Selkirk singer Scott Hutchison back in chart as fans pay tribute

Scott Hutchison performing in Edinburgh in December.
Scott Hutchison performing in Edinburgh in December.

Fans of Scott Hutchison have paid tribute to the tragic Selkirk singer-songwriter by giving him posthumous hits at the double.

Two of the five studio albums released by Frightened Rabbit, the indie rock group he fronted, feature in this week’s top 100, revealed yesterday, May 18, thanks to fans showing their support for the surviving members of the band by giving them their first hits for over two years.

The Midnight Organ Fight, their second album, is a hit for the first time in its 10-year history, charting at No 56, and their fifth and last album, Painting of a Panic Attack, a No 14 hit in 2016, is a re-entry at No 84.

Quietly Now!, a live set recorded in Glasgow in 2008 and first released the year after, looked set to join them, figuring at No 98 in the midweek flash chart but just missed out come yesterday.

The Midnight Organ Fight, recorded in 2007 in the US at Bridgeport in Connecticut and also in Glasgow, was released in April 2008 but had failed to chart nationally until now, though it was a No 6 in Scotland.

Produced by Peter Katis, its 14 tracks include The Modern Leper, I Feel Better, Fast Blood and Floating in the Forth.

Painting of a Panic Attack was also recorded in America, in New York City, and was produced by Aaron Dessner. A Scottish No 1 and US No 70 released in April 2016, the 12 tracks on its standard edition include Death Dream, Woke Up Hurting and Die Like a Rich Boy.

Until this week, it was the last hit notched up by the group, formed in Selkirk in 2003 but based in Glasgow since the year after.

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.

The band have released five albums starting with 2006’s Sing the Greys. It failed to chart, as – until now – 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 – charted too, making it to No 53 in 2012.

Hutchison, found dead at Port Edgar on the Firth of Forth the Thursday before last at the age of 36, 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 book of condolence for Hutchison has been provided at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow for fans to leave tributes in.

The group last played at the St Vincent Street venue in November 2008.

“We’ve left a wee book in King Tut’s for people to share stories, pictures, whatever you like about Scott. Sharpies provided,” say the band on their Twitter account.

They were due to play a support slot for Father John Misty next Saturday, May 26, at the Piece Hall in Halifax, West Yorkshire, along with Edwyn Collins, Hookworms and the Orielles, but instead there will be the opposite of a minute’s silence as a tribute to Hutchison, a move described as a “beautiful gesture” by the band.

A spokesman for the venue said: “We are all shocked and deeply saddened by the recent loss of Scott Hutchison, and our thoughts go out to his family and everyone else who was close to him.

“Out of respect for Scott and Frightened Rabbit, we have decided not to replace the band on the bill for the forthcoming show on May 26.

“We will hold a minute of applause and noise to celebrate the life and music of Scott at 7.30pm.

“The other artists will have extended set times.

“We will also be collecting on the gates for a regional charity which deals with men’s mental health awareness.”