Family of late Selkirk singer-songwriter Scott Hutchison launch charity in his name

Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison performing in Edinburgh in 2016.
Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison performing in Edinburgh in 2016.

The family of late Selkirk singer-songwriter Scott Hutchison have launched a charity in his name to mark the first anniversary of his tragic death at the age of 36.

The charity set up by the Frightened Rabbit frontman’s parents Ron and Marion and brothers Neil and Grant, called Tiny Changes, will offer help to children and young people dealing with mental health issues.

It takes its name from a line in the 2008 Frightened Rabbit single Head Rolls Off – “While I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to Earth” – and its aim is to continue the positive impact Scott’s music had on others facing similar issues to those that led him to take his life at South Queensferry last May.

In a statement issued today, his family say: “Our beloved brother and son Scott Hutchison was born in Edinburgh in 1981. He took his own life in Queensferry in 2018.

“In those 36 and a half years, Scott’s impact was far reaching and felt by many people.

“Through his music and art, he made many thousands of tiny changes and encouraged other people around the world to do the same.

“The honesty of his lyrics and openness about his own mental health inspired people in all walks of life.

“It is a legacy that should be continued and nourished.

“Since his sad death last year, the outpouring of grief from people that knew Scott has been overwhelming.

“Whether they knew him personally, through his music and art, or through the interviews he gave on deeply personal matters, so many people have been profoundly affected by Scott’s life.

“Mental health, and young people’s mental health in particular, was a cause close to Scott’s heart.

“He often spoke openly of his own struggles as an anxious child, even naming his band Frightened Rabbit after a nickname given to him by his Mum.

“Tragically, the weight of his ill health became too great for him to carry as an adult.

“We want to continue the legacy that Scott built to channel the energy he generated in people all over the world into positive action on mental health among young people and to make tiny changes to Earth.

“The charity has at its heart a passion for changing how young people in Scotland are affected by mental health issues.

“We want to see a Scotland where young people are listened to when they talk about their mental health, where young people can access the support they need when they need it, a country where young people are feeling better, not worse, and where youth mental health issues do not prevent people from fulfilling their potential as adults.”

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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, 34, 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.

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 – until last year, at least, when it got to No 56 posthumously – 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 2017’s Recorded Songs – charted too, making it to No 53 in 2012.

Scott 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 last 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 last April.