Franz Ferdinand

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L to R: Nick, Paul, Bob, and Alex

Franz Ferdinand is a Scottish indie rock band formed in 2002. Their band name is named both after the Austrian archduke whose assassination sparked World War I, as well as a racehorse named Archduke Ferdinand (which was named after the archduke).

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

As of 2009 they have three albums:

  • Franz Ferdinand (2004)
  • You Could Have It So Much Better (2005)
  • Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (2009)

Franz Ferdinand provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Blithe Spirit: Lynsey Wells (of "L. Wells"), particularly as depicted in the video.
  • The Backwards R: In, at minimum, the video for "This Fire".
  • Concept Album: Tonight, the tale of a long, hard-partying night of drunken debauchery (most likely in Glasgow).
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The videos for "L. Wells" and "Jeremy Fraser"
  • Ending Theme: Surprisingly, Do You Want To is the ending theme to Paradise Kiss.
  • 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.
    • So... white, white, white and half-white (with the other half being white).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: As further defined:
    • Alex: Sanguine
    • Nick: Choleric
    • Paul: Melancholic
    • Bob: Phlegmatic
  • Gratuitous German: the ending of Darts of Pleasure
  • Ho Yay: I have only one thing to say: Michael
    • Further adding to Michael's Ho Yay is that occasionally, in live shows, the line 'so come and dance with me Michael' is changed to 'so come all over me Michael' and the line 'stubble on my sticky lips' to 'stubble on my sticky hips'.
    • And the line 'your famous friend, well I blew him before you' from Do You Want To
    • Not to mention rumors that when Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy first met, the fight they got into ended with them snogging.
    • And This Boy takes on a whole new meaning when you know it was originally sung by a woman.
      • "I'm Your Villain" adds some lovely Foe Yay to the mix. The title is just the beginning... "If I could laugh...we'd be laughing lovers."
    • Just what are they doing in "The Dark of the Matinee"?
  • Mind Screw: The album version of "Lucid Dreams."
  • New Sound Album: Tonight.
  • 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).
  • Captain Obvious: This extract from This Fire: "Now there is a fire in me, a fire that burns".
  • Real Life Relative: The strange woman in the video to their cover of LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" is Anna McCarthy, Nick's sister. She also directed the video.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sequel Displacement: "Take Me Out" was the video that put them on the map, no doubt to the memorable avant garde style. It was actually their second video; their first was "Darts of Pleasure", which was a more typical music video.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: All four of them. Look at the page picture. Just look at it. 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 they're doing now.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: In the lyrics booklet, the line "come and dance with me" in "Michael" is preceeded by a crossed-out "come all over me."
  • Surreal Music Video: what the hell happened again in Take Me Out?
    • The deliberate use of collage techniques is reminiscent of Dada "art". Dada is a movement primarily associated with taking place during World War I, and the lyrics can be interpreted as being about the real Franz Ferdinand (although not as explicitly as "All For You, Sophia").
  • Translated Cover Version: Their German cover of "Tell Her Tonight," featuring Paul. Strange, seeing as it was Nick who grew up in Bavaria.
  • 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 as the one who originally played the guitar). It turned out he really couldn't, but they switched things around, and a band was born.