Something old, something new, something borrowed… Okay, we didn’t get anything blue, but in our latest session with the utterly marvellous Scott from Frightened Rabbit, we got the classic ‘Be Less Rude’, a brand new track ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’ and a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘Song Against Sex’. Not a lot’s better than that, if we’re honest.
We sat Scott down in Edinburgh’s Dunbar Close, a little-known public space off the Royal Mile laid out in the style of a 17th-Century garden. Which, as far as we can tell, means ‘gravelly paths, uncomfortable stone benches, a madman with a toy flute, and some hungry looking plants, all set underneath a damn helicopter festival’. Still, none other than Robbie Burns used to go drinking and whoring at Mrs. Love’s Oyster Bar which used to be nearby back then, so who are we to complain?
‘Be Less Rude’ might be getting on a bit these days, but it’s easy to forget how much of a little gem it is, taken from the debut LP Sing The Greys. The reason we like this song so much is because it’s a bit like being taught manners by your indie mum. That, and the judicious use of the word ‘shite’ halfway through.
Bloody helicopters. Didn’t they realise we were trying to record some acoustic indie rock? The second-track filling in our three-track Frightened Rabbit session sandwich sent us a bit giddy – a brand new track (unreleased, and so-far virtually unheard outside of a couple of low-key gigs) called ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’. Taken from the recording sessions currently going on in deepest, darkest Fife, it’s one of the possibles for the new album, due next year. We like, lots – even if he almost gets drowned out by the bloody helicopters.
As a full-stop to the day, Scott gave us a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘Song Against Sex’. A tumbling, relentless stream of word and melody, it’s made even better than the original by his uncanny impression of Chewbacca in the more excitable vocal bits.
Three cracking tracks, a day full of sunshine and sound, and the promise of a third blow-your-socks-off Frightened Rabbit LP – some days it actually IS worth getting out of bed.
Frightened Rabbit – Off the Beaten Facts
- There were children present in the garden during ‘Be Less Rude’. Notonly did this not stop him using a sweary word, but he even claimed ”I’ve said worse to younger”.
- Inevitably, what with playing solo in a public garden in front of some bemused tourists, Scott got a bit self-conscious. He got over it by, as he put it, “giving it the full Susan Boyle”. We’re pretty sure there’s a gag in there involving hairy Scots, but we’ll let you come up with one on your own instead.
- From the start of June, the band will be holed up in East Lothian, where they’ll be working on new tracks with producer Peter Katis, who did The National’s ‘Boxer’ album – the new album’s due next year.
- Scott has a worrying depth of knowledge about 90s rave-pop giants N-Trance…and is a particular fan of their singer Kelly Llorenna
- The Frightened Rabbit cover of N-Trance’s ‘Set You Free’ was, he is at pains to point out, a genuine tribute to a great piece of music, and not just some ironic piss-take…
- …which is why he was so surprised to read the internet comments of one particular N-Trance fan who’d heard the cover, and who voiced their displeasure by suggesting something unpleasant involving his sister.
- Frightened Rabbit play bigger venues in the US than at home, so to teach us ungrateful buggers back home a lesson, they’ll be back in the US and Canada during July for both the Pitchfork festival in Chicago, and the Siren festival in New York, as well as a string of other dates from Hoboken to Montreal. Details are on their Myspace and attendance is mandatory.
- Frightened Rabbit have a Myspace, don’t you know.