Franz Ferdinand have been away for a while. Amazingly, it’s been nearly eight years since the Glaswegian art-rock quartet first played in Hong Kong.
After spending part of the last decade as one of the hottest musical properties on the planet, the band make their return to the city this month to headline the Clockenflap festival at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade.
Their recently released fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, was the band’s first in four years and followed a lengthy hiatus after a tour-album-tour-album-tour frenzy lasting about five years.
Last time they visited, on Valentine’s Day 2006, was to play at Queen Elizabeth Stadium; this time they’re leading an impressive line-up at Clockenflap that sees them take the stage on the Saturday night after influential disco outfit Chic. Franz Ferdinand’s bassist, Bob Hardy, says they approach festivals very differently from their own gigs.
“You kind of play a more hit-based set – the songs people have heard on the radio. It forces you to up your game a bit, because people are not necessarily there to see you. It’s quite fun to play festivals for a while, but then to go back to playing our own shows is quite special, knowing that people are there for you.”
Last time they played Hong Kong, he adds: “The crowd was quite cool and knowledgeable. Everywhere has its merits as a place to play, but generally the Mediterranean countries and [those] around South America are quite wild, and the Japanese are very passionate as well.”
Read the full story in the 21 November issue of 48 Hours