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N E W S  &  I N FO .

December 17, 2006

FRANZ FERDINAND front man EATS way round WORLD

Munching fishbrain bread from Finland, chewing bull's testicles in Buenos Aires – touring with the rock band Franz Ferdinand can be a real culinary adventure.

But no taste bud challenge is too great for lead singer Alex Kapranos, who takes fans on a tour of the world's most surreal eateries in a new offbeat restaurant guide – Sound Bites which is adapted from a newspaper column he wrote on the road.

Gently mocking the rock 'n' roll lifestyle of overblown excess, he and the Scottish group travelled 2½ times around the world in the last couple of years eating in dishevelled dumps one day and five-star opulence the next.

"Sometimes I eat appallingly. Sometimes I eat phenomenally," he writes of the surreal meals he devours.

Gizzard salad in Paris, potentially fatal blowfish in Osaka – nothing is beyond Kapranos, who worked as a chef, wine-waiter, kitchen porter and delivery driver before hitting the jackpot as a rock singer.

"I never eat predictably," he proudly boasts, even though his allergy to peanuts has taught him to ask about them in a whole host of languages.

"I've chipped my molars on tiny pearls from mussels in Brussels," he writes. "Yes, food is still an adventure," said the Glasgow-based singer whose father is a law lecturer who originally came from Greece.

Sometimes, the culinary experience is banal beyond belief.

"I shove crisps, ageing sandwiches and cold pizza into my gob between sound-checks, gigs and sitting on a bus drunk."

At other times it is sublime.

At Arola's Kitchen in Madrid: "As a spoonful of chestnut soup with bacon ice cream passes my lips, I want to laugh because I can't believe what's happening in my mouth."

For Kapranos, half the fun is people-watching.

"If you stare at someone in Glasgow, it's an invitation for a fight. If you stare at someone in Paris, it's because you want to look at them."

And he admits that sometimes food does take a back seat in a restaurant where the dishes are never as intriguing as the decor.

Take The Formosa Cafe in Hollywood.

Above Elvis Presley's favourite booth is a glass cabinet containing statuettes of him "in various stages of obesity".

He once tipped a waitress with a brand new Cadillac and Kapranos' waitress complains "Stars don't tip that way any more".


Posted by emomixtape at December 17, 2006 9:18 AM
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