Franz Ferdinand performing at Rock City Nottingham on Wednesday 14th February 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Scottish band Franz Ferdinand has played in Nottingham before and last night they were back at Rock City as part of their tour to celebrate the release of their fifth studio album, Always Ascending.

It’s safe to say that they are not the band they were in 2002, because one of their original members left after 2013’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. Founding member and guitarist Nick McCarthy left in 2016 after 14 years, which meant that the band have had to refocus, and that is exactly what they have done.

Opening with new song Paper Cages, which singer Alex Kapranos introduced with a balloon heart, the band offered up some profound lyrics, while their new disco edge gave the song and the performance an extra boost.

Old songs, The Dark Of The Matinee and the electrifying No You Girls got the crowd bouncing and their post-punk sound that they had made their name with in the mid-noughties was replaced with a glitzy synth driven electro pop vibe, evidenced by new song Glimpse Of Love which is a sparkling piano led disco stomper.

Singer Kapranos’ low octave voice has lost none of its range and as he prowls the stage, cavorting with the crowd, his energy and momentum was easily maintained over the whole 90 minutes. Not afraid to touch on contentious subjects, new song Lois Lane weighs up the merits of journalism whilst Huck And Jim brought a new anthem to town with its tempo changes and irresistible chorus which touched on the state of the NHS.

Other new songs such as Feel The Love Go and the album’s title track are positively filthy, glam nasty anthems propelled along by funky drumming from Paul Thompson, excellent guitar skills from guitarist Dino Bardot and bassist Bob Hardy and thumping keyboards from Julian Corrie.

Do You Want To? started the nights first mosh pit and it was impossible to resist the shoulder shimmying, hands aloft for Feel The Love Go. Set closer Ulysses was awesome and hard to follow but encore songs Darts Of Pleasure and This Fire did the job nicely.

What Franz Ferdinand had delivered was the sound of a band having fun. They haven’t just survived the noughties, on last night’s evidence they are absolutely thriving.