I was a very odd little boy. I read The Guardian football and music sections as a child. It probably explains why I enjoy music and football in the way that I do, in an anorak-ish and kinda bookish way. I still read The Guardian but I’ve expanded my reading to include the demented relationship advice columns and the blind date segment. I have a couple of very distinct music journalism memories, but I think Franz Ferdinand were the first band I ever read about and then sought out. In a lot of ways they were the perfect band for me at the time and despite my suggestion that my dad might like their first album for his birthday, “Franz Ferdinand” by Franz Ferdinand arrived on what I assume must have been my 12th birthday.
“The Dark Of The Matinée” was the first song I remember hearing. It has a kind of an evil sound. I think part of the appeal is that the lyrics are obviously talking about things but I really didn’t understand what was going on. Rereading them now, they are daft but fantastic.
“Take your white finger
Slide the nail under the top and bottom buttons of my blazer
Relax the fraying wool, slacken ties
And I’m not to look at you in the shoe
But the eyes find the eyes”
The use of language and things like run on lines made the lyrics seem very cryptic. The bridge and, in particular, the concatenation of Terry Wogan and the word “how” to fit the rhyming pattern, are one of my favourite pieces of lyric writing.
There’s a lot to the sound of “The Dark Of The Matinée” that still appeals to me. There’s solid guitar riffs and some disco influenced guitar in there. The bass riff drives the song along. And then the drumming has that great indie disco sound. If you listen with decent speakers you can hear some mad harmonies. The vocals have a bored sound that was the coolest thing in the world and there are even moments where you can hear Alex Kapranos sigh. It was all part of the aesthetic and I thought it was brilliant.
You can listen to “The Dark Of The Matinée” by Franz Ferdinand here.