than the established hits from the first album is a ringing endorsement of Franz's sophomore year, and proof that they aren't just a one-hit wonder.