The Scott Hutchison fronted indie rock band, Frightened Rabbit, purveyors of heart and soul driven anthems who were aptly described as ” those talented, bearded Scottish chaps with a penchant for an ol’ heartbreaker”. They cemented their place in the higher echelons of the Scottish music scene with their 4th album ‘Pedestrian Verse’, released in 2013.
The band find themselves playing Belladrum for a third time this year, second only to Sir Tom Jones on the Friday night mainstage billing.
We caught up with Scott and talked about the relationship between Frightened Rabbit and the festival, but also wandering into discussion about Scott’s solo project and future plans for the band.
The band’s debut at the Belladrum was in 2008, they guys describe the experience as particularly affirming despite the playing low down on the Hothouse stage billing ; “The first time we performed up there we had only released our second album a few months prior and the way the crowd got behind those songs was amazing.”
The relationship between Belladrum audiences continues to be positive, their last appearance was in 2012 “The last time we played at Bella was probably the first time we had played to such a large audience in Scotland. It was strange and wonderful to feel that Frightened Rabbit was a main stage band, not just tucked away in a tent for once.”
There is no doubt the feeling is mutual, 2014 sees the band play Belladrum as a Scottish festival exclusive, which given the current climate could be described as a massive coup and an acknowledgement of the respect the band have for the event.
The decision to only play Bella was a simple one “It wasn’t difficult at all. When the opportunity came up we jumped at the chance. Belladrum is one of the few festivals where we all want to hang out for the whole weekend, not just the night of the show.”
“Unfortunately we can’t do so this year [they are playing the Stendhal Festival in Northern Ireland the next night],”Scott explains “… but we’ll be making the most of the time we have at the festival.”
Before they jet off they have to contend with the enviable task of supporting Sir Tom Jones, “Well, I don’t think I could have predicted that happening at any point in our career” Scott adds “Maybe he’ll come on and sing Keep Yourself Warm with us. That’ll get the knickers flying about.”
It might not be the only performance for Scott, whose solo album under the guise of Owl John is out on the 4th of August. In fairness specifics are a bit vague at the moment ;”This is very possible.” regarding a solo performance ” I’ve been chatting about it with some people and it looks like it may happen at an undisclosed location and at an undisclosed time. Basically,” Scott concedes “I don’t know when or where I’ll be doing it, but John will find a way…”
ALongside solo projects, the band continue with the follow up to Pedestrian Verse “We have been in the studio for 2 weeks now recording the initial demos. It’s a long way off, but it has begun!” The plan is once they have completed a final few live commitments to focus on the recording and hopefully have it complete by the end of the year.
I did wonder wether the growing stature of the band would impact the way their music was developed, but they emphasise the ethos of not resting on your laurels “The way we make music is always evolving and that’s just the way it should be. I don’t want to be the kind of band that sits on something that they’ve built and just keep shovelling the same old muck. The same goes for performances. If you want people to come back, you have to give them something new.”