The announcement that Frightened Rabbit were to play The Bungalow in Paisley as part of Independent Venue Week was greeted with a flurry of excitement and a mad scramble for tickets. Thankfully we were quick enough off the mark to grab a couple of tickets for this intimate gig.
Independent Venue Week is a seven-day celebration of small music venues around the U.K. You will find no arguments from Musicscramble that these small venues are vital for developing new musical talent by giving artists their first taste of performing live. It’s also unlikely that The Bungalow’s resident acoustic singer-songwriter, and open mic host, Cat Caldwell would argue either as she can now add an admirable support slot for Frightened Rabbit to her C.V.
By the time the headliners hit the stage the place was rammed to the rafters – this is a venue with a 200 capacity after all. We’ve all been to busy, sold out shows but this was giving added meaning to the phrase ‘intimate gig’ as the crowd squeezed into the compact little venue. And so with a roar of approval the band launched their 14 song set with favourites ‘Get Out’ and ‘Holy’.
There was a good mix of new and earlier material with tracks like ‘Be Less Rude’ mixing well with a healthy helping of songs from the latest album – Painting of a Panic Attack – such as ‘I Wish I Was Sober’, ‘Little Drum’ and the energetic set closer ‘Lump Street’. The three song encore of ‘Death Dream’, ‘The Wood Pile’ and classic crowd sing along ‘The Loneliness and the Scream’ brought the night to a hot and noisy end with the crowd continuing to bellow out the backing vocals to the latter after the band’s retreat.
The highlight, apart from the faultless performance, was simply that this was in a venue like The Bungalow, with everything that small venues bring – the closeness to the stage, the heat of the crowd and the fantastically good-humoured interaction between Scott Hutchison and the at times bizarre Paisley fans. In particular, the gentle ribbing of one young fan who seemed determined to hold a personal conversation with the singer between songs was expertly and hilariously handled by the burly frontman. It was the little things like this which added a particular charm to the evening, making it even more special for those in attendance.
Tickets for this show sold out very quickly and I can safely say that if you were unlucky to have missed out, then you missed something very special indeed. Independent Venue Week and The Bungalow can be very proud of themselves for putting this show on and I can only hope that it encourages not only more people, and bands, along to the venue but also more bands of the stature of Frightened Rabbit to support smaller venues.
Photos: Alan K. Gray at akgphotos