Happy New Year…and the return of Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand: photo credit Cara Robbins

Hello folks.

Happy New Year – it’s been quiet for a couple of weeks here, not only because of Christmas and New Year, but also because (fanfare please) I got married just before New Year.

Back to the matter in hand. Franz Ferdinand will release their fifth album, Always Ascending on February 9. It’s their first album since 2013’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It was recorded at RAK Studios, London and Motorbass in Paris, with the help of French producere Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys).

Two tracks have been unveiled so far – which you can see below:

The album tracklisting is as follows:

  1.  Always Ascending
  2. Lazy Boy
  3. Paper Cages
  4. Finally
  5. The Academy Award
  6. Lois Lane
  7. Huck And Jim
  8. Glimpse Of Love
  9. Feel The Love Go
  10. Slow Don’t Kill Me Slow

The album can be pre-ordered here and you can also get the details about their pretty massive actually world tour here. It’s really rather great to have them back…


A song for today #8

Franz Ferdinand Sparks

Franz Ferdinand and Sparks have teamed up for an album together as FFS, which will be released on June 8.

The first official single from the album is entitled ‘Johnny Delusional’ which you can stream below:

The first track to be released from the album was ‘Piss Off,’ which again you can stream below:

The album tracklisting is as follows:

‘Johnny Delusional’
‘Call Girl’
‘Dictator’s Son’
‘Little Guy From The Suburbs’
‘Police Encounters’
‘Save Me From Myself’
‘So Desu Ne’
‘The Man Without A Tan’
‘Things I Won’t Get’
‘The Power Couple’
‘Collaborations Don’t Work’
‘Piss Off’

Meanwhile, you can read details about their forthcoming tour here

Stanley Odd on Scottish Independence

In less than two weeks’ time (September 18) Scotland will hold a referendum on Independence. Trying to get unbiased and balanced views from either side has become difficult in Scotland, and whatever happens on that date, you can bet your bottom dollar that the shouting, posturing and hand-wringing will not be over.

I’ve long championed Edinburgh Hip-hop act Stanley Odd on these pages (and you can read an interview with them here. They have recorded a new song (with an awesome take on the notion of a lyric video) entitled ‘Son I Voted Yes.

Stanley Odd will join an awesome lineup that includes the likes of 17 Seconds favourites including Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit at ‘A Night For Scotland’ which takes place at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on September 14. Tickets for that event have been selling like hot cakes, but it may be worth trying…

Stanley Odd are touring in November, too:

Sat 15th Nov – Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree
Fri 21st Nov – Edinburgh, Liquid Room
Tue 25th Nov – London, Barfly
Fri 28th Nov – Inverness, Ironworks
Sat 13th Dec – Glasgow, The Garage
Oh, and if anyone asks me why I haven’t featured a ‘no’ event or songs on here – I haven’t been sent any.

Album Review: Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand -‘Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action.’ (Domino)

Though it’s been four years since their third album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, this album hasn’t been in the making all that time. In recent interviews, singer Alex Kapranos has spoken of his fristrations and how he almost called time on the band.

Thankfully for us, he didn’t. When the opening and title track ‘Right Action’ started doing the rounds a few months ago, it was clear that FF were all sounding rejuvenated and ready to get on with making great songs again. It is, after all, ten years ago since they dropped the phenomenal ‘Darts of Pleasure’ single and then six months later dropped a self-titled debut that proved they were worth the hype. Those of us who’d seen them live (several times in the case of this writer) knew our faith was justified.

It isn’t the best album in their catalogue – I think that’s still their debut. But tracks like ‘Love Illumination’ and ‘Brief Encounters’ show that the comeback single was no fluke, and whilst I’m still waiting for another Franz album to make my jaw drop, I’m reminded why I fell so hard for them a decade ago.


Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action is out now on Domino.

Stream the album in its entirety here

Bloc Party vs. Franz Ferdinand

…have we just stepped back nearly 10 years?

Not as far as I’m concerned, I loved both those bands when they appeared, and thought Bloc Party’s Four album was a return to form last year, while I’m really looking forward to the forthcoming fourth Franz Ferdinand album.

