Gig review: Frightened Rabbit - Edinburgh

Frightened Rabbit. Picture: Greg Macvean
Frightened Rabbit. Picture: Greg Macvean
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“We’ve been looking forward to this night for a long time now,” said Frightened Rabbit’s lead singer Scott Hutchison, and his words were dripping with emotion and understated relish.

Frightened Rabbit

Picture House, Edinburgh

* * * *

Coming to the end of their latest UK tour with a trio of dates in Scotland (this was the first), this much-loved group had finally made the breakthrough their efforts have long deserved in the couple of weeks since the tour started.

Only a little over a week ago, their first major label album Pedestrian Verse had made it into the top ten, and they played this near-enough hometown show (they’re originally from Selkirk) with the sense they were conquering heroes returned from the front.

They’re not a band who turn everything they touch to gold, and there were a few lulling passages amidst this set (Heads Roll Off and recent single State Hospital both earned a merely upbeat reaction), but before a capacity audience who were clearly caught up in the excitement of playing witness to this well-deserved tipping point, their finest moments evoked a real thrill. Among them were the homespun, jittering reel Old Old Fashioned and the insufferably catchy Late March Death March, while Walking Backwards raced like a quickened heartbeat.

Hutchison worked the crowd with a tender solo version of Poke and a novel singalong concept named the Human Accordion during Swim Until You Can’t See Land, with the epic Acts of Man and the closing The Loneliness and the Scream demonstrating amidst the unusually big budget stage set and lightshow that this band are deserving of the larger and larger stages they’re about to be offered.