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Review: Franz Ferdinand at Newcastle 02 Academy

North East export Alex Kapranos and his bandmates round off the UK leg of their tour with a fascinating night. Tristram Colledge reports

Yui Mok/PA Wire Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performing live
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performing live

Killer hooks, punchy guitar riffs and an explosive four-way drum collaboration – Franz Ferdinand were on electric form for last date of the UK leg of their European tour.

10 years on from the release of the their debut album, the band remain an excellent live act.

Indeed, the Glasgow-bred art-rockers oozed style from the second they stepped on stage.

Frontman Alex Kapranos – who lived on Tyneside until he was seven-or-so – was an engaging presence, even though he kept the spoken words to a minimum.

Playing Dark of the Matinee and No You Girls early on, the band created an atmospheric buzz that would not let up.

Featuring the line “lucky, lucky, you’re so lucky”, the applauding audience knew they were fortunate to witness a storming rendition of Do You Want To.

While Kapranos, bassist Bob Hardy, guitarist Nick McCarthy and drummer Paul Thomson played, a sequence of geometric shapes were projected behind them to add a striking visual element.

As well as playing their classics, the Scottish ensemble successfully showcased a number of songs from their most recent album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.

After a rare pause, Kopranos launched into opening bars of the band’s signature hit, Take Me Out, which prompted the expected surge of excitement and applause from the audience.

However, the gig reached its undoubted peak when, a song later, the band members joined forces on the drum kit for an incredible minute of four-way percussion.

Returning to their guitars for the show finale, the Brit Award nominees gave the Academy a lengthy four-song encore. After the infectious melodies of Darts of Pleasure and This Fire, the band closed with the poignant Goodbye Lovers and Friends – the end to a truly fascinating night with Franz.

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