Review for Frightened Rabbit Live at Nottingham Rock City on Saturday 15th November 2008.
Frightened Rabbit are a unique entity in 2008's musical hemisphere. Standing out like a sore thumb amidst the major label connotations of what independent, alternative music should sound like, their gradual success story culminating in what must be imminent elevation to big league status is a joy to behold, and if anything a glowing source of inspiration for any aspiring-yet-unsigned artists currently taking their first steps up the ladder.
What Frightened Rabbit possess that makes them stand out so forcefully is a dynamic glut of songs that demand your attention so dramatically that to ignore them would simply be doing oneself an injustice as well as the band themselves. The fact that they've managed to achieve such critical acclaim in a short space of time speaks volumes, not to mention their present status as personal invitees of Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard on their current UK tour.
A daunting prospect for many; Death Cab For Cutie's fan base aren't exactly renowned for being the most receptive to support acts, let alone one as obtuse and outside of the realms of the box their own heroes reside in quite comfortably. Its to Frightened Rabbit's credit then that right from the off they manage to grasp the attention of the DCFC devotees who've arrived early - and tonight's stage time of 7pm is extremely early for that matter - without having to resort to shock tactics or unnecessary acts of loudness.
Instead, this four-headed beast simply let their spite-ridden songs do the talking, Scott Hutchison's vocal delivery emphasising the lyrics of 'I Feel Better' or the superlative 'Keep Yourself Warm' to the point where half the audience stand back in bedazzled amazement while the rest sing them back in unified fashion, which is no mean achievement considering many of those present probably weren't even aware of Frightened Rabbit's existence some twenty minutes earlier.
When they do leave the stage to tumultuous cries of "More!" it actually feels like this is their show, their name that should be the headline act instead, as Gibbard and co. must surely have been quaking in their boots at having to follow such an accomplished performance as the one we've just witnessed.
If 2008 was the year Frightened Rabbit's breakthrough gained momentum, then 2009 promises to be a healthily prosperous year indeed. Say hello to your new favourite band, because those stadiums surely beckon soon.
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