Fellow musicians have joined in the chorus of tributes to tragic Borders indie rock star Scott Hutchison following the confirmation of his death this afternoon, May 11.
The 36-year-old Frightened Rabbit frontman, originally from Selkirk but latterly of Glasgow, went missing early on Wednesday morning, May 9, and his body was found at Port Edgar on the Firth of Forth, near South Queensferry, last night.
Bahrain-born singer-songwriter Frank Turner tweeted: “What a life. What a shining, beautiful life.
“I remember Scott giving great Scottish hugs, cracking jokes, apologising for being drunk, always being kind.
“He lit up the sky with his voice, his songs, his heart, and I will forever be in awe of his genius.
“He was the kind of guy who, if he came up in conversation, people would talk over each other, in a hurry to say how wonderful he was.
“He was my friend, and today I am heartbroken.
“Talk to someone, don’t try to keep it all inside.”
Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody wrote: “One of Scotland’s most extraordinary songwriters, he wrote with such profound insight into loss and longing, and listening to his words always made me feel this heady mix of wonder, elation and pain, that pain that also makes you feel someone understands what you’re going through and you don’t feel so alone.
“He was willing to hurt in his songs so that the listener hurt less, but when you live on the edge of that pain it can sometimes get to be too much to bear.
“I just wish he knew what he meant to so many.
“Thank you, Scott, for every extraordinary song you ever wrote and for the times we shared.
“Your music brought light to the world and always will.
“So much love to all your family, bandmates and close friends. I am so deeply sorry for their loss.
“The world is less today without you, Scott.”
Franz Ferdinand singer Alex Kapranos tweeted: “Awful news about Scott Hutchison. A terrible loss.”
East Ayrshire rockers Biffy Clyro wrote: “So, so sad. So, so sorry. All our love to the Hutchison family. Rest in peace, Scott.”
Stuart Murdoch, singer for indie pop band Belle and Sebastian, wrote: “Tragic news about Scott Hutchison. The whole music community in Scotland was praying for a different outcome.
“Folks, if you are up against it, having dark thoughts, please tell someone, family, a friend or a doctor. There is always another way, though it might not seem like it.”
Scottish Government First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Heartbreaking news. My thoughts are with Scott’s family, friends and fans. A remarkable and much-loved talent.”
BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Edith Bowman said: “Can’t really believe I’m reading this. Saddest awakening ever. Love and best wishes to all the Hutchison and Frabbit family.”
Fife-born author Ian Rankin added: “No, no, no. Hellish news.”
More than 1,300 comments have been posted on the singer’s Twitter site, with one fan writing: “You’ve left a legacy of beautiful music.”
Frightened Rabbit was initially an alias for Hutchison, then based in Selkirk, after he started performing as a solo artist in 2003, that being the nickname his mum Marion gave him as a child because of his shyness.
The act became a duo, based in Glasgow, following the addition of his brother Grant, 33, as drummer the year after, and they expanded into a trio in 2005 after recruiting guitarist Billy Kennedy.
Keyboard-player Andy Monaghan joined up in 2008, and extra guitarist Gordon Skene was added to their line-up in 2009, though he left in 2014. Further guitarist Simon Liddell followed in 2013, making the band a five-piece outfit in their most recent incarnation.
Bandmates Monaghan, Kennedy and Liddell, plus brother Grant, issued a joint tribute this afternoon saying: “There are no words to describe the overwhelming sadness and pain that comes with the death of our beloved Scott, but to know he is no longer suffering brings us some comfort.
“Reading messages of support and hope from those he has helped through his art has helped immensely, and we encourage you to continue doing this.
“He will be missed by all of us, and his absence will always be felt, but he leaves a legacy of hope, kindness and colour that will forever be remembered and shared.
“Rest peacefully, Scott.”
A spokesperson for Warner Music UK, the band’s record label since 2010, said: “We’re devastated by the tragic loss of Scott Hutchison.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, the band and to everyone who knew and loved Scott, a brilliant, deep and beautiful soul gone far too soon.”
Mastersystem bandmates Justin and James Lockey added: “We are all devastated and shocked to hear the news about Scott.
“Firstly, we want to send all our love and thoughts to Grant and his family – and to Billy, Andy, Simon and all of the extended Frightened Rabbit family.
“It’s heartbreaking beyond words.
“Me and James are lucky to have worked alongside Scott, Grant and the Frabbit fellas over the years, most recently starting a band and making the Mastersystem record together. It’s always been a total honour and a pleasure.
“That it came to where we are now shows us the need to talk about depression, to be open and present for one another. Nobody should feel so alone.
“Thank you, Scott, for the music and everything else along the way.
“You will be so dearly missed. Rest easy, friend.”
Frightened Rabbit have released five albums starting with 2006’s Sing the Greys. It failed to chart, as did its successor, 2008’s The Midnight Organ Fight, but the next three were all hits – The Winter of Mixed Drinks reaching No 84 in 2010, Pedestrian Verse No 9 in 2013 and Painting of a Panic Attack, their latest LP, No 14 in 2016,
State Hospital, the second of their three EPs – following 2011’s A Frightened Rabbit EP and preceding last September’s Recorded Songs, their latest release – also charted, making it to No 53 in 2012.
Hutchison also formed a side project with Monaghan and Liddell called Owl John in 2014, releasing one self-titled album, a No 99 hit, and another this year with brother Grant, Editors guitarist Justin Lockey and the latter’s brother James, bassist for Minor Victories. Calling themselves Mastersystem, they put out a non-charting album titled Dance Music in April and went on a six-date tour finishing at Oslo in London on Tuesday, May 1.
That tour followed a five-date one with Frightened Rabbit in March to mark the 10th anniversary of the release of The Midnight Organ Fight, a 14-track LP including Floating in the Forth, a song about resisting suicidal thoughts.