Bloc Party seem to be about to go on hiatus again, but before they do, they are preparing to release a new five-track EP, The Nextwave Sessions EP.

The first track out from it is entitled ‘Ratchet’ and it’s mighty fine:

The EP also features four new tracks: ‘Obscene,’ ‘French Exit,’ ‘Montreal’ and ‘Children Of The Future.’

Meanwhile, Franz Ferdinand have announced that their new album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action will be out on August 26.

The tracklisting for the album is as follows:
‘Right Action’
‘Evil Eye’
‘Love Illumination’
‘Stand On The Horizon’
‘Fresh Strawberries’
‘Treason! Animals’
‘The Universe Expanded’
‘Brief Encounters’
‘Goodbye Lovers & Friends’

You can hear comeback single ‘Right Action’ below

You can also hear ‘Love Illumination’ below:

These two tracks are available as a limited 7″ (try Avalanche Records in Edinburgh) or the Domino Records website.

Some covers for Friday


OK, just what it says on the tin.

Badly Drawn Boy -‘Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen cover).’ mp3

Bruce Springsteen -‘Dream Baby Dream (Suicide cover).’ mp3

Lemonheads -‘Different Drum (Michael Nesmith cover).’ mp3

Franz Ferdinand -‘Womanizer (Britney Spears cover).’ mp3

Wedding Present -‘Back For Good (Take That cover).’ mp3

Pop Will Eat Itself -‘Love Missile F1-11 (Sigue Sigue Sputnik cover).’ mp3

Joy Zipper -‘Wave Of Mutilation (Pixies cover).’ mp3

Killers -‘Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself? (Morrissey cover).’ mp3

…and two covers by the Ukrainians of Smiths songs. but which ones…

Ukrainians-‘Batyar.’ mp3

Ukrainians -‘ Koroleva ne polerma.’ mp3

Some more covers for Friday


‘I’ll give you Cat Power…’

OK…meant to do this last week, and then with going away decided to focus on my lovely family.

Anyway…some covers, yes?

Franz Ferdinand -‘Womanizer (Britney Spears cover).’ mp3

Cat Power -‘We Dance (Pavement cover).’ mp3Laura Cantrell -‘Love Vigilantes (New Order cover).’ mp3

Buffalo Tom -‘Going Underground (The Jam cover).’ mp3

Curve -‘I Feel Love (Donna Summer cover).’ mp3

Alabama 3 -‘Speed Of the Sound Of Loneliness (Nanci Griffith cover).’ mp3

Lemonheads -‘Different Drum (Mike Nesmith cover).’ mp3

LCD Soundsystem -‘No Love Lost (Joy Division cover).’ mp3

Flaming Lips -‘Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover).’ mp3

Cud -‘You Sexy Thing (Hot Chocolate cover).’ mp3

…so that was the noughties!


Tippi the cat wearily surveys the vinyl from her perch

There are pedantic sods out there who will say that the next decade doesn’t start until 2011…umm, too bad.

It’s been a busy decade with highs and lows, and soundtracked by some amazing stuff. Odd, considering that at the start of 2000, I was wondering whether I was being left behing as I failed to get into Nu-metal or garage. Thankfully, there’s been lots of brilliant stuff.


Highs: Getting married; moving to Scotland; being my brother’s best man at his wedding; becoming an uncle; getting cats; finally getting to work in a record shop; the invention of the iPod; meeting wonderful new friends in Scotland; the critical re-evaluation of The Cure; starting a blog that’s allowed me to interview people and get free music and into gigs for free; getting a Masters Degree; becoming a fully qualified teacher; Edinburgh’s music scene flourishing; getting to DJ again; going to New York -twice!; seeing my brother’s career in comedy and acting take off; the resurgence of post-punk and its’ infleunce on contemporary indie; setting up my own record label; Obama’s election; Great TV in the form of Life On Mars, The Office, CSI; ‘world’ cinema playing in multiplexes; successfully giving up smoking and drinking; nights out in Edinburgh and Glasgow; The Wire magazine; American Hip Hop and R&B; Grime; Dubstep; Kate Bush finally releasing a new album; finally having my own car; getting to see the likes of the Pixies (twice!), Blondie, Television (Twice!), Dead Kennedys, Julian Cope, Elvis Costello, Nick Cave (also twice!), Morrissey (three times), U2, Lou Reed…

