Mud should have headlined.
By the time Franz Ferdinand arrived on stage, it was really dark, pretty cold and seemingly too late for a lot of punters at the Connect Festival. The crowd was noticeably smaller than the one which experienced Sigur Ros's set and a lot of this may have been due to people slipping away quietly. No doubt the downturn in weather and underfoot conditions on Sunday played a part in this but it didn't prevent Franz from turning in their usual self-assured performance.
Opener 'Michael' was as well received as always and extremely topical given that the origins of the story hail from a flirty man to man encounter in a Glasgow nightclub. Not all that far from where the ‘Michael’ story originated is another club which was in all the newspapers of the Connect weekend as news of some salacious encounters spread.
With two albums of anthems and crowd pleasers it was always going to be a bit simple for Franz to put on a decent show but they did try to vary the set and spread the material around. Both albums were well represented with the second album giving ‘The Fallen’, ‘Walkway’ and ‘Do You Want To?’ early on in the set.
Every one of these tracks was rapturously received which suggests there were a lot of people liking the second album. In some eyes, Franz never captured the imagination on their second album that they did with their debut but this was always likely to be the case. Franz had a lot of hype and exposure for an overnight success (albeit one which was plotted for the best part of a decade) and some people were always going to feel let down by what came next. However, the past of Franz Ferdinand seems secure enough, so what of the future?
A few new songs were being interspersed throughout the set and the increase in keyboard and electro feel was definitely noticeable. Unfortunately by this time of night at a festival, it’s not always advised to play new material and this reviewer was left cold by some of the new tracks (but more likely left cold by the mud underfoot.) That said a lot of the new tracks worked extremely well when played at least years warm up gigs at the Grand Old Opry so this was slight disappointment was more likely to be due to the weather and mood of the writer as opposed to a lack of quality. The new material jumped about from idea to idea like a lot of Franz tracks, perhaps indicative of the shared song writing process.
There is no doubt that if the weather had been warmer and the ground drier than Franz Ferdinand would have been hailed as almighty conquerors of the Connect Festival but as it was, they were merely good. Theres no shame in that and we’ll see them again when we’ve had a chance to listen to the material in the warmth of our own homes.