The Fire Engines, Sub Club, Glasgow
Tuesday 13 September 2005
When you can play a gig like this in front of Glasgow's most discerning crowd, and walk off having spectacularly won over all concerned, it's proof positive of a reputation that has endured for two and a half decades.
Given that they formed in 1980 and split in 1981 with one great album to their name, the Engines' legacy is substantial, and Franz are just one of many imitators or acknowledged fans. The quartet did re-form for the first time since 1981 to support the Mercury Music prizeholders at Glasgow's SECC in December, but it speaks volumes for their disregard for the music industry that they didn't cash in with releases and tours.
A few selective, low-key appearances later, they're telling us firmly that this will be the last date in Scotland, with their show at the ICA in London this Saturday the last ever. If that really is the intention - and not just mischief-making by the lead singer Davy Henderson - what a great place this was for the occasion - the Sub Club's Optimo night is an underground institution.
The club's founder, a DJ named Twitch, made his name with Edinburgh's techno night Pure. He's now branched out into post-punk, rock'n'roll and quirky European electro. Franz Ferdinand came to prominence on this stage in 2003.
So, in front of an expectant crowd of local scenesters, mostly in their mid-twenties, the fortysomething Henderson is wonderfully stony-faced and defiant. "Hello," he greets us, "we're from the 20th century. This is 'Plastic Gift'."
The short instrumental is a handy icebreaker for all the West End fashionistas puzzling at these four men - Henderson, the guitarist Murray Slade, the bassist Graham Main and the drummer Russell Burn - who look like they could be playing Rod Stewart covers. It's an angular, strident version of all the most forward-looking music they've heard here, and the next 45 minutes is a well-received history lesson.
A lesson, of course, where dancing is permitted, in particular to the funk-laden stamp of "Get Up and Use Me" or "Hungry Beat". Playing his solos crouched, then springing up to sing, the enigmatic Henderson tells us not to applaud because "it wasn't that good - and there's not going to be a next time". Oh, it certainly was that good...
Arts & Ents blogs
The Full Monty to close in West End after one month despite Olivier nomination
Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your endless scrolling
Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on acting one-handed and why Jaime Lannister is not bad
Halle Berry's role in X-Men: Days of Future Past role cut to one scene
Game of Thrones star Sibel Kekilli on why she wants more male nudity in the show
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Britain’s five richest families worth as much as poorest 20 per cent, says Oxfam
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
- 4 Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers