Laurie Cameron -‘The Girl Who Cried For The Boy Who Cried Wolf.’ (Glencoe Records)
This gorgeous album was one I was tipped off about by Kevin Buckle at Avalanche Records in Edinburgh. First of all, credit, where credit’s due; it’s a brilliant album. (And it’s great to see that at this point in musical history, record shops are still supporting independent artists.)
I don’t know a lot about Laurie Cameron – so I came to this album pretty much at face value. At points in the past I have had singer-songwriter fatigue, and yet a record like this forgives all sins committed under that banner. She hails from Perth, has supported the likes of Roddy Woomble and Frightened Rabbit (Frabbits’ Andy Monaghan contributes synth here) and with musical partner Ross Lorimer she has made one of the standout records of the year. Slightly folky, beautifully orchestrated and understated in the best possible way.
I drove home tonight to 17 Seconds Towers, alone in the car. I had this album on again, and was stunned once again by its’ beauty. The festival’s pretty well over and autumn’s on the way. Standout tracks like her version of Rabbie Burns’ The Slave’s Lament,’ ‘Rest and be thankful’ and the stunning title track are going to be the soundtrack to my autumn. And they should be to yours, too.
The Girl Who Cried For The Boy Who Cried Wolf is out now on Glencoe.
Whilst I still think they should be bigger than they are, it is, nevertheless, rather satisfying to see just how the profile of Frightened Rabbit has grown over the years since this blog started. I can’t take any credit for that, obviously, but today’s Christmas post is their Christmas single ‘It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop.’
Originally released in 2007, it got a re-recording a year later and it’s still available on download services. So if you haven’t treated yourself, go and do so!
In less than two weeks’ time (September 18) Scotland will hold a referendum on Independence. Trying to get unbiased and balanced views from either side has become difficult in Scotland, and whatever happens on that date, you can bet your bottom dollar that the shouting, posturing and hand-wringing will not be over.
I’ve long championed Edinburgh Hip-hop act Stanley Odd on these pages (and you can read an interview with them here. They have recorded a new song (with an awesome take on the notion of a lyric video) entitled ‘Son I Voted Yes.
Stanley Odd will join an awesome lineup that includes the likes of 17 Seconds favourites including Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit at ‘A Night For Scotland’ which takes place at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on September 14. Tickets for that event have been selling like hot cakes, but it may be worth trying…
Stanley Odd are touring in November, too:
Sat 15th Nov – Aberdeen, The Lemon Tree
Fri 21st Nov – Edinburgh, Liquid Room
Tue 25th Nov – London, Barfly
Fri 28th Nov – Inverness, Ironworks
Sat 13th Dec – Glasgow, The Garage
Oh, and if anyone asks me why I haven’t featured a ‘no’ event or songs on here – I haven’t been sent any.
It’s been a long wait for yours truly to see Frightened Rabbit. I’ve enjoyed their music for many years – and yet somehow the chance to see them has eluded me. To the extent that earlier on in the day of this gig, I had been drafted to help out at Avalanche Records in Edinburgh where the band were doing an instore -and I had to leave before they arrived.
First up tonight on the bill (and at a gig that’s full to the rafters, by the way) are Fatherson. Fatherson are equal parts ninties grunge, scots indie and epic folk. Whilst I can’t quite catch the song titles, it doesn’t matter – they win me over and I’m eager to see the Kilmarnock band again soon.
The Augustines seem to be in thrall to U2 circa The Joshua Tree. Very passionate performance and all, yet bordering on being overwrought. One song sounds like The Jam’s ‘That’s Entertainment’ meets The Cure’s ‘Grinding Halt’ without much of the greatness of either. They are well-received by the corwd though, so it’s possible that the joke may be on me…
By the time Frightened Rabbit come on, it’s not just me but pretty much the entire venue that’s ready to explode with anticipation. Early on in the set former single ‘Nothing Like You’ sets the tone. It’s now an anthem and the excitement can be felt even right at the back. As the Frabbits tear into ‘Old Old Fashioned’ it’s clear that whilst yours truly has failed to see them before tonight, this is a band who now inspire mass clap-and-singalongs, They won’t be playing venues this size for much longer. The set is drawn mainly from their last two studio albums, which have been seeping into the consciousness of their ever-growing legion of fans.
