May 11, 2013

Frightened Rabbit @ Oxford Art Factory

Thursday night at the Oxford Art Factory was a seething, sweaty mass of humanity. We came as one to celebrate song. Passion. Life. Scotland's Frightened Rabbit were finally back in this country and they gave their all and then some. You can best file this band under 'Flying Under the Radar'. They have everything. Great melodies. Euphoric choruses. Passion. Singalongs. And yet they can't break through in a big way. But their fans are dedicated and know their special qualities. This show sold out a while back so there is that. But it amazes me that much less talented bands play much larger venues. The vagaries of life. But no matter, the bonus is we get to see them up close in intimate venues. We can feel the sweat. See their eyes. It's probably all worth it.

This night felt special. We were ready for special and they delivered. Off the back of this year's excellent "Pedestrian Verse" we received a huge chunk from that album and a good spread of older material. So much so that by the time the encore finished it was approaching midnight. But no one really wanted to go home. Not after so much joy was spread around the room. The band jumped out of the gate with the rousing "Living In Colour", which was soon followed by the epic "The Modern Leper", a show stopper if there ever was one. There was no let up after that. "Old Old Fashioned" bounced off the walls. "Fast Blood" was especially welcome too. All the new songs sounded great. "Backyard Skulls" was huge whilst "December's Traditions" went up a notch in the live arena. And "State Hospital" is already a classic. Such a great song. "My Backwards Walk" was emotionally cathartic. Even more so was the highlight of the night. "Poke" was not only delivered solo and acoustic. But Unplugged! Scott ventured to the front of the stage and we engaged in some dark and passionate singalong. He stopped mid song and had a chat and then continued. It was intimate and emotional and tear inducing. His depth of honesty and humanity is quite astounding. And the accent helps it even more. "Acts of Man" closed the set in epic fashion before the band delivered a great encore. "The Woodpile" should be a world wide number one hit, whilst current closer "The Loneliness And The Scream" is a perfect conclusion. It builds and builds until are hearts are swelling and bursting with pure joy. Again, this band should be huge. But it's great to have this little secret. 

Set List
Living In Colour
The Modern Leper
Old Old Fashioned
Late March, Death March
December's Traditions
Nothing Like You
Backyard Skulls
Fast Blood
The Oil Slick
My Backwards Walk
State Hospital
Scottish Winds
Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms
Swim Until You Can't See Land
Acts Of Man

The Woodpile
The Twist
The Loneliness And The Scream


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