Lows: Death of our beloved Jake the cat; black dog; the NME’s decline for much of the decade; people who showed they could not be trusted; the loss of three music venues in Edinburgh (La Belle Angele, The Venue, The Liquid Rooms); Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Labour letting us down; George W. Bush’s administration impacting on life here; the BNP; Tommy Sheridan proving to be human after all; the frightening prospect of a Tory Victory in 2010; the continued existence of racism, homophobia and domestic violence (and fuckwits who label any attempt to challenge this as political correctness gone mad)…

There’s been so much music that it’s hard to rank it all – this is just a handful of what’s floated my boat this decade.

The Delgados -‘No Danger.’ mp3

Gnarls Barkley -‘Crazy.’ mp3

The Bug -‘Angry.’ mp3

CSS – ‘Let’s Make Love and Listen To Death From Above.’ mp3

Franz Ferdinand -‘Shopping For Blood.’ mp3

Beyonce -‘Crazy In Love.’ mp3

LCD Soundsystem -‘Losing My Edge.’ mp3

Burial -‘Archangel.’ mp3

Santogold -‘My Superman.’ mp3

Low – ‘California.’ mp3

>Usher -‘Yeah.’ mp3

The Rapture – ‘House Of Jealous Lovers.’ mp3

Radio 4 -‘Dance To the Underground.’ mp3

Interpol -‘NYC.’ mp3

Missy Elliott -‘Get UR Freak On.’ mp3

Estelle -‘American Boy (featuring Kanye West).’ mp3

Skream -‘Midnight Request Line.’ mp3

This is by no means a complete list; I’ve intentionally left out anything from this year. The list could also include M.I.A.; White Stripes; Strokes; Yeah Yeah Yeahs; The Libertines; Dizzee Dascal; Arctic Monkeys; Outkast; System Of A Down; Calexico; Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy; Kylie; Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds… and many of the scottish bands I’ve championed – and those I have signed.

Happy New Year!


Riffling through my 7″s #3


I’m not quite sure what the story behind this was. But it came to pass that – in that most indie of old-style indie traditions, Franz Ferdinand and the Fire Engines released a split 7″. Each of them covering one of the other’s songs. So Franz did ‘Get Up And Use Me’ and the Engines did ‘Jacqueline.’ The Engines did briefly reform, playing a gig in Edinburgh which I was at, just somewhat the worse for wear, having already got there for Aberfeldy and Sons & Daughters. Ah well…

Franz Ferdinand -‘Get Up And Use Me.’ mp3

Fire Engines -‘Jacqueline.’ mp3

And if anyone knows any more about his this 7″ came to be, please let me know.

…and Franz Ferdinand’s continued return


I know I haven’t reviewed Franz Ferdinand’s third album here (yet!) but I do think it’s very good, and it’s always a pleasure to have them around.

last week, they recorded a cover of Britney Spear’s ‘Womanizer’ for fabulous Radio 1 FM, and as this track has not had an official release, to the best of my knowledge, I thought I would share it with you:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Womanizer (Britney Spears cover).’ mp3

…and as a treat, some other FF rarieties:

from the soundtrack of Hallam Foe:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Hallam Foe Dandelion Blow.’ mp3

A cover of David Bowie’s ‘Sound and Vision:’

Franz Ferdinand -‘Sound and Vision (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

An acoustic take on a single:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Walk Away (acoustic).’ mp3

An early demo:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Tell Her Tonight (demo).’ mp3

The b-side of their very first single, ‘Darts Of Pleasure’ (six years ago this August!) and one of the very best things they have ever done:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Shoppping for Blood.’ mp3

And a remix:

Franz Ferdinand -‘Take Me Out (Naum Gabo remix).’ mp3

It should go without saying that if you like these tracks you should go and buy the albums, see the band live etc..

Franz Ferdinand ‘s website
/Franz Ferdinand’s myspace