Having supported Modest Mouse in Dublin and Galway, Frightened Rabbit ventured south to Cork last Sunday where they were warmly welcomed as the night’s main event. I saw the Scottish 6-piece in Cyprus Avenue last April and was blown away by the accoustic set they performed, so I was eager to experience the band in all they’re amplified glory. The Midnight Organ Fight was the band’s breakthrough album and was unquestionably one of the best releases of 2008.
Unsurprisingly the set was much more uptempo and energetic this time round. Anthems like Fast Blood and Keep Yourself Warm were thrashed out at such a decibel and with such vigour that the crowd was noticeably torn between reserved admiration and awe-inspired exuberance. The seemless time changes and bizarre facial expressions of drummer Grant Hutchison was a spectacle in itself, personifying the commitment to entertain.
Frontman Scott Hutchison revealed a fear of ‘boring’ the devoted gathering with new songs with only a handful thrown in. ‘Boring’ is certainly not an apt description as the lads seemed to crank to volume all thew way up to 11 in a bid (successful bid) to make the newbies instant favourites. While perhaps sounding that bit louder, the new tracks retain the bands melodic coherence and lyrical honesty.
Honesty is one the Frightened Rabbit‘s most appealing attributes. Despite touring with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie you get the feeling they still relish these smaller scale shows. In a genre where mediocrity is met with critical acclaim and armies of followers it baffles me that the Selkirk outfit maintain a relatively modest, even if obsessive, fan base. Their talent has been recognised Stateside however, with songs appearing in popular shows such as Greys Anatomy and One Tree Hill. With their 2010 album The Winter of Mixed Drinks sounding every bit as strong as 08’s Organ Fight stardom is surely just around the corner. For now though I’m just happy to see an amazing gig for a low price in an intimate venue.