Towing the line between glam-rock sensibilities and freak show chic, HMLTD’s live return to the capital was bound to be nothing short of spectacular. From the collection of naked bodies paraded onstage before the six-piece’s arrival to the entire bloodied carnivalesque interior of the Camden haunt their show proves to be more of an extravagant exhibition as opposed to a standard gig on a Tuesday night.
Once I’d waded through the swathes of leather jackets, fishnets, tatted limbs and the pervasive scent of mixed high-end cologne towards the stage, I caught sight of the giant ‘Y’ hanging down from the ceiling. In a bold white font set in a red circle filled with repeats of the acronym ‘TMTF’, it mimicked the British Board of Film Classification certificate for an ‘18’ rated film. This set rather lofty expectations for the show to come. Would we be treated to strong language, nudity, sadistic violence and explicit scenes of a sexual nature (if justified by the context)?
Entering the stage to a foreboding, haunting whir that brought to mind the sound of the Tardis materialising from deep outer space, Franz Ferdinand instantly conveyed a timelord’s aura, with their jovial poise, funky shirts and Alex Kapranos’ charming, wry charisma. Scanning over the crowd with a mischievous smile whilst coolly sat on his stool like a 50’s lounge singer, Kapranos began with the air of a man unfazed by expectation; unshaken by the challenges that come with being best known for the glories of the past rather than the shimmer of the present.