Frightened Rabbit – Manchester Academy

By Andy

Missing the first support act meant that the next band to play were THE NEAT. They had technically good music; tight and with a good set of interesting songs. Unfortunately, it felt like they were a little style over substance, with the constant jerkiness of the music sounding somewhat forced. The intensity of the guitarist and vocalist was a little unnerving, and the yipping repetitive vocals a little grating, but their set was worth watching, at least for entertainments value. [2.5/5]

FRIGHTENED RABBIT came on to rapturous applause. Opening with the ambient ?Things?, the group warmed up as the song reached its crescendo. The set was incredibly trippy with flashing lights throughout and a sense of slight unreality. This was hindered by a group of absolute tools who seemed intent on ruining everyone else?s night with their constant obnoxious shouts, endless pushing and talking throughout the songs. Seriously, have some manners and realise that people go to gigs to see the band, not to watch idiotic, rude people display their worst qualities.

Rant over. Back to the band, they played their more upbeat numbers like ?Nothing Like You? and ?I Feel Better? to a great reception. With wry comments between songs, Scott Hutchinson is the perfect self-effacing frontman and seemed like a genuinely nice guy. He stayed on stage for a solo acoustic rendition of ?Good Arms Vs Bad Arms? which was simply beautiful, as well as later returning for the encore of ?Poke? in a similar vein. Both were poignant, clearly meaning a lot to both Scott and the audience. Other highlights included the dark but perfectly executed ?The Modern Leper? and the uplifting ?Swim Until You Can?t See Land?.

Frightened Rabbit have a typically sad set of songs, but what was great about their live show was that it wasn?t self indulgent ? they made some fairly depressing songs strong and inspiring live tracks. Of course, not all of their songs are in this tone and what they did well was mix a diverse setlist together of their strongest tracks, spanning the spectrum of what Frightened Rabbit do best; emotive, sometimes dark but always honest music. [4/5]