Franz Ferdinand, Manchester Academy, Saturday 22 March
Monday 24th March 2014 @ 07:00 by Max Wieland

Warning: This review may be biased

There’s a reason for the warning above, and that’s because like several people ahead of me in the queue to entering Manchester Academy on Saturday, I was about to watch Franz Ferdinand for the first time.

“I’ve waited ten years for tonight,” said one of them, to which his friend replied: “It’s going to be worth the wait”.

And the reason this conversation struck a particular cord was because I was experiencing that feeling myself.

The energy and rawness in which their self-titled debut album hit me as a schoolboy was just as evident and impressive in the flesh.

Strolling on stage to their last single Bullet the quartet rifled through their superb 23 song set with particular haste.

Classics such as Take Me Out, The Dark of the Matinee and Michael slotted in seamlessly with new songs such as the fresh Evil Eye and vigorous Love Illumination to the point that the capacity crowd was constantly simmering.

Few bands take to the Manchester Academy and have the whole venue swaying.

From the frenzied front to the more chilly depths at the back, every audience member was rocking and that’s because of an expertly chosen set.

Their pace was first-rate and their dialogue was short enough in between songs to ensure no lull came about.

Headed up by the energetic Alex Kapranos, starfish jumping off various on stage objects  whilst co-guitarist Nick McCarthy led a chorus of fist-pumping in between darting from as many instruments as you would expect to find in a music store.

Paul Thomson drummed with the intensity of a galloping racehorse – similarly to that of Archduke Ferdinand, the racehorse name that inspired their brilliantly alliterate and obviously historic name from the Archduke of Austria himself, Franz Ferdinand – whilst Bob Hardy’s bass lines still continue to bewilder.

Their energetic and lively set had an assortment of all ages either shattering their vocal chords or bouncing in tandem.

The Scottish four-piece, who formed 12 years ago before their 2004 debut album come from an era where there was an explosion of post-punk bands such as Artic Monkeys and the Kaiser Chiefs.

Similarly to their contemporary’s first albums they bring with them a host of songs that are not just Saturday night dance-floor fillers, but ultra-sing-able too.

Their fourth and most recent album may have come out quite a while after their predecessor, much like their third album did, and may well have contributed to them playing in a smaller venue for a band of their stature despite being one of last year’s finest albums, but what was obvious on Saturday was that the 2,600 people in attendance all left the Academy grinning from ear to ear.

The Scottish rockers are infectious with not just their energy, but also with the humbling honesty in which they perform too.

They appear to enjoy every high-kicking second as if it was their last and were as inspiring as one could have hoped for.

Finishing their encore with the beautifully melodic Goodbye Lovers and Friends, Franz ensured that the night ticked all of the boxes.

Put simply, Franz Ferdinand live are about as much fun as you can have musically outside of Glastonbury.

And for anyone who may have been unfortunate enough to have waited 10 years to watch one of Britain’s most danceable bands, it is a mistake that will undoubtedly not be repeated.

FRANZ FERDINAND: Nick McCarthy, Paul Thomson, Bob Hardy and Alex Kapranos

FRANZ FERDINAND: Nick McCarthy, Paul Thomson, Bob Hardy and Alex Kapranos