Franz Ferdinand singer’s tribute to South Shields

FRANZ FERDINAND ... will play at the O2 Academy on the last date of their spring 2014 UK tour.
FRANZ FERDINAND ... will play at the O2 Academy on the last date of their spring 2014 UK tour.

INDIE-rockers Franz Ferdinand have paid tribute to South Shields on their new album.

Well-known spots like South Shields Metro station and Marsden Rock are mentioned in the track, Stand On The Horizon, which is on the album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, which was released on Monday.

The link with South Tyneside comes from singer Alex Kapranos, who spent his early years living in the town.

The 41-year-old was born in Gloucestershire, but moved to his mother’s native South Shields shortly after, living in the town until he moved to Scotland at the age of seven.

Although Alex wasn’t in South Shields when he penned Stand On The Horizon, he said he was thinking of it.

The lyrics say: ‘In South Shields Metro station, I heard Marsden Rock was breaking, the North Sea shaking, All that we know, to make us see the point of living is to live, So won’t you come to me’.

Alex said: “The song is about how we navigate through our lives via familiar landmarks. These can be places or people.

“They seem permanent and we understand where we are by our relationship to them.

“If they are changed in some way or disappear, it makes us reassess our place in life. We have to think about where we are standing.

“When Marsden Rock collapsed in the ‘90s, it was a moment like that for me. It was a very familiar landmark that I’d known all my life.

“When I was a kid, I used to walk up to it when the tide was out, and walk under the arch to make a wish.

“Suddenly half of it wasn’t there any more. This mighty rock was broken by the power of the North Sea. The coastline wasn’t the same.”

“It’s a metaphor for those other landmarks in our lives.

“I vividly remember the last time I visited my grandfather in South Shields and standing in the Metro station on my way there.

“When he died, it felt like a huge rock by which I navigated my life had disappeared.

“The landscape suddenly feels empty and unrecognisable. You have to reassess where you are.

“The words came very naturally, as I knew what I wanted to say. It’s often like that if you’re writing about a vivid sensation.”

Alex also told the Gazette that it’s uncertain if the song will be released as a single, but it is a contender.

He said if a video was filmed for Stand On The Horizon, it would be fun to shoot it in South Shields.

The singer, who has released three other albums with Franz Ferdinand, still has family members in the town.

He said: “My nana still lives in South Shields and there are quite a few members of the extended Kapranos family kicking about too.

“I do like to go back for a visit. Last time I was there I was with my girlfriend and I took her and my nana to The Grotto to watch the waves crashing against the rock.

“I have particularly good memories of summer days on the beach, looking for crabs and jumping into the sea.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki