Frightened Rabbit: O2 Academy, Liverpool


Frightened Rabbit prove far from pedestrian in the fan base stakes, yet Getintothis’ Joseph Viney isn’t completely sold on hit-and-miss glossy anthems.

Frightened Rabbit are on the up. No longer blinking in the headlights, their latest album, Pedestrian Verse, has seen them move a few rungs up the greasy ladder of the music biz.
The sold out crowd at the O2 Academy was but a mere testament to the pulling power they now wield. They might not be packing them out at the ECHO Arena just yet of course, but the majority of those in attendance were more than willing to show enough willing and make enough noise to rival any arena crowd.
Indeed, with a surprisingly large amount of Scots in attendance (judging by the raised voices anyway) it appears that these lads can’t even make the jump over Hadrian’s Wall without dragging a large amount of their home support with them.
Opening with the fast-paced Holy from their latest release, the group made their intentions known from the off; utilising a sparse but inventive light rigging and allowing their audience to fill in the gaps.
Frightened Rabbit are one of those groups who inspire a certain devotion in their followers. With each song came more raised arms, more dancing and further sing-a-longs. It was akin to a North Korean political rally at times.
The gig was not without its pitfalls. A disappointing lack of volume contrived to hamper the night’s ambitions, pushing away the rich, full sound that adorns their records.
As a result, the element that has made them so popular and brings people back again and again was lost. Not their fault of course, and nobody seemed to mind.
Musically, the group were tight but there seemed to be something missing. For all of their well-rehearsed and polished sounds, there was a distinct lack of edge; a missing unpredictability and perhaps too much stability. That’s all objective though, and the SOLD OUT stickers plastered over their posters speak for themselves.
…But back to the music! The brighter parts of Frightened Rabbits‘ set came with airings of tunes from their previous records.
Nothing Like You, from their 2010 LP The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, was a joy to behold; its perpetual and rambunctious rhythm conspiring to carry both audience and venue away. Similarly, the bouncy and uplifting Swim Until You Can’t See Land presented the highlight of the night; a sentiment shared by the increasingly boisterous crowd.
A rapturous set of followers, more anthems than you can shake a musical stick at and a trajectory that looks as if it is due to take a sizeable upswing. Expect this Scotch broth of musicians’ popularity to breed like…well, rabbits.

Further reading on Getintothis:
Frightened Rabbit feature in Getintothis‘ albums of 2008.
Getintothis reviews Frightened Rabbit: The Midnight Organ FightAlbum Of The Week
Getintothis reviews Frightened Rabbit‘s Sings The Greys