Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Songs and Stuff

Alison and I went to see Franz Ferdinand at the Grand Ole Opry last week (usually the haunt of folk dressed like this guy).

We were a bit worried that we'd be picked out as irredeemably un-hip (too many years playing in orchestras and string quartets) as we stood there nodding and saying things like "Verily, it has a groovy beat." But I think we got away with it.

It started out with The Royal We, who broke all the rules of support bands by being really good - with actual tunes - and only playing for about twenty minutes. In my (admittedly limited) experience the support should be dire and play for what seems like three days.

After that Franz came on, had beer thrown over them (I think this was seen as a sign of affection), and played some new songs (and some old ones). The new songs sounded good - they definitely don't seem to have lost the place and done a "Kid A". There was one that mentioned a snake, and another that might have been about a murder (I can't remember the names - how do professional reviewers manage this? Do they take notes or just have really good memories?)

One of the new ones that I particularly liked was called "An English Goodbye", which they explained was a German expression meaning saying goodbye without actually ever saying goodbye. The Germans think only the English could be so rude.

I can't say I remember ever being on the receiving end of this (apart from one notable exception), but one thing that did annoy me when I was living in Cambridge was the ability of a number of people I met to be incredibly rude while sounding polite. This never happens in Glasgow; if someone is rude to you here you know all about it. Which isn't great, but at least it lets you assume the moral high ground. The English approach leaves you with the nasty, wormy feeling that you want to crawl under a stone, but you don't know why.

Obviously only a minority of English folk go in for this sort of behaviour, the rest are thoroughly nice people. Or suffer from the opposite problem: being so polite you're afraid they'll shatter under the strain at any moment. Also rarely a problem in Glasgow...

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