Festivals stage tribute to tragic star Scott Hutchison

Frightened Rabbit drummer Grant Hutchison on stage with the Charlatans. Photo: Paul Campbell.
Frightened Rabbit drummer Grant Hutchison on stage with the Charlatans. Photo: Paul Campbell.

Selkirk singer-songwriter Scott Hutchison might be gone but he’s far from forgotten as fellow musicians continue to pay tribute to the tragic star.

Tributes were paid to the Frightened Rabbit frontman at the double at this year’s Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, held in Inverness-shire at the weekend.

Frightened Rabbit band members Grant Hutchison and keyboard player Billy Kennedy join Tim Burgess and the Charlatans on stage at Belladrum. Photo: Paul Campbell.

Frightened Rabbit band members Grant Hutchison and keyboard player Billy Kennedy join Tim Burgess and the Charlatans on stage at Belladrum. Photo: Paul Campbell.

Not only did alternative rock veterans the Charlatans invite Scott’s brother and bandmate Grant Hutchison, along with keyboard player Billy Kennedy, on stage to perform a version of their 2008 song Head Rolls Off, but the album it came from, The Midnight Organ Fight, was also played to the crowd in lieu of the second-stage headline set the band had been booked to perform.

Members of both acts spent the afternoon rehearsing in a makeshift practice room on the Beauly festival’s farm before playing together on Friday night.

“Frightened Rabbit have always been firm favourites at Belladrum and had a special place in the hearts of festival-goers and our extended festival family,” said a spokesperson for the event.

The band had previously appeared at Belladrum in 2008, 2012 and 2014, with Scott also giving an impromptu solo acoustic performance in the Tomatin Whisky Bothy in 2012.

Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison at 2017's Kendal Calling.

Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison at 2017's Kendal Calling.

A collection was also taken for the Scottish Association for Mental Health in memory of Scott at this year’s festival.

“We have grown with Belladrum. We started off in a small tent here and then we have gone up and up every time,” said Scott in 2014.

“It’s down to Belladrum giving us the chance to do that and the chance to say, yeah, we are a main-stage act.”

Scott was found dead in May following struggles with depression dating back years.

Festival organiser Joe Gibbs said: “It felt really special to hear a Frightened Rabbit song being played on the main stage this year.

“The band have always said Bella had a special place in their hearts and, likewise, we have felt the same about Frightened Rabbit.”

Scott’s other band, Mastersystem, were due to play at this year’s Electric Fields festival in Dumfries and Galloway, and it too is planning tributes to him.

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 Scott 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 on the main stage on Friday evening at 7.45pm.”

This year’s Electric Fields festival takes place from Thursday, August 30, to Saturday, September 1, and James, Leftfield and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be headlining.

For further details, go to electricfieldsfestival.com