FRANZ Ferdinand rocked Sunderland last night as the Brit-award winners played their first ever gig in their lead singer’s home town.
The indie group performed a 30-minute set of their hits during a live in-store appearance at Pop Recs Ltd in the city centre.
Alex Kapranos said the gig was a homecoming for him, having lived his early years in Sunderland and South Shields, and the band was delighted to have been invited to perform in Wearside.
Franz Ferdinand first stormed the charts in 2004 when their single, Take Me Out, shot to number three. The band went on to scoop the 2004 Mercury Music Prize and in 2005 they won big at the Brit Awards, walking away with Best British Group and Best British Rock Act in the same year as topping the album charts with You Could Have It So Much Better.
They were the latest high-profile booking for Frankie & the Heartstrings who, since opening Pop Recs in June last year, have brought big names to the city, including Maximo Park at the weekend.
Frankie Francis, singer with Frankie & the Heartstrings, said: “It was really exciting. It was the first time they have played in Sunderland.
“We had bumped into them once on the road. They approached us and said they had heard about the project that we are doing in Sunderland and they would really love to come and play live in the shop.
“They made a huge effort to fit this in, which is brilliant.”
After performing in Sunderland the band went straight to play at Newcastle’s O2 Academy as part of their European tour.
Lesley Cooperwaite, an artist, who was at the gig with her son, George, 12, who got the chance to have his photo taken with Alex, said: “I think Pop Recs is the best thing to have happened to Sunderland for years. To get a band like Franz Ferdinand here and to be able to take children along is just great.”