Here Comes Francis Trouble: An Evening With Albert Hammond Jr!

By: Sun Noor

Albert Hammond Jr performing at L’Astral by Sun Noor

Albert Hammond Jr taught us how to loosen up and have a good time on a Monday night after treating a full house at L’Astral to an intoxicating, alluring and high-energy performance last night.

The incomparable Strokes guitarist made his return earlier this year with the release of his fourth studio album, Francis Trouble. The central topic of the record was derived from a recent discovery that deeply affected him; the death of stillborn twin brother. Two years ago, AHJ learned that a fingernail and other gunk remained inside his mother’s womb while he continued to grow. The record is also meticulously put together as it sums up to exactly thirty-six minutes, which is quite significant as AHJ was of that age when he was given the news about the close stranger. However, he viewed this discover as something positive, as it allowed him to push away from himself while writing the record. The name “Francis” could also be interpreted as an alter ego of his. The notion of moving away from himself in order to explore new facets to his personality with this interesting revelation allowed him to discover this new, creative aspect. AHJ also mentioned that David Bowie’s ability to transform something meaningful into a pop gem carried a significance since he wanted Francis Trouble to be a visceral record that people could enjoy. The idea of this record being the first of a series like a comic book is also something the artist considered during the whole creative process.

AHJ embarked on a few tours alongside The Killers for their West Coast tour dates and Franz Ferdinand in Europe before proceeding with the North American leg of his headline tour earlier this year. Although the last shows of his Momentary Masters tour were relatively recent, I kind of forgot about how much I truly adored his stage presence. There aren’t many frontmen who exert as much energy and enthusiasm as AHJ, which distinguishes him from most. I cannot recall the last time that I’ve been in the presence of an artist who engages with the crowd as much as he did or continuously jumps around stage, into the crowd and off of amps throughout their set. In fact, if one was to view the footage from all of his shows, they would see that he keeps the same energy for each of his shows. AHJ is definitely one of the best performers around, as his presence was so alluring, as he managed to transmit his energy into the crowd. He also mentioned to me that he loved how his solo shows allow him to really put his all into his performances since he enjoys his role as an entertainer, which is quite admirable. Finally getting to hear my favorite songs off Francis Trouble such as “Strangers” or “Rocky’s Late Night” live was definitely the highlight of my night as those songs sounded even better while being in the presence of AHJ dancing carelessly around the stage.

Here are more photos from the show:

Click here to download or stream Francis Trouble.

Watch the video for Albert Hammond Jr’s newest single, “Set to Attack” below:

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