Classic Scottish Albums: Franz Ferdinand
Another episode in an emerging sub-series of Classic Scottish Albums this week: Relatively Recent And Therefore Risky Classic Scottish Albums. As it is extremely unlikely that an actual series bearing that title will be commissioned by BBC Radio Scotland my proposal is to carry on making regular Classic Scottish Albums occasionally firing a newbie into the mix. Hope that works for everyone...
My own favourite food humiliation dates to 1985 and a tres chic Nouvelle Cuisine joint in London. Recently dropped like a hot potato with my band Chewy Raccoon from Phonogram Records after only one dire 7", I am being entertained by an A&R gal from Geffen Records who has invited me to London to "hang out" and "see if we're on the same page" before proceeding with the offer of a new recording contract. She has already discombobulated me by purchasing several Bryan Adams records as an indication of the musical direction I might now take and has disturbed me further by inviting a somewhat obnoxious record producer along to dinner. They are getting into their record label shop chat when the producer starts rolling his eyes, talking about Phonogram and "that Chewy Raccoon fiasco". So at this point my evening is over. After hurriedly outing myself as the Raccoon to prevent further ignominy I distractedly devour a dish of two small langoustines shell-on. As I lacerate my mouth the A&R Gal says" "You know honey, I guess you might wanna take the shells off of those." Giggling sweetly and looking on from the next table? Lynsey DePaul. No, honestly.
Much has been made of Franz Ferdinand's debt to groups like the wondrous Josef K, The Fire Engines and (as we discovered during the making of the show) the hugely underrated Sparks. While all of that is no doubt true in terms of the group's angular, rattling and spiky arranging style, in terms of performance Franz Ferdinand add something seriously muscular to the mix. Towards the end of our show CSA producer Victoria McArthur has edited a sequence from FF at T In The Park that gives you a fabulous sense of the power of four musicians just KICKING IT. The Roaring Naughties indeed.
We're going to Oban next week... for now enjoy the mighty Franz.