Monday, January 26, 2009

You could serve it so much better

The day of release of a new Franz Ferdinand album, even now their stock has been brought low by imitators, is something worth getting excited about in advance. Should we? Dunno, haven't heard Tonight yet - we'll tell you what we think in a couple of days - but we tell you what we can offer as an assuagation.

In September 2005, while on a world tour promoting their last album, Alex Kapranos was invited by the Guardian to write a column about what he ate while on the road. It's better than it sounds, "a travel diary as excuse to write about food" and purposefully not the day to day stuff, documenting the changes in culture and what it's felt fair to serve the traveller, with a light scene setting touch. The columns were eventually collected into one volume, Sound Bites: Eating On Tour With Franz Ferdinand, which was Radio 4 Book Of The Week in December 2006 and repeated last year on BBC7, Kapranos reading edited extracts from his own work. What a shame those readings are now confined to the archives, never to be properly heard aga...oh, wait.

Warning: You'd better like the first thirty seconds of Eleanor Put Your Boots On.

Part one: a languid essaying of the word 'booze', a documentation of a cross-gendered cowboy outside an Austin Tex-Mex, Paul Thompson's issues with oysters, crab death.

Part two: the guilt of eating cake at T In The Park, the art of staring on the Pigalle, pigeon death, Italian food discovery, Christmas in a Bavarian market.

Part three: the desire from afar for British curry, food left in the home fridge for two and a half years, the joy of South Shields saveloy dip and Christmas home bombing.

Part four: baked bread in Australia, curious vegetables and serving rites in Japan, annoying a hotel manager in Singapore.

Part five: Alex recalls the icing on his fifth birthday cake, reveals his bandmates' curious restaurant foibles, the fast food/Biblical quotation crossover and has a moment of realisation about tourism and a moment of explanation about playing live.

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