30 May 2013
The Corner Hotel
Backyard Skulls, Holy
Some four odd years ago, I was drinking red wine in my friend Amelia’s backyard. We were chatting futures, relationships, heartache, and then music. Amelia had a lightbulb moment. She grabbed me by the arm and pulled me inside, “I have a band that you’re going to love.”
When you have a friend close enough who knows exactly what makes you tick, the type of music that makes you feel and what you will connect to, it’s a rare moment that they pinpoint the exact band missing from your collection. For me, it was Frightened Rabbit.
Perhaps she shared the same enthusiasm, introducing me to something she knew I would love. Or perhaps we’d had a few too many. Amelia turned the volume up full, didn’t break eye contact and belted out the melodic chorus of Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Modern Leper.’
“Is that you in front of me? Coming back for even more of exactly the same. You must be a masochist to love a modern leper on his last leg.”
And I connected.
I had the pleasure of seeing Frightened Rabbit live for the first time at The John Curtin Hotel in Melbourne, 2010. In a packed upstairs band room, filled with a crowd consisting mainly of enthusiastic Scottish fans, we watched Frightened Rabbit play songs off their heart wrenching album, The Midnight Organ Fight. For the Scots, it was like they were seeing their family for the first time.
There’s always a moment in live music that stands out when you first see a band, and mine was witnessing Scott Hutchison sing ‘Poke‘ in a solo acoustic fashion in that sweaty room. The crowd fell silent, each audience member mesmerised by the raw perfection of the performance. One of those, “Sounds better live than it does on the album” moments.
Cut to three years later, and the intimacy of the same acoustic version of ‘Poke‘ translated to a sold out show at The Corner Hotel, a venue three times the capacity, now also filled with a new found loyal Australian following.
What makes Frightened Rabbit so intriguing to watch can also be accredited to their personality and stage presence. Filled with witty banter between songs and incredible passion when they play, you get the feeling Frightened Rabbit perform every show like it’s their first.
From their mail outs to their stage presence, this is a band that is capable of connecting with their audience and winning them over. They epitomise the human element of music; capturing the euphoria of the moment as it comes to life.
It’s always an incredible journey witnessing one of your favourite bands grow, and Frightened Rabbit has been no exception. Since I first saw them at The John Curtin Hotel, the band has released two more albums, toured the world, played every renowned music festival internationally and appeared on some serious late night television shows including Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.
This is a band with a cult following, one that has had a significant presence in several countries worldwide for quite some time; it was only a matter of time until Frightened Rabbit cracked Australia.
We present to you, Frightened Rabbit playing two songs off their album Pedestrian Verse, ‘Backyard Skulls‘ and ‘Holy‘.
Words by Charlotte Abroms.