Friday, October 31, 2008

Frightened Rabbit at Holocene

I headed over to Holocene last night to catch Glasgow's Frightened Rabbit. These guys have been getting a lot of press lately, so much so that it would seem they might just be the biggest thing to come out of Scotland since Franz Ferdinand. What with Holocene being just a few blocks from my house, there was no excuse to not have a look. I got there just in time to catch the last few songs of the opening act, Portland's own Blue Skies for Black Hearts.

I'm a little behind the eight ball with regard to BSFBH, so it was good to finally catch 'em live. They served up some good intelligent indie pop... Imagine Elliott Smith shoving Elvis Costello into John Lennon's swimming pool, disrupting a water polo match between the Shins and the Kinks (if you can work out what they sound like from an analogy as messy as that, I'll be really impressed). Having only caught the last few songs of their set, I may have to keep an eye out for 'em at some point in the future. Frightened Rabbit were up next.

When I first heard FR, I picked up on a sort of forced earnestness that I found a little off-putting. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on, but it brought to mind all those britpop bands I could never devote more than five minutes to. But after a few listens to their latest, The Midnight Organ Fight (for those of you not up on your scottish slang, "midnight organ fight" is a euphamism for, shall we say, the physical expression of love), I started to warm up to 'em. And at Holocene last night, they really sold their schtick. They were clearly having fun, and didn't miss an opportunity to "take the piss" out of the crowd, as they say over there. The funniest thing about the evening, though, had to do with being the night before Halloween. There were two girls at the front of the crowd wearing homemade backpack-mounted giraffe costumes:

Imagine yourself at the back of the room, looking out over the crowd toward the band onstage, with two giraffes bobbing around up front. You can't help but laugh at that, nor could frontman Scott Hutchison, seen here working the crowd solo (sans microphone!) toward the end of the set:

For all the talk these days about Frightened Rabbit, they weren't headlining the show. That role was filled by Delaware's Spinto Band. I didn't stick around to see them, as I was operating on four hours of sleep, but Frightened Rabbit made for a worthwhile, if short, evening. Now I don't feel so bad about missing the Jesus and Mary Chain show at the Wonder a few weeks back.

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