Left to right: Alex, Paul, Nick and Bob.
Franz Ferdinand is a Scottish post-punk
band formed in 2002. They're named after the Austrian archduke whose assassination sparked World War One
The musicians are:
- Alex Kapranos- lead vocals, guitar
- Nick McCarthy- backing vocals, keyboard, rhythm guitar
- Bob Hardy- bass guitar
- Paul Thomson- drums, backing vocals, other percussion
- Franz Ferdinand (2004)
- You Could Have It So Much Better (2005)
- Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (2009)
- Blood: Franz Ferdinand (2009) - A dance-rock dub remix album of Tonight.
- Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (2013)
- Unnamed album with Sparks (In production)
The band and their music contains examples of:
- Alliterative Name: Franz Ferdinand, duh.
- Alliterative Title: "Swallow, Smile", "Forty Feet" (usually written as "40'").
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: As one person noted regarding the "Evil Eye" music video:
"The clip splices together a stomach-turning montage of gross-out footage: Blood spewing from a sink faucet, people getting butchered and dismembered, throats being cut, cannibalism, and frontman Alex Kapranos sporting a dirtbag moustache."
- The Backwards R: In, at minimum, the video for "This Fire".
- Blithe Spirit: Lynsey Wells (of "L. Wells"), particularly as depicted in the video. Worth nothing that she is a real person the band knew (though not the girl in the video).
- Breakup Song: "Walk Away".
- Buddhism: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is a free adaptation from the Noble Eightfold Path.
- Call Back/Continuity Nod: the ending of "Swallow, Smile" echoes the lyrics from "Well That Was Easy".
- Captain Obvious: This extract from "This Fire":
"Now there is a fire in me, a fire that burns".
- Concept Album: Tonight:, the tale of a long, hard-partying night of drunken debauchery (most likely in Glasgow).
- Concept Video: "Jeremy Fraser".
- The Cover Changes The Gender: Averted with their cover of "Womanizer".
- Cross Over: They are currently recording an album with Sparks.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The videos for "L. Wells", "Jeremy Fraser", and "Bullet" and a lot of promotional pictures.
- Dream Walker: A common interpretation of "Lucid Dreams" is that it's about a man wanting his lover to join him in dreamland.
- Ending Theme/Real Song Theme Tune: "Do You Want To" is the ending theme to Paradise Kiss.
- Even the Guys Want Him \ Stupid Sexy Flanders: "Michael".
- Epic Rocking: "Lucid Dreams" is almost 8 minutes long.
- Everything Is an Instrument: "No You Girls" uses a human skeleton for percussion.
- Five-Token Band: Sort of. Paul is the only one that's purely Scottish. Bob is English, Nick was raised in Germany, and Alex is half-Greek. Note that they don't really play this up, certain...ahem, fangirls do.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: As further defined:
- Alex: Sanguine
- Nick: Choleric
- Paul: Melancholic
- Bob: Phlegmatic
- Gratuitous German: the ending of "Darts of Pleasure".
- Guyliner: All the band members in the music video for "This Fire".
- Intercourse with You: "Do You Want To".
- In the Style of...:
- "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" and "Wine in the Afternoon" are described as "beatlesque".
- The music video for "Walk Away" is done in the style of a Film Noir.
- Kids Are Cruel: "Jeremy Fraser", which may also double as a Murder Ballad.
- Life Is But A Dream: The narrator of "Lucid Dreams" lives in lucid dreams and prefers it that way.
- Long Distance Relationship: The subject of "Come On Home" and "Eleanor Put Your Boots On".
- Long Runner Line Up: Type I; the lineup has been the same ever since the band formed in 2002.
- Long Title: "Eleanor Put Your Boots On", You Could Have It So Much Better, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Do You Want To", "Lucid Dreams" (album version only).
- Mind Screw: The album version of "Lucid Dreams".
- New Sound Album: Tonight:.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Auf Achse".
- Not Christian Rock: Nobody would ever accuse Franz Ferdinand of being a Christian band, but given "Auf Achse", "The Fallen", and a few other songs, it's pretty obvious that if nothing else, Alex's year of Theology at the University of Glasgow gave him a firm grip on Christian imagery (and a distinct vision of Christ, to boot).
- Obsession Song: "This Fire".
- Ode to Intoxication:
- Averted with "Wine in the Afternoon". It's a standard love song; the drinking is thrown in as a bonus.
