Frightened Rabbit at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Guest speakers at the conference will include Mikey Demus from the band Skindred

Going underground as free music conference at Portsmouth Guildhall aims to help new acts

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Calling your major label debut Pedestrian Verse might be deemed to be asking for a critical pasting.

Fortunately for this Scottish five-piece, it’s anything but pedestrian.

Over the course of their four albums they’ve lost some of their rough edges with their sound edging closer to the mainstream.

And as mainman Scott Hutchison tells us, the night before this gig they celebrated their first-ever top 10 album.

But with lyrics that are a heady brew of church, women and booze, all wrapped in self-loathing, it’s still not the easiest of sales.

Despite the downbeat lyrical content, the music is cathartic indie rock, veering from acoustic melody to near-metallic riffing.

Current single Woodpile is their most obviously accessible tune, and wins huge cheers in the encore. But the plentiful older material still more than earns its place in the set.

This was their first gig in Portsmouth. Most of the packed house will be hoping it wasn’t their last.