Franz Ferdinand, QMU, Glasgow

Decisive guitars win over the Weegie Mafia
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The Independent Culture

Questions of parentage and birthplace aside, it would be simply criminal for any third party to claim that edgy and austere pop colossus-in-waiting Franz Ferdinand are anything other than a Glasgow band.

True, only one of their number is a bona fide born and bred Scot, but the band's roots are in Glasgow and so too, indelibly, is their spirit.

The city has a long and wide history of excellent cult crossover bands - from the Pastels to Primal Scream, from Mogwai to tonight's hotly tipped support act Sons and Daughters - who were born and raised amid a tradition of low-rent live venues, art school indie discos, high-maintenance social cliques and impeccably obscure record collections.

And The Franz - as they may yet be universally dubbed - fit the blueprint perfectly for joining this long line of greats.

A long collective history in never-were local combos while at art school plus a rediscovery of the angular punk sounds of Gang of Four and Edinburgh's Postcard Records (the home of Orange Juice and, by extension, Edwyn Collins) led them to a destiny packing out non Health and Safety approved derelict buildings and garnering a mythical local status.

The Weegie Mafia (weegie being the operative shorthand for a Glaswegian) took them to their hearts, as did - in precise order - Domino Records, the NME and the Great British public.

But impending fame and good fortune haven't dulled their gratitude towards the town that fired them - early on in this debut night of an extensive UK tour, lead singer Alex Kapranos muses that: "It's good to be home".

The predictable roar from the crowd follows, but there's a real sense of warmth and appreciation in it. Every touring outfit to hit a Glasgow stage tells the fans that they're the best, but for the first time in a long time, we know this outfit of home town heroes are the real deal.

Chunky bass, buckshot drumming and urgent, decisive guitars combine to recreate the 3am second wind after the clubs have shut and before the parties start.

The opening triumvirate of "Jacqueline", "Tell Her Tonight" and "Cheating on You" set the pace, while "Take Me Out" ups it substantially.

So it goes, to ever more gratifying effect. In the end, the sheer quality of Franz Ferdinand's muse isn't in doubt ... but the moment when singer and crowd join in Fire's rabble-rousing chorus of "We are gonna burn this city" proves - more than anything - that Glasgow is back on the map.

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