I’ve talked with Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand many times and he’s a friendly, unassuming guy. So he must have been very freaked out on that day in Russia in June 2005 when he was detained on suspicion of being a spy.
The band had just played gigs in St. Petersburg and Moscow and were trying to fly to New York through Domodedovo Airport. As he was going through passport control, he was told that he’d been flagged on the US “no-fly” list because he was a “high-security risk” and was denied boarding.
So what happened? His passport listed him as Alex Huntley (which is his mother’s maiden name). Turns out that there was a guy named Alex Huntley, an ex-MI6 agent who went to jail under the UK’s Official Secrets Act.
It was a simple case of mistaken identity–but one that really freaked out Franz Ferdinand.