Frightened Rabbit: Kentish Town Forum, London – live review

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Frightened Rabbit
London Kentish Town Forum
13th Feb 2013

Louder Than War caught Frightened Rabbit recently a few days after the release of their latest & arguably best album, as they made a triumphant return to London Town. Willow Colios takes up the story.

The Forum is absolutely rammed tonight. Even the circle seats, upstairs, in this 1930s built former cinema.

It’s the biggest gig they’ve ever done outside of their native Scotland and Lead singer Scott Hutchison pauses to take it all in. The band launch out of the blocks with new track, the bass driven ‘Holy’ which is pure momentum and the perfect way to get the crowd going from the very start. Second song “The Modern Leper” starts with opening chords recalling Either / Or era Elliott Smith and ends with hand clapping and full blooded singing from the sold out crowd who are definitely up for it tonight and don’t need too much encouragement.

Singer Scott continues anyway: “It’s almost Valentine’s Day. And a Frightened Rabbit show is the only place you can grab a stranger and have a dance.” He dons an acoustic guitar for “Old Old Fashioned” for what is quite a romantic strum-along. Despite being far from home there is a bit of hometown energy in the crowd with a substantial scottish contingent who seem as familiar with tracks from the new LP ‘Pedestrian Verse’ that’s been out all of ten days as they are with older songs. Later a section of the crowd won’t stop yelling “slick slick slick” and the band duly oblige crunching through the new album’s closer “Oil Slick”.

A little mosh pits break out on the bouncy “Nothing like you” followed by one of the new LP’s standout tracks and surely a future single, “Backyard Skulls”.

Now how many anthems can one band have? The soaring anthem is the Frightened Rabbit style with every song seemingly having that explosive chorus. It’s interesting timing as Anthem-Folk is the toast of the music industry with America fawning over Mumford and Sons for the last year culminating in their recent Album of The Year Grammy.

What Frightened Rabbit do isn’t too dissimilar and should see them getting more exposure at this summer’s festivals and then who knows? There is a bit more to them than that though with some rich storytelling on songs like Decembers Traditions and State Hospital but they definitely sound polished, just as much live as they are on record. Frightened Rabbit are well worth seeking out but the chances are you won’t have to as they will be all over your radio.

Set list


Modern Leper

Old Old Fashioned

Late March, Death March

Decembers Traditions

Nothing like you

Backyards Skulls

Head rolls off

Dead now

Oil slick

Backwards walk

State Hospital


Good arms vs Bad Arms

Swim until you can’t see land

Acts of Man

The Woodpile

Living in colour

The Loneliness and The Scream

All words & photo by Willow Colios. More by Willow on Louder Than War can be found here.


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