There’s no firm news on a fourth album yet, but the delight that occured when ‘Swim…’ became their first big breakthrough will be nothing compares to when this long-awaited release hits the shelves/download service of your choice. Towards the end of the set the band go off after an excellent ‘Love In A Hole’ with Scott returning to do a solo ‘Poke’ before the whole band rejoin him for ‘Good arms versus bad arms’ and ‘Loneliness In A Scream.’ We’re literally left wanting more as the house lights come on.
Scottish band most likely to do a Biffy Clyro in 2012? That’ll be the Frabbits, then.
I’ve already posted some Frightened Rabbit Christmas contributions a few weeks ago, but they have finished a new Christmas song, literally in the last forty-eight hours and put it up to download called ‘Cheap Gold.’
In addition to the rather fine free EP that they have made available to downlaod for free from their website, it’s now the fourth song to appear from the Frabbits this year; they have written a new album so let’s hope that that will see the light of day in 2012.
In the meantime, enjoy this. It’s really very good indeed.
Having released three studio albums and one live album through Fat Cat, Frightened Rabbit have now signed to Atlantic.
Whilst a new album is (presumably ) on the way, the band have made a three track EP available for download from their website, which contains three awesome tracks ‘Scottish Winds’ ‘Fuck This Place’ and ‘The Work.’ Very nice it is too, and you can get it when you sign up at their website here. ‘Fuck This Place’ is my favourite on the EP, and it features vocals from none other than Traceyanne Campbell, frontperson of Camera Obscura.
Frightened Rabbit -‘The Winter Of Mixed Drinks.’ (Fat Cat)
I was trying to work out the other day why it is that a band’s third album has so much resting on it. Then I realised: it all has to do with War, U2’s third album. This was the point, in 1983, at which the band broke through and were on their way to becoming -let’s face it – the biggest band of the last thirty years in the western hemisphere. They did more successful albums (The Joshua Tree) and artistically better ones (Achtung Baby) but this was the point at which, with years spent on album charts, top 10 hits, enormo gigs etc.. bands that had come from an ‘alternative’ sphere would be seen as truly having broken through. In subsequent years, it’s been the third album that’s been the marking point for the likes of Blur and Idlewild, even if the likes of REM and Red Hot Chili Peppers had to wait far longer.
Frightened Rabbit aren’t being talked about as having done a U2 – yet. But for a band not based in London, who are steadily making headway in the US (and touring alonside labelmates The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks) and appear to be ‘crossing over’, all eyes are on them now. Though the initial releases of their first two albums Sing the Greys and The Midnight Organ Fight may have made more impact north of the border than south it was a picture that was changing by the end of 2009. Zane Lowe and other DJ’s were picking up on the single ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’ – the first single from this new album, and The Midnight Organ Fight made the NME’s list of the Top 100 albums of the decade.
So, the pressure is on them: to make the crossover, by delivering an album that’s good enough to make it, and take them beyond just being cult stars. Were Top Of The Pops still going, people would be expecting them to be putting out singles big enough for them to have a hit big enough for them to appear. Yet there’s also the worries of tall poppy syndrome, and that of whether in order to make the jump they’ll end up having to compromise what made them special in the first place.
However, I think that Frightened Rabbit can hold their heads high with this release. It’s not perhaps as immediate as The Midnight Organ Fight – yet, paradoxically, it feels more anthemic than either of their first two studio albums put together. Album opener ‘Things’ sounds like Frightened Rabbit still – but this time, instead of little clubs, it’s sets at outdoor rock festivals where they will be appearing ever higher up the bill. The aforementioned ‘Swim Until Yuo Can’t See Land’ starts off so fragile and yet proves itself to be a monster and makes even more context within the album than as a single.
Current single ‘Nothing Like You’ agains sounds like it could and should be a hit. Tellingly, on YouTube there are already a few people muttering that it’s not like FR used to be. Yet the catch 22 is that if it were, they’d be accused of repeating themselves. As an album it still feels like Frightened Rabbit -and with the sense of the cold and grey that seeps into your sou, bringing you down in the winter.
It’s not a jaw-dropping album, but it is still an excellent one. Frightened Rabbit are still singing the greys. And this time, they’re inviting everyone around the campfire. Budge up, there’s enough room for everyone.
The Winter Of Mixed Drinks is released on Monday on FatCat.
Frightened Rabbit -‘Nothing Like You’
Frightened Rabbit -‘Nothing Like You (alternative video)’
Frightened Rabbit -‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land.’