By Claire Schofield
You would be forgiven for not going weak at the knees at the news that Franz Ferdinand are rolling into Leeds to play the O2 Academy.
The Scottish based indie rockers have been off the scene for quite a while now, with their last visit to Leeds being a whopping four years ago.
But with a crowd of more than 2,000 eager fans, it seems that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
They were greeted with a hero’s welcome as they took to the stage in a peculiar ensemble of mismatched black and white outfits and delivered a raucous set of their characteristically sharp, witty and undeniably catchy hits, spanning almost two hours.
Opening song Bullet, from their new album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions, set the show off to a swinging start followed by toe-tapping favourite The Dark of the Matinee.
Whilst the crowd responded enthusiastically enough to new hits Evil Eye and Fresh Strawberries, it was the classic hits from the bands back catalogue that really lifted the roof.
No You Girls, Do You Want To and Take Me Out were the obvious fan favourites, with fans eagerly snatching the chorus from frontman Alex Kapranos leaving him with little to do in the way of getting the crowd going.
Note-perfect singer and guitarist Alex was not the most flamboyant or talkative of frontmen, but he had an undeniable stage presence and commanded the show with ease.
Alex and rhythm guitarist, Nick McCarthy, were undoubtedly the leaders of the show, with both giving an admirably energetic and spirited performance which led fans into a sweat-fuelled, po-going frenzy.
It was a shame their enthusiasm failed to be matched by bass player, Bob Hardy, who barely raised a smile through the entire set and looked decidedly unenthused by the whole event.
Despite a rather reserved performance from Bob, the set did maintain its pace throughout and the band should be commended for their fantastic instrumental interludes.
The instrumental sections of the show, including a drum solo performed by all members of the band at the end of Outsiders, perfectly showcased their superb musical talents reminding fans exactly why they are a platinum-selling band.
The band delivered an impressive lengthy encore, with singer Alex taking a request from a fan at the front to play Jacqueline, before closing the show with This Fire and Goodbye Lovers & Friends.
After delivering an exciting live show with an impressive array of infectiously catchy hits, Franz Ferdinand have proved that time hasn’t taken away any of their charm or shine.