Franz Ferdinand stomach punched popular culture in 2003. With the Laverne and Shirley themesong (“We’re gonna make our dreams come true. Doin’ it our way”) as inspiration*, Alex Kapranos and Paul Thompson (of the recently reformed The Yummy Fur**) got together with a few more pals and did it their way. Their way was to make “music for girls to dance to”; flattening the drab state of pop with a debut full of melodic, infectious and competent hits.
After 2004 NME decided to put a pale-faced gerbil on every cover, indie-pop was dull, the game was a bogey. Popular culture no longer applied to anyone and the ubiquity of their début seemed to eclipse the bands escalating sense of sex and drama --leaving their other albums from the zeros seem somewhat less exciting. However, what is still thrilling about the band is their disregard for this kind of consensus, as Malcolm Ross of Josef K and Orange Juice fame noted on their posters, album covers and videos the “nod to art references…come from the band members” and their absence of “a svengali manager, or some camp stylist in the background” combined with what Kanye West described as “whitey crunk music”, make Franz Ferdiand’s mainstream global success and this session from 2003 something to be celebrated.
So in another piece of gross nostalgia: “Long live the Austro-Hungarian empire!”
**playing Nice & Sleazys 07/01/10
Posted at 17:45, 5th January 2010