Frightened Rabbit – Live at the Hi-Fi Bar : Gig Reviews
For some reason, Melbourne had decided that it wanted people to be cold when Scotland’s dynamic Frightened Rabbit came to pay a visit. Yet it wasn’t long before the audience at the Hi Fi Bar delighted to the warm sounds of this talented percussive indie-rock outfit. They must have made quite an impression the last time they were here, because back here again, less than a year later with a new album in tow, the eagerness amongst the audience was palpable. The buzz had gone beyond what any amount of vevezalas or large collection of bee’s could produce (not literally of course), which made the fact that they were on stage later than previously scheduled feel like an eternity.
Vocalist Scott Hutchinson lead his band out to healthy, yet controlled welcoming; something that indicated although excited, the crowd were equally as keen for Frightened Rabbit to perform without interruption. Breaking the ice initially with some light-hearted joking, the lads kicked off the night with Skip The Youth. From this point on, Hutchinson and the rest of Frightened Rabbit appeared to be genuinely excited to be up on stage, at times breaking the monotonous trend of standing and strumming with spasmodic arm-waves and unpredictable pivots that turned into full pirouettes. Proclamations were made of their love for Melbourne with the hearty and unabashed authenticity that only a Scottish accent can allow. This began the chain of even more comical discourse as Hutchinson eventually called on all the members who didn’t like clapping to clap.
Recent single Swim Until You Can’t See Land ellicted the standard response you would expect a single to do, yet this moment of the night became the equivalent of the mid-aftrernoon lull, such was the lack of dynamism and gust in the audience at that particular moment. However, this brief lack of enthusiasm was all but temporary, when during the encore, the lads kicked into a rousing rendition of Living In Colour which paved the way for the beatifully manicured slow-burner Keep Yourself Warm.
The night was successful in that the crowd appeared universally happy with the entertainment put forth by Frightened Rabbit. They were interesting. Their music is fairly decent. They were pretty funny. And abolve all else they were extremely likable. Yet there was something missing that stopped me recommending them with the same kind of fervour that would usually accompany a statement like “Man, there’s this band that you MUST see!” I’d happily see them again, yet I’ll be quietly hoping that by that stage they have a few more songs to show.