The Dark of the Matinée

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"The Dark of the Matinée"
Single by Franz Ferdinand
from the album Franz Ferdinand
B-side "Better in Hoboken"
Released 19 April 2004
Format CD, 7", DVD
Recorded 2003-2004
Genre Post-punk revival, indie rock
Length 4:03
Label Domino
Writer(s) Alex Kapranos, Nicholas McCarthy, Bob Hardy
Producer(s) Tore Johansson
Franz Ferdinand singles chronology
"Take Me Out"
(2004)
"The Dark of the Matinée"
(2004)
"Michael"
(2004)

"The Dark of the Matinée", also known simply as "Matinée" is a song by Glasgow-based indie rock band Franz Ferdinand. It was released as the fourth track on the self-titled album Franz Ferdinand on 9 February 2004. On 19 April 2004 it was released as a single and reached number eight in the UK Singles Chart.

In Australia, the song was ranked #50 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2004.

Background[edit]

The song is about walking home from Bearsden Academy fantasizing about a better life in the future, telling Terry Wogan about it on UK national television, then being shaken from the fantasy as its own ridiculousness shatters its very existence. The chorus and title started off from a mail conversation with Bob Hardy where he suggested the dark of a matinée performance was a utopian environment.

Video[edit]

The video features the band dressed as schoolboys, dancing in an automatic, almost possessed, fashion and miming along to the main vocal track. It was inspired by Dennis Potter's television play Blue Remembered Hills (1979), which features adults playing children, and the lip-sync device Potter used in his 'serials with songs' Pennies from Heaven (1978) and The Singing Detective (1986). The finale of the video also takes several visual cues from the "Dry Bones" sequence in Singing Detective.[citation needed] Kapranos wanted to shoot the video in the corridors of Bearsden Academy and approached the school who, while initially receptive,[citation needed] ultimately rejected the idea, as the idea of schoolboys in their early 30s was too reminiscent of the recent scandal involving Brian MacKinnon.

UK track listings[edit]

All lead vocals performed by Alex Kapranos.

CD1

  1. "The Dark Of The Matinée" (Alex Kapranos/Nick McCarthy/Bob Hardy)
  2. "Better In Hoboken" (Alex Kapranos/Nick McCarthy/Bob Hardy)
  3. "Forty Feet" (Alex Kapranos/Nick McCarthy)

DVD

  1. "The Dark Of The Matinée" [Promo Video]
  2. "The Dark Of The Matinée" live at KCRW" [Video]
  3. Gallery with Cheating On You live audio
  4. Desktop Wallpaper

7"

  1. "The Dark Of The Matinée" (Alex Kapranos/Nick McCarthy/Bob Hardy)
  2. "Michael" (live at KCRW) (Alex Kapranos/Nick McCarthy)

12"

  1. "The Dark Of The Matinée" (Alex Kapranos/Nick McCarthy/Bob Hardy)
  2. "Better In Hoboken" (Alex Kapranos/Nick McCarthy/Bob Hardy)
  3. "Forty Feet" (Alex Kapranos/Nick McCarthy)

In popular culture[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

A Latin version of the song was featured on the Rhythms del Mundo album by the Buena Vista Social Club.

Parodies[edit]

One routine in Harry Hill's 2005 'Hooves' tour involved the comedian and a ventriloquist puppet ("Gary, the son from my first marriage") performing a dance routine to the song in reference to the video.