REVIEW: Frightened Rabbit at Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Frightened Rabbit. Picture: Dan Massie
Frightened Rabbit. Picture: Dan Massie

Experience some rarely played chamber pieces at Portsmouth Guildhall

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Scottish indie favourites Frightened Rabbit graced the Wedgewood Rooms with a masterclass in intelligent and insightful songwriting on Tuesday night.

This recent run of shows feels like a victory lap following the April release of fifth album Painting Of A Panic Attack. It’s among the five-piece’s best work and the set list was pleasingly dominated by material from that album and 2008’s The Midnight Organ Fight.

Scott Hutchison’s songs may be predominantly cathartic kitchen sink dramas, but there’s certainly hope to be found amongst the detritus of broken relationships and hearts that forms the backbone of his narratives.

It’s that hope and the regular sing-alongs that ensure Frightened Rabbit are an essential live act.

They didn’t disappoint here, with songs like Fat Blood, Old, Old Fashioned and the finale of The Loneliness and The Scream to galvanise a venue only three quarters full.

The synth-heavy new material may have failed to ignite the crowd, including main set closer Lump Street, but overall Frightened Rabbit played to their strengths, despite early heckling that could have disrupted an otherwise excellent show.

JIM PUSEY