Franz Ferdinand and Sparks have teamed up to create a synthpop supergroup, using the pleasing acronym FFS. Glasgow School of Art alumni Franz Ferdinand have returned to their alma mater for an intimate show with the Mael brothers to perform tracks from their new, eponymous album as well as hits from their own respective back catalogues.
The show opens with the rousing Police Encounters before segueing into the mournful Johnny Delusional, beautifully conveying unrequited love through the power of synthpop and the merging of Alex Kapranos’ voice and Russell Mael’s falsetto. Ron Mael sits at the keyboard with his usual glare, before leaving his post to burst into an energetic dance. Russell’s cape and high vocals lend a wonderful theatricality to the show. This is a collaboration packed with wit, as demonstrated on The Man Without A Tan and especially on Collaborations Don’t Work, which allows every member of FFS his own line. Each band complements the other perfectly, which is most apparent when they perform each other’s biggest hits: Sparks’ This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both of Us and Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out. The hypnotically looping Call Girl is a flawless merging of both bands’ musical styles. For a collaboration that has taken 10 years to come to fruition, the results are immensely satisfying. Pop-rock shows don’t get much better than this.
16th June 2015
The Art School, Glasgow