Franz Ferdinand
Cardiff The Point

Franz Ferdinand are not a band that normally register much on my punk radar. However having said that I did catch their last tour, to promote their release "You Could Have It So Much Better", at the enormo-dome that is Cardiff International Arena (capacity approx 3,500) along with the Editors and the Rakes. And having said all that, they turned out to be not half bad.

But say what you like about them, at least they had the punk ethic to road test their new album at small "intimate" gigs across the country and charge a reasonable face value to gain entry. Also all tickets had been sold locally to ensure that the low-life touts can't get their grubby hands on
any and charge you a mark up of 1000% to attend.

Tonight they take in the converted church that is the Point in Cardiff (capacity approx 350) and the
venue must have been a bit of a culture shock for them having played a "surprise" set at Glastonbury the previous night to a slightly bigger audience.

Needless to say the place was rammed and I arrived in time to catch half of the set of Panico, the Chilean band chosen to be the support act (who equally bizarrely had played a gig in Barcelona night before). They were not really my cup of tea, but seemed pleasant enough and even mixed with the audience when the headliners came on.

Franz Ferdinand are now a true rock monster and needless to say they immediately had the audience eating out of their hands. They open the set with Michael, and then mix up old and new tracks equally throughout the night. Alex Kapranos is a
confident and capable front man, but appears equally happy to share the limelight with the remainder of the band.

The older songs appeared to come predominantly from the first album - Dark of the Matinee, Take Me Out etc - although they played a blistering version of Walk Away and interspersed these with the new numbers - Kathryn Kiss Me, Ulysses, Turn It On and What She Came For - all of which are no great departure from their previous recordings, but equally all got an ecstatic response from the gathered masses.

Their final number of the night necessitated the addition of two additional drummers/bongo players and for a moment it added a hint of the long forgotten band Pigbag to the proceeding. As the band put down their instruments and exited the stage, the beat carried on without them regardless. The encore climaxed with This Fire complete with clouds of dry ice, and then they were gone, presumably to return later in the year to promote the 3rd album but sadly at a venue considerably larger than this.

Words - Bones; pix JI Rob

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