Franz Ferdinand have been forced to make drastic set changes on their Far East tour - because bassist BOB HARDY has been hospitalised.

The Scottish group are currently performing in Japan as part of their year-long tour in support of their eponymous debut album, but have resorted to playing acoustic gigs after Hardy fell victim to a mystery illness.

At their show at the Nagoya Diamond Hall yesterday (28NOV04), singer ALEX KAPRANOS and guitarist NICK McCARTHY explained their predicament to the crowd with the help of a translator.

One Japanese fan says, "When we turned up we were told Bob the bassist was sick and they weren't sure if they would play. The doors opened an hour late and everyone shuffled in. We were given a note when we got inside explaining that if we weren't satisfied with the performance we could get a refund of 2500 yen (almost half of the ticket cost)."

The tour is scheduled to continue in Tokyo tonight, before heading to North America throughout December (04).

29/11/2004 13:27