Paul Goodwin

Are you a man? Are you a bag of sand?

Published on Sat 12 Mar 2016

I crossed another band off The List. That is a New Years Resolution completed less than 3 months into the year. Outrageous. It was Frightened Rabbit. My obsessive watching of twitter meant that I saw a vaguely cryptic tweet about a secret gig they were doing in London under a fake name. I'd never been to a secret gig before (unless you count a not secret but quite exclusive Damien Rice thing at The Scala back in the day). I'd also never been to Tufnell Park, which is where the gig was. It's 8 minutes on the tube from Kings Cross but the pub the venue was attached to was like stepping back 30 years - all grizzled Arsenal fans and men in hats. And Holsten Pils! And Carling! And a handful of confused looking indie kids. Anyway we were there a bit early because it wasn't obvious when the gig started so we had a beer and watched the start of the Liverpool game for a while. The venue itself reminded me of a school hall or rugby club bar. It was surprisingly not at all packed, which was really nice. There was no support act, which I guess was also really nice. I was a bit taken aback by how great the band sounded. I've watched a lot of live footage and the singing has sometimes been a bit ropey, but they were super tight and the harmonies sounded spot on.


They opened with the new single and it sounded really beefy. There was some enjoyable (slightly one-sided) banter where Scott Hutchison called out one of the crowd as an "office toilet masturbator". Fair enough. As he also said in the face of millions of requests, Frightened Rabbit have a lot of (really good) songs so there were always going to be things missed out but everything they played (including new stuff) was brilliant. The Highlight was probably Holy. I'd have loved to hear "Poke" and they only played for an hour or so with no encore so I left feeling a little flat, which is silly because they were great and how often do you see a band like that in a really small venue. Also it can't have been that short because I spent at least 3 hours having a battle with a very tall guy's head as he kept leaning down to talk to his tiny mate. It was like watching tennis. Or Cambridge United when I used to stand behind the pillar.


I made it to a Folk Club open stage last Friday too. It had been too long. I didn't play especially well (I was driving, so sober, and tried out Romantic False Lead for the first time in an amplified situation and it wasn't the best, though Heat Death was good) but it was really nice to see everyone.