Tuesday, 14 October 2008

LIVE: Frightened Rabbit. Concrete and Glass, Hoxton Bar and Grill. Thursday 2nd October, 2008

There’s that age old problem in music of how to make a brilliant record translate into an equally, if not more, fantastic live show. For some bands it seems effortless, like there’s nothing more simple and natural in the world, but then for others it takes that little bit more graft and patience to get it right.

Such is the case for Frightened Rabbit tonight, enjoying an increase in hype and popularity off the back of their latest full-length record ‘Midnight Organ Fight’. On paper, this is set to be one of the highlights of the Concrete and Glass festival, a sort of more cultural take on Camden Crawl. In reality though, it’s a meandering journey through sub-standard, stumbling versions of all the songs we know and love. Of course, the lyrical brilliance and musical ability is still there but there’s something missing, that certain je ne sais quois that has been getting everyone so excited all summer long.

‘Heads Roll Off’ is by far the highlight of the set, but still lacks that spark that would transform it from dimming torch to incandescent, luminescent firework. ‘The Twist’ and ‘My Backward Walk’ go down well with the packed out room but you can’t help but feel Frightened Rabbit have missed a trick here. Perhaps it’s the addition of an extra guitarist that is to blame, with the induction being only a recent one, or maybe the Scotsmen are just having an off day. But whatever it is, they have the potential to be a moving and breathtaking live band. They’ve got the songs, now they just to find the stage presence.

Rhian Daly