Frightened Rabbit – Bristol Fleece – 16th February 2013
A Raucous and receptive crowd in Bristol tonight welcomed Highland visitors Frightened Rabbit with an obvious excitement surrounding recent release Pedestrian Verse and the band’s long break from the stage. Support acts Washington Irving and Wintersleep benefited from a large turnout early on, with the former giving an extremely tight performance of a sound somewhere between Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash and Celtic folk.
Arriving on stage to outbursts of built-up anticipation including a loud request for “marry me”, Frightened Rabbit took their positions for the next hour and half, appearing as silhouettes against the fire-like orange glow that lit up the band’s backdrop. Eager to gauge a response to the new album’s material, FR begin with ‘Holy’, bouncing its echoey guitar riff intro off the cavernous walls of the Bristol Fleece before filling the room with a thickness of instrumentation and Scott Hutchison’s beautifully fractured vocals. FR cover most of Pedestrian Verse this evening with highlighted tracks being ‘December Traditions’, ‘State Hospital’ and current single ‘Woodpile’, which works wonderfully to introduce the band back on stage for their encore. Interspersed with previous favourites such as ‘Old Fashioned’ and ‘Working on my Backward walk’, the band perform with exceptional energy and heart-felt throughout.
Scott Hutchison proves himself tonight as an ego-free humble performer who exudes an open attitude whilst on stage that the crowd quickly fall in love with. Obviously experienced at handling the crowd, the front man hadn’t quite anticipated the unruly Bristol locals, who were happy to ply the stage with demands of nakedness between songs, all of which Hutchison rejected saying his body was “not as good as Biffy’s!”.
Tracks from Pedestrian Verse sounded fantastic tonight. For an album that has only been out 2 weeks, spontaneous crowd participation in ‘Late March, Death March’ and ‘Backyard Skulls’ prove that it has been greatly received by FR fans. The band smoothly move between soft swirls of Scottish folk to hard hitting rock grooves that have all four guitarists jittering and hopping together during the heavily distorted outro to ‘Acts of Man’. Through sweaty-faced smiles shared after each song it’s easy to see that this now highly professional and practiced group of musicians are most certainly enjoying being on the road again.
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