Edinburgh International Festival music review: FFS, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Fiona Shepherd.
So it turns out the quirky art pop lovers of the world did not mass hallucinate their dream band after all – Franz Ferdinand and Sparks really have come together in a glorious orgy of euphoric, earworm melodic hooklines, witty, irreverent lyrics and daft robot dance moves for what must surely be one of the EIF’s most celebratory shows.
Russell Mael’s fine falsetto remains in limber form, contrasting dynamically with Alex Kapranos’s theatrical baritone, while elder brother Ron was still the po-faced bogeyman of our 1970s nightmares until he took the floor for his signature soft shoe shuffle. No awkward alliances here – Save Me From Myself was a seamless marriage of Sparks synth pop and Franz rock flourishes.
Still, nothing quite got the blood pumping like the classic hits of the two constituent parts. Franz Ferdinand’s Do You Want To was the first to get the fans on their feet; Sparks’ Number One Song in Heaven levitated the room with its disco euphoria. This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us and Take Me Out, two of the mightiest pop moments of their times, sounded even better played by six wonderful musicians and, together, they have added their own rock opera epic to the canon, the brazenly non-self-fulfilling prophecy of Collaborations Don’t Work.
Published in The Scotsman on 26 August 2015
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