Franz Ferdinand, Heaven, Under the Arches, London

3.00

Old favourites keep Franz's fans frenzied

Alex Kapranos can sate an audience's appetite before he's opened his mouth. There is the tight plaid shirt, rolled up neatly to just above the elbow. There are the snug, well-fitted jeans. There is the hair, austerely clipped on the sides and tussled on top. The image is finished with his guitar, which he hugs to his sternum. When the need arises, this trademark Fender Telecaster Deluxe is flung to one side, or the strap shed so that Kapranos can hold his instrument aloft with one hand, or when his mood surges to a higher level of showmanship, pluck behind his head.

He finishes this with a well-practised volley of moves. Tonight one of his favourites is a cruciform yawn of the arms like he's art-rock's answer to Jesus. Another typical manoeuvre might be for him to archly eye up the audience sideways on, take a deft hop of a retreat and then wag his finger at them, all while shimmying in a manner that would make Brett Anderson blush.

Remembering such a detailed description of a man's appearance and whereabouts on stage over the course of one-and-a-half hours makes you sound like one of the group's lyrics. This is a man, after all, who built his career on knowing glances at Glasgow's art scene, unafraid to bask in the delight of a drunken male crush, set against rhythms he and fellow guitarist Nick McCarthy hoped would one day make girls dance.

They do this tonight, and if this were simply a review of the performance itself, then Franz Ferdinand would sail to unequivocal victory. Having honed their repertoire since first topping the charts with "Take Me Out" in January 2004, Kapranos is carried along by the strength of his charisma and the warm recognition prompted by the band's best-known songs.

But the most significant reason for the gig is to preview the group's latest album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, released next week and the first since 2005's You Could Have It So Much Better. As the quartet moves through its set list you feel like the new material falls on comparatively unconvinced ears. Apart from "Ulysses", which, one might argue, is the band doing what they do, only not as well as usual, people are hanging on for the instantly recognisable riffs of "Take Me Out", "Do You Want To?", "Walk Away" and "Michael".

They start with a new song, "No You Girls" ("Kiss me where your eye won't meet me; "Meet me where your mind won't kiss me"). It boasts a crowd-pleasing chorus, essentially an ironic (we hope) paean to how great girls are. It is unclear where the influence of Brian Higgins, the pop maestro behind Girls Aloud, might have come in. Higgins was fired as producer early on in the record's gestation, the band claiming "We're not really a pop group," although that displays a lack of self-awareness. If the chorus to "No You Girls" ("No you girls never know how you make a boy feel") is earnest, it doesn't put enough distance between them and Sarah Harding et al banging out "Call the Shots". Also taken from Tonight are "Send Him Away", the more cerebral "Live Alone", and the bouncily rhythmic "What She Came For", which takes a pop at the banal questions of journalists.

The encore was the clear highlight, "Outsiders" and "This Fire" being drawn out to whisk up the crowd. In the former, the four members of Franz Ferdinand and their drum technician cluster around drummer Paul Thomson's kit to wallop away in a unified hullabaloo that builds to a hip-dislocating climax. It is unclear how far Tonight will take the band over the next year. But as long as their back catalogue struts along unawares, plenty will want to join them on at least the first part of the journey.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent