FRANZ FERDINAND – CONCORDE 2, BRIGHTON 11.3.22
Franz Ferdinand are a Scottish rock band formed in Glasgow in 2001. The band is one of the more popular post-punk revival bands, garnering multiple UK top 20 hits. They have been nominated for several Grammy Awards and have received two Brit Awards – winning one for Best British Group – as well as one NME Award.
They have previously performed live in Brighton’s largest concert venues – the Brighton Centre once (on 15th November 2005) and the Dome Concert Hall on three occasions (8th December 2003, 17th March 2014 and 25th April 2018). They have also appeared live in our city on a couple of other occasions, when they graced the stage at the Concorde 2, on 28th October 2003 and 26th April 2004. This is a venue that they have far outgrown…..until now!
The Brighton & Hove News Music Team were in force this evening and so we are giving you two separate accounts of the same performance, by way of something rather special for a unique concert. First up is Cherie Elody and then later on it is the view of Nathan Westley. So without further ado, here’s Cherie’s account………
Arguably the hottest ticket in town on a horribly windy and rainy night in Brighton, was held by those lucky punters who were squeezing back into the Concorde 2 tonight to take on the delights of a 15 song set by Franz Ferdinand. Last week they announced that they would be performing a special compact outstore performance in support of their brand new 20 track ‘Hits To The Head’ album, in conjunction with Resident records of Kensington Gardens and local promoters One Inch Badge. The tickets would be limited to just one per person with the relevant purchase option of limited-edition vinyl, CDs or cassette from Resident and they were going on sale at 10am on Friday 4th March and no doubt sold out minutes later!
So after a gap of almost 18 years, Franz Ferdinand were back playing live at the Concorde 2 on Brighton seafront. The band stormed the stage and launched into the first song, ‘Curious’, to a packed-out venue made up of a highly excited crowd.
For those in the audience who also saw them the last time they played here, it must have evoked a real sense of nostalgia, as lead singer Alex Kapranos remarked that their last appearance at Concorde 2 was in 2004. He then playfully brought the audience’s attention to his outfit, asking “Do you like my sparkly jacket? Is it a bit too game show host?”
As mentioned above, this show marked the release of their ‘best of collection’, ‘Hits To The Head’ and thus dutifully the audience were treated to an exciting back catalogue of their greatest hits! In fact they gifted us three-quarters of the whole double-vinyl album, namely 15 of the 20 tracks.
It was hit after hit after hit this evening and by the time they got to ‘Take Me Out’, the crowd erupted, chanting along and jumping up and down.
After briefly exiting the stage, the band returned for an encore of three more songs. ‘Always Ascending’, ‘Outsiders’ and during the closing track ‘This Fire’, Alex held out the microphone to the audience, to which they eagerly responded, singing the lyrics “burn this city” repeatedly.
Franz Ferdinand showed tonight that, after a lengthy career, they still have so much enthusiasm and energy when performing live. A great show for dedicated fans, and if there were any newcomers to the band in the crowd, they were no doubt converted.
And now here’s Nathan Westley’s account of this Franz Ferdinand concert……
For a music fan there are not many things better than witnessing one of your favourite bands play in an intimate setting. Franz Ferdinand are usually found playing upon arena stages, and the several hundred who were lucky enough to obtain tickets for this hastily arranged Resident Outstore gig knew they were in for a treat long before the band stepped onto the Concorde’s stage.
During the mid-noughties Franz Ferdinand were not a band who were riding the waves of hype, but instead were one who were helping to define a musical movement. Their angular artrock was heavily flecked with angular and upbeat guitar riffs married to clever lyrical witticisms had caused them to regularly trouble the upper echelons of both the singles and album charts.
Fast forward to the present and instead, these indie dance floor anthems have finely aged to become classics that have also helped define the first part of the 21st century. Tonight within the walls of the Concorde 2 they are aired in celebration, not only for their existence but also as part of the release of the bands first greatest hits album ‘Hits To The Head’.
Set opener ‘Curious’ helps set the tone for the evening; its danceable rhythm’s and smooth vocals from singer and band leader Alex Kapranos easing us into what would soon become a journey of both nostalgia and pomp. Songs such as ‘The Dark Of The Matinee’ and ‘Darts Of Pleasure’ still have the same bite as they did upon the last time they were aired in this venue some eighteen years ago. ‘Michael’ is still a speedy romp of snappy guitar riffs and homoeroticism, whilst other songs such as ‘Do You Want To’ and ‘Take Me Out’ help further prove that when it comes to modern day indie anthems Franz Ferdinand are pretty much unrivalled.
But through tonight we are also shown that this is not a band that are fully rooted solely in the past and are still striding forwards boldly. Recent single ‘Billy Goodbye’ walks a similar path to their earlier material; holding tightly a memorable chorus that has the capability of clawing its way into your memory. But it also seems to attach an almost glam rock stomp, and looks to be a song that will become a staple of their future sets.
Greatest Hits albums and tours can all too often cause us to become overly nostalgic and pining for the past, but tonight Franz Ferdinand prove they still have ‘it’.
Franz Ferdinand are:
Alex Kapranos – lead vocals, guitar (2001–present)
Bob Hardy – bass guitar (2001–present), backing vocals (2001–2008)
Dino Bardot – guitar, backing vocals (2017–present)
Julian Corrie – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals (2017–present)
Audrey Tait – drums (2021–present)
Franz Ferdinand setlist:
‘No You Girls’
‘The Dark Of The Matinée’
‘Darts Of Pleasure’
‘Do You Want To’
‘Take Me Out’