Tuesday, 7 July 2015

FFS

No, not For F**k's Sake; Franz Ferdinand & Sparks. That's what the "supergroup", comprising the two groups, now call themselves. I thought it was a wind-up when I heard the two of them had got together to both record and perform, and the name doesn't do anything to dispel that. After all, one was/is an American, predominantly electronic, group from the '70s, and the other is a British indie-ish, guitar band of the '00s onwards. As it happens, I'm just the right age to know and love both of them independently, but I couldn't quite see how it was going to work with them together. I got chance to find out last Saturday night, when they performed at Bobital Festival near us here in Brittany.

In a nutshell: Gig of the Year, possibly longer. It was brilliant - funny, energetic, quirky, melodic, fun, excellent sound quality, and it went in the blink of an eye. It wasn't a mickey-take, but there was plenty of humour. Track 6 at the gig (which is on their joint album) was Collaborations Don't Work, which tells you all you need to know. I also thought it was hysterical that the last song of the night, sung by an American and a Brit to a mainly French audience, was called Piss Off.

The gig was basically Franz Ferdinand's four biggest hits, Sparks' four biggest (though not Beat The Clock, my only slight disappointment of the night), and eight tracks off their album. The crowd's favourite was undoubtedly Take Me Out. Mine was Number 1 Song in Heaven, which I've loved for 36 years, and never thought I'd see done live. Even less likely was Ron Mael (the mad staring one which a variety of choice moustaches), who normally sits statue-like still at his keyboards, carefully loosening his tie, shuffling to the middle of the stage, and doing a mental Dad-dance at the end of the song. Weird and wonderful. 

Anyway, the two groups apparently got together because they had a mutual admiration. It showed - they all (Ron aside, but you disappointed if he showed any emotion), looked as though they were all thoroughly enjoying themselves, and that fed through to the crowd. If you like or have ever liked either or both of FF or S, go see them together if you get chance: you'll love it.

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