Franz Ferdinand

Last gig for a while so I wanted to make sure it was a good one, and it certainly was.  I have been a fan of Franz Ferdinand for ages, and I finally got to see them live for the first time last summer at the Hydro Connect festival.  Unfortunately I had just had an allergic reaction to some food and had thrown up at the side of the field so my enjoyment was tempered somewhat.  So when they announced they were coming to the Barrowlands I had to get tickets, even though I was 5 months pregnant.  I tried to chance my luck by contacting the venue to ask if we could get on a guest list and get some special treatment but they didn’t even reply.

So we arrived and tried to find a suitble spot that would avoid me being crushed to death.  My previous experience of the Barrowlands wasn’t great (see post on MGMT).  Also T was worried that I would get jostled / faint / harm the baby by being too close to an amp so I had to stop him fretting first.  Finally found a good spot at the side of the hall which was slightly raised and also handily near the First Aid station so I could see the stage, have some room and alleviate T’s concerns.

So the band came on and got stuck straight into a combo of old and new songs.  I had only got round to getting FF’s new album a couple of days before so I wasn’t too familiar with all the new stuff, but they are good catchy tunes in the familiar FF style, and they really worked well live so it didn’t matter.  The set was fast moving, one song straight into another, with minimal chat from the band.  In fact Alex barely said anything, and I don’t know if it was just where I was standing but I could hardly make out the few things he did say.  I caught “Glasgow”, “special” and “thank you” which may well have been the jist of what he said.

But what Alex K lacked in on on-stage banter he more than made up for in rock-star moves.  He strutted around the stage like he owned it and for those 2 hours he really did.  It wasn’t all posing, he did communicate with the audience, albeit through an elaborate sequence of gestures, actions, facial expressions, winks, nods, points and such like.  I imagine there were girls (and probably some boys) in the front of the crowd who were on the receiving end of these who were suitably swooning away.

We were on the side of the bass player Bob (such a great name for a rock star) who was like many other bass players and just stood there playing his bass like he was practising in his living room.  While Alex and guitarist Nick were cavorting around the stage, he was just standing there impassively, but his bass playing was top notch as usual and I guess posing isn’t for everyone.  It was quite interesting to watch actually, like playing the blinking game to see if he would move.

Unfortunately once again the Barrowlands crowd spoiled things a bit, at one pont in the middle of the gig some random bloke decided to pick a fight with another bloke standing near us, for no apparent reason.  He had to be taken away by security.   Also at one point in the set they slowed things down a bit, got a bit more acoustic.  Unfortunatley some of the audience decided that was a good time to head to the bar or have a conversation with their friends, so all I could hear was chatter and “excuse me” as people barged passed.

All in all though, it was a great gig, the band were on top form, played all the old hits and quite a few new songs, and kept us singing, dancing and jumping around the whole night. They varied songs from their single/album versions and played around with some, which kept it intersting and made it more of a special performance rather than a live version of their recordings (again, see MGMT for what not to do).  

I used my pregant lady priviladges at the end by sitting in the First Aid station until the hall had cleared, they were very nice and provided us with endless supplies of water until I reminded them my bladder was aproximately the size of a grape and didn’t fancy waiting in the ladies toilet queue yet again.  There was even one even-more-pregnant lady than me who sat with us too.  Didn’t hang around afterwards to see if we could meet the band, I was getting sore and tired and it was freezing outside.  Maybe next time.

Support Band – don’t know, we pitched up later to avoid standing around too long so we didn’t see them. The crowd were in a good mood when we arrived so they were probably good.

Merchandise – Good range of differnt t-shirts, scarves, random bits and bobs and CDs etc.  No ladies sizes in t-shirts, the girl at the desk was nice enough to suggest I get an extra-small, but given my expanding bump I opted for a small which was just fine.  5/5