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Live Review: Franz Ferdinand and Panico at Bristol Thekla

By on Wednesday, 25th June 2008 at 2:08 am

Franz Ferdinand live at Bristol Thekla - 24th June 2008“We’re only two songs in and already Paul’s broken the drums!” smirks Franz Ferdinand‘s Alex Kapranos as drummer Paul Thomson attempts to re-assemble his broken kit. This turned out to be a recurring theme of the evening, as later on Nick’s guitar amp and strings gave up the ghost. However, regardless of all of that it was nice to see a stadium-filling band play a tiny boat in Bristol’s harbour and deal with the problems of playing a tiny stage and going back to their roots.

Kicking off the evening was Chilean five piece Panico. At first I was sceptical – South American party band supporting British indie kings? Really? But somehow, it worked. Starting off carefully, they quickly began to woo the crowd with their CSS / Gogol Bordello / Ladytron / The Music mixture of sounds, and energy laden front-man in the shape of the (ingeniously named) Memo.

Initially I was going to compare them solely to CSS, the Brazilian party stars of 2007, but realised pretty soon that that would be doing Panico an injustice. They’re much more talented, and their songs have more depth, and a sense of urgency that would put others to the test. The gorgeous Carolina held it all together more than capably on bass, providing some calm next to Memo’s crazy shapes. Whilst Carolina held it together, each member clearly is quite talented, and collectively they’re definitely ones to watch in coming months and years.

Lyrically they switch between Spanish and English, which certainly makes for interesting listening, and a more exotic feel than a typical British evening in inner city Bristol. By the end of the set they had everyone bouncing, and were the perfect warm up for Franz Ferdinand – everyone was ready to party.

9:45 rolled around and Franz marched on stage, self assuredly and immediately plunged into a new song, “New Thrill”, which went down a storm, and got them off to a good start, before peppering the rest of their set with newer tracks.

“Tonight, we’re going to play you some new songs, some old songs, and…” “some songs!” yelled a heckler as Alex was introducing themselves, to much laughter around the venue, and smirks from the band. “Yes, yes, we’ll play you some songs, if you want, they’ll be good ones!” smiled Alex, clearly in his element and enjoying the intimate surroundings of the Thekla.

Many of the older tracks sound just as good now as they did when they first arrived on our airwaves back in 2004. Take Me Out has renewed vigour, and surprisingly didn’t have the crowd bouncing the most. That award went to the set closer, This Fire, which saw the Thekla start to sway quite scarily as the boat rocked in the water with 350 people bouncing to the encore closer.

Keeping the set short left us all wanting more from the headliners, though Panico surprised me and could be ones to watch for the future.

After the jump: setlist and pics

Continue reading Live Review: Franz Ferdinand and Panico at Bristol Thekla


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