Franz pop home for T.
Two years ago, Franz Ferdinand were the triumphant local boys done good and their set on the Main Stage was a major highlight. The sun shone and a busy crowd pogoed and bounced merrily to their first album. Now that the band have a second album under their belts containing many more hits, surely the stage was set for Franz to claim the title of set of the weekend.
Sadly, no one told Mother Nature and the dapper boys came on stage to find a crowd that although still looking for a good time had their enthusiasm slightly dampened by the rain and cold air that hung around. From this starting position, Franz made a brave attempt to turn things around but the set was already battling against the elements.
Opener 'This Boy' struggled to get the sound set properly but still powered on manfully but it wasn't until the third song of the set that the evening started to kick off.
For nearly a year now, 'Do You Want To?' has never been far from the airwaves and it still holds a strong hold. On the Sunday whilst walking past the silent disco, it was fun to see and hear everyone inside having one whilst bellowing out the guitar riff from the track. The same silly abandonment greeted the song in Saturday's rain and was eagerly lapped up by the crowd. It's a pompously brilliant track, evolved to take in more of the elements from Erol Alkan's outstanding mix and being punchier to stand up better at festivals; the song is a sure winner and was one of the key songs of the weekend. With 'I'm Your Villain' quickly following it up, the set had come alive with energy and only the drizzly weather was preventing it from reaching greater heights.
After this though, the set stalled with some acoustic moments and non album tracks making their way into proceedings. The inclusion of 'Lyndsey Wells' greatly impressed this writer, with its reference to a Glasgow girl who'll never walk alone and another excellent guitar riff but as a b-side, it was lost on a lot of the crowd and when compared to the slower but far better received 'Walkaway' with a tremendous crowd participation in it, its inclusion may have hampered the set slightly to the majority of people.
From here on in, Franz were in cruise control, playing the big hits and extending most of them and having fun. It may have served the band to have cut out some of the extra instrumental passages and squeezed in an extra song or two but there is always the argument that relying on the drum and bass parts are what gives Franz the added ingredient to get the girls dancing.
On 'The Outsiders', Franz definitely relied on the drummers to bring the crowd to a frenzy. It's probably been already documented but Franz were joined onstage by an all-star line-up of additional drummers all beefing up the rhythm section and creating a tribal effect for the front line boys to bounce off of.
With 'This Fire' closing the set and Alex Kapranos seeming as gracious and joyous as ever, it will no doubt be remembered by many as a great set, it just fails to live up to the memories of their previous T set, which was possibly a career defining moment for the band.
The thing is now that Franz are actually bigger than festivals like T in The Park and are unlikely to gain any massive career push from playing it again. They'll always be welcomed back though.