Electric Fields festival planning tributes to absent friend Scott Hutchison at the double
As good an example of that as any will be late Selkirk singer-songwriter Scott Hutchison being conspicuous by his absence at this week’s Electric Fields festival in Dumfries and Galloway.
Prior to his death in May, the Frightened Rabbit frontman was due to return to the event, at Drumlanrig Castle, north of Dumfries, with his other band, Mastersystem.
The 36-year-old formed that side project with his brother Grant, also Frightened Rabbit’s drummer, and Editors guitarist Justin Lockey and his brother James on bass earlier this year, and they released their debut album, titled Dance Music, in April.
The band were scheduled to play at Electric Fields this Saturday, September 1, but that plan had to be scrapped after Scott was found dead three months ago.
It would have been his second appearance at the festival following a headlining set there last year with Frightened Rabbit ending with an encore of Keep Yourself Warm.
Instead, a tribute to Scott will be staged in his absence.
A spokesperson for the event said: “Scott was due to play at the festival again this year with his newer musical project, Mastersystem, as well as popping up across a few more stages, as he tended to do.
“After speaking with Grant and the rest of the Mastersystem team, we’ve decided in their Saturday night slot we’ll be playing back their debut album, Dance Music, in full.
“Also, as a nod to last year’s breathtaking headline show, Frightened Rabbit’s The Loneliness and the Scream will be played very loud on the main stage on Friday evening at 7.45pm.
“We hope you’ll join us at either or both of these to remember Scott and sing your lungs out.”
The Loneliness and the Scream, taken from the third Frightened Rabbit LP, The Winter of Mixed Drinks, a No 61 hit in 2010, was one of 19 songs they played there a year ago, rounding off their main set.
This year’s headliners are Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, James and Leftfield.
Gallagher’s band, topping the bill on Friday, notched up their third No 1 album in a row, Who Built the Moon?, in November last year.
The band, formed by Manchester-born Gallagher, 51, in 2010 after Oasis split up the year before, had previously topped the charts with their self-titled debut in 2011 and Chasing Yesterday in 2015, and they also have two top 20 singles to their name, The Death of You and Me and AKA ... What a Life!, a No 15 and No 20 respectively, both in 2011.
James, also formed in Manchester, albeit almost three decades earlier in 1982 and together from then until 2001 and since 2007, have only topped the UK album chart once, with their 1998 compilation The Best of James, but they have made it to No 2 four times – with Gold Mother in 1990, Seven in 1992, Millionaires in 1999 and Girl at the End of the World, their 12th full-length LP, in 2016 – and into the top 10 another four times – with Laid, a No 3 in 1992; Whiplash, a No 9 in 1997; comeback LP Hey Ma, a No 10 in 2008; and Living in Extraordinary Times, their 13th and latest release, a No 6 hit put out this month.
Frontman Tim Booth and his bandmates, playing on Thursday, also have three top 10 singles on their CV – Sit Down, a No 2 in 1991 and No 7 in rejigged form in 1998; Sound, a No 9 in 1991; and She’s a Star, a No 9 in 1997.
London’s Leftfield, together from 1989 t0 2002 and since 2010, also have just the one chart-topper to their name, 1999’s Rhythm and Stealth, but both of their other LPs have made the top 10, Leftism getting to No 3 in 1995 and Alternative Light Source making it to No 6 in 2015.
The Saturday night headliners have also had one top 10 single, Afrika Shox, featuring Afrika Bambaataa, a No 7 in 1999.
This year’s festival takes place over three days, up from two since 2016 and one to begin with.
The event’s previous headliners were Fatherson in 2014, Blanck Mass and King Creosote in 2015, Primal Scream and the Charlatans in 2016 and Frightened Rabbit and Dizzee Rascal last year.
Also on the bill for this year are acts including Idlewild, Young Fathers, Ezra Furman, Idles, the Coral, Ghostpoet, Ride, Public Service Broadcasting, the Horrors, Baxter Dury, Stanley Odd, Black Honey, Dream Wife, Hollie Cook and Teenage Fanclub.
Festival co-founder Nick Roberts said: “This is going to be so fun I honestly can’t wait.
“We’ve been working really hard over the past few years, and we’re just chuffed to be able to be putting on what’s set to be another great weekend of music, with our always-excellent audience, in such a beautiful setting.”
Tickets for the festival, on the Queensberry Estate, owned by the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, cost £132. Day tickets, priced £71.50, are also available for tomorrow and Saturday. For details, go to www.electricfieldsfestival.com