SELKIRK, IN the eastern Scottish lowlands is a place with rich associations to Scottish history and culture. William Wallace, Sir Walter Scott, and James Hogg, all having connections to the town.
In more recent years, Selkirk has produced Frightened Rabbit, one of the finest of the many indie-folk bands that have spring up across Scotland over the past decade or so.
The band - Scott Hutchison (vocals/guitar/lyricist ); Grant Hutchison (bass ); Billy Kennedy (guitar ); Andy Monaghan (drums ), Gordon Skene (keyboards ) - formed in 2003 and have been based in Glasgow since 2004. While their sound owes much to indie-rock, folk influences are equally strong, given that the Selkirk region has a long tradition of folk ballads.
The band is centred around Scott Hutchinson and their moniker comes from a nickname his mother had for him as a child. The band released their debut album Sing The Greys in 2006, but came to wider attention with the magnificent The Winter of Mixed Drinks (2010 ).
Its key songs is ‘Swim Until You Can’t See The Land’. Its theme of leaving the wreckage of the personal past behind until it no longer affects you, summed up the mood of the album. “The theme I'm going for is pushing yourself out to the edge of things and being alone, feeling lost and not knowing where you are, which is how I’ve felt recently,” said Scott of Mixed Drinks.
The band recently made A Frightened Rabbit EP freely available on their website, and it featured collaborations with Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell and folk singer Archie Fisher. The band’s next release will be the State Hospital EP on September 24.
Frightened Rabbit play Strange Brew at the Róisín Dubh on Thursday September 13 at 9pm. Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, from the Ticket Desk at OMG, Shop Street (formerly Zhivago ), and The Róisín Dubh.