LATEST: Franz Ferdinand bassist BOB HARDY dragged himself out of his hospital bed to appear at the Scottish rockers' final show of their Japanese tour yesterday (29NOV04).

Their Far East fans, aware of Hardy's condition, were surprised to see the 22-year-old onstage at Tokyo's Shibuya-Ax arena and, despite being physically and mentally drained, the musician managed to make it through the gig.

Hardy was first rushed to hospital in Osaka on Saturday (27NOV04) complaining of severe stomach pains - he was later diagnosed with gastro-enteritis and moved to a Tokyo hospital on Sunday night (28NOV04).

The remaining TAKE ME OUT stars - singer Alex Kapranos, guitarist NICK McCARTHY and drummer PAUL THOMSON - had to perform on Sunday at the Nagoya Diamond Hall without Hardy. They recruited support band THE BEAT UP's bassist DINO to stand in on four songs, before performing a bass-less acoustic set.

A spokesperson for the band says, "Bob was keen not to miss the last of the band's Japan gigs, particularly because it was in Tokyo, so he made every effort to be there.

"He was weak, but he played through the gig, before returning to hospital. And Bob is scheduled to remain in hospital until December 2 when he will fly to New York and join the band on their US tour."

30/11/2004 13:37