Franz Ferdinand, following a series of warm-up gigs, has announced it will play a set at this weekend’s Glastonbury Festival late Friday evening. This should be a very pleasant surprise for festivalgoers, as it not only means more hits to sing along to in the mud, it’s also a chance to hear the band’s new material, which you can sort of hear in the excerpts recently posted on their Web site and which has been receiving pretty rapturous reviews from people who’ve heard it. The key phrases appear to be “disco” and “techno,” with comparisons to Stevie Wonder, Donna Summer, Cream(?), and the Killers popping up. Some mouthwatering review highlights below.
One song has a similar delectable and squelchy electronic sound to that which underpins Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”; another has the most banging glam stomp you can imagine. For the finale, two extra drummers are required for a bombastic extended multi-percussive break. Welded on to a disco-punk simile of Giorgio Moroder’s “I Feel Love”, it is intoxicating.
The new and the familiar coagulate in a fiery fury, as lead singer and guitarist Alex Kapranos unleashes an increasingly squally guitar sound, edging close to an acid-fried rock freak-out. Forget the stadium shows, at these sweaty little gigs Franz have rediscovered intensity, passion and most importantly, have built on a foundation of gritty, fierce and exhilarating funk.
The set consists of mostly new material, but if there have been recording difficulties, they seem to be behind them. Franz scrapped sessions with Girls Aloud producers Xenomania, but the thinking behind the collaboration underlies the new songs increased use of keyboards and giant grooves. The rumoured Afro-beat direction seems a misnomer: this is Franz-go-disco. Girls, You’ll Never Know – with Cream-like rock guitar – and Turn It On, which erupts from stark electronics into a stadium-sized chorus, sound like instant hits.
Wow, can’t wait to hear it. Maybe if we’re all bad little Internet people with the leaking and the whatnot, the band won’t wait till 2009 to put it out.
Franz Ferdinand To Play Surprise Set At Glastonbury Festival [Gigwise]
Franz Ferdinand, Thekla, Bristol [Independent]
Franz Ferdinand, Fibbers, York [Guardian]