- Older Than They Look: Bob is 33, Nick is 37, Paul is 39 and Alex is 41.
- One Woman Song:
- "Jacqueline" and "L. Wells" (the L. is short for "Lynsey").
- "Michael" is a One Man Song.
- Oop North: Other than Paul (who is Glasgow born and raised), the whole band originally hails from here. Alex spent his first eight years in Tyne and Wear,note Nick was born in Blackpool (and then grew up in Germany), and Bob is from Bradford in West Yorkshire.
- Perspective Flip: At the end of "No You Girls", the lyrics are sung from a girl's point of view.
- Recycled Lyrics: Taken to its logical extreme; "No You Girls" and "Katherine Kiss Me" are the same song, on the same album, with a different melody. This is driven home on Alex's Soundcloud, where the demo version of "No You Girls" is named "Catherine Kiss me".
- Religion Rant Song: "The Fallen". As Alex would have it, Jesus Was Way Cool, and were he alive today, would be hanging with the poor and downtrodden, and not the self-declared Christians drinking champagne and riding in limousines. (In other words, the last Christian died on the Cross, and Christ is so unlike the Christians).
- Retraux: The band loves all kinds of tasteful blast-from-the-past fashions, to say nothing of all the vintage equipment they use.
- The Roaring Twenties: Their first album runneth over with the references to the '20s—especially in the videos, which are obviously influenced by Dada and Vkhutemas/Soviet Constructivism.
- Self-Titled Album: Their debut. Originally every single album would be named Franz Ferdinand, differentiated by the cover, but the idea was dropped.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: All four of them. Look at the page picture. Alternately, look at the video for "This Fire". It goes with everything they've done, too, from the Soviet Constructivist look of their first album to whatever you call what they're doing now.
- Shown Their Work: Sure, they may have been named for a horse rather than the assassinated archduke, but All For You Sophia shows they aren't ignorant of the latter.
- In the lyrics booklet, the line "come and dance with me" in "Michael" is preceded by a crossed-out "come all over me."
- I'm on BBC Two now/Telling Terry Wogan how/I made it and/What I made is not clear now/But his laughter is and his deference is...
- "Love and Destroy" is based on the plot of The Master and Margarita.
- "Ulysses", natch. (Although a reference to that other Ulysses may have been intended, as well.)
- From "Outsiders": "In seventeen years / Will you still be Camille, / Lee Miller, Gala or whatever".
- "Walk Away" is rife with references to Radio 4 and various historical figures.
- Sixth Ranger: Andy Knowles of The Firey Furnaces, who occasionally filled in on an instrument if the main player goes on something else (keyboard, drums, what have you)
- Step Up to the Microphone: Some of the songs (e.g. "Jeremy Fraser", "Fabulously Lazy" and "Van Tango") are sung by Nick, and the German version of "Tell Her Tonight" is sung by Paul.
- Stylistic Suck: The video for "Evil Eye" is made to look like a low budget horror film.
- Subliminal Seduction: If played backwards, "Michael" contains a secret message:
Call your mother, she's worried about you
- Surreal Music Video:
- "Take Me Out", making use of collage techniques similar to Dada and Terry Gilliam's animations for Monty Python.
- "Evil Eye". Even with the low budget horror film look, it still doesn't explain everything going on there.
- Their B-Side release, "Erdbeer Mund" is sung completely in German, contains visual effects last seen in an acid trip, and contains Nick McCarthy in drag.
- Title Track:
- "You Could Have It So Much Better".
- "Right Action" is a shortening of the album's title, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action.
- Translated Cover Version: Their German cover of "Tell Her Tonight," featuring Paul. Strange, seeing as it was Nick who grew up in Bavaria.
- Unplugged Version: Acoustic versions have been recorded of "Take Me Out", "The Fallen", "Twilight Omens", "Walk Away", "No You Girls", "Ulysses", "The Dark of the Matinee", and "Darts of Pleasure", the latter under a different name.
- Violent Glaswegian: Subverted by how the band started. Nick drunkenly stole Alex's bottle of vodka at a drunken party in (where else?) Glasgow. On the edge of a fight, Alex asks Nick : "Can you play the drums?" (as Paul was the one who originally played the guitar). It turned out he really couldn't, but they switched things around, and a band was born.
- This fight may or may not have also ended with the two kissing.
- Your Makeup Is Running: "Walk Away"
Mascara bleeds a blackened tear