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Frightened Rabbit/The Grace Emilys – Fat Sam’s, Dundee, 10th December 2008

“I want to have your rabbits!”

That comment near the start of last night’s show (and its implicit devotion), perhaps as well as anything emphasised the journey that Frightened Rabbit have taken in the last 12 months. They’ve gone from promising but struggling indie outfit to a band with an ever increasing tally of Album of the Year awards and one that’s big enough to play Fat Sam’s Live.

Despite a schedule of almost constant touring, the band seemed to enjoy last night’s show, with Scott in particular revelling in banter with the crowd, promising to inseminate the entire audience before the night is out at one point!

The set also gave me a better idea of the Frightened Rabbit live experience, Whereas I spent most of the recent Edinburgh set comparing the performance to the LP, I was able to enjoy last night more for what it was.

Again the set was dominated by songs from ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ with the songs played in the order they appear on the LP with only the odd variation. ‘Good Arms ..’ was the first stand out but there were great versions of ‘The Twist’ and ‘Heads Roll Off’ before a stark version of ‘My Backwards Walk’.

‘Square 9’ from the debut was a thunderous way to finish the main set but the encore was even better. Scott took the stage alone to sing an affecting ‘Poke’ without using a mic and with only a guitar and some audience participation as backing. Then the whole band joined him for a blast through the awesome ‘Keep Yourself Warm’.

The only problems came early on when the guitars struggled to be heard which not only undermined the opening salvo of ‘Modern Leper’ and ‘I Feel Better’ but was also something of a mystery given that there were actually 3 axes on stage at the time. The problem was more or less sorted after that but I could definitely have lived with the guitars being louder.

Frightened Rabbit Setlist

1. Modern Leper 2. I Feel Better 3. Old Old Fashioned 4. Good Arms vs Bad Arms 5. The Twist 6. Fast Blood 7. Behave! 8. Heads Roll Off 9. My Backwards Walk 10. Square 9

11. Poke 12. Keep Yourself Warm

Support Grace Emilys certainly managed to get their guitars sounding louder. A four piece from Dundee they have several singles to their name and their short set was enthusiastic and impressive. They described single ‘Lipstick Blues’ as a hoedown whilst closing number ‘The Watchmaker’ really benefited from their second drummer.

Not quite sure who they remind me of but at times it’s maybe the Kissaway Trail. I really enjoyed the set by the end.

I caught the last couple of songs by the opening support band but I didn’t catch their name although they seemed to be from Perth. Perth, Scotland not Perth, Western Australia. They’re pleasant enough but don’t really grab my attention.

Frightened Rabbit – Square Nine (live) [Get it and also the debut LP ]

Photos from the show on MPT flickr

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