I was a bit worried when I arrived at Bloc as there was already a queue that wound round the corner, not to mention a guest list queue just as long going the other way.
Thankfully after a short wait admission was gained to what was a special going away party for a gent called Crag. I don’t know Crag, but it was rather good of him to allow randoms like myself to have fun at his leaving bash.
By the time that Peter Kelly took to the stage, the venue – which was cleared to make room – was already pretty stuffed.
Opening with The Bar That Never Closes by request, we were taken through a set of Beerjacket classics, including the fantastic Island.
The only downpoint was being unable to see the be-seated maestro, as watching the intricacies of this talent is quite a wonder.
We were given a bit of festive spirit before the end as a classic christmas tune was covered; Beerjacket asked the crowd to tell him to stop if it was rubbish, but there was no chance of that as Feed The World was sang back with fervour, before he joked with the crowd about outdoing the original (which he did).
The searching Barricade closed things nicely, and while it’s not a time I can say I ‘saw’ Beerjacket, I certainly loved hearing him.
A decision was made to swap a lack of sight at the back for getting in the way of folk by the bar, and it was a good one.
It meant a cracking view as Scott Hutchieson was welcomed to the stage with what turned out to be ANOTHER Balkan (apparently the result of meeting So many Animal Calls at the bar) and a massive reception.
Firing off Old Old Fashioned and Be Less Rude early on the Frightened Rabbit frontman was uncharacteristically quiet between songs in the early stages (no doubt due to Balkan overload), but it wasn’t long before he turned the gig into one big party with songs mainly from The Midnight Organ Fight and his renowned crowd banter.
Louis Abbott from Admiral Fallow joined proceedings later on for a duet of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. This was great fun, with Louis taking the Kiki Dee parts, and Scott playing his first guitar solo since he ‘was 15’.
The raptures + hilarity were then swapped for utter silence as Scott responded to a request for Poke.
The venue watched in awe, only piping up to sing at choice moments and help out with the ooh ooh ooh parts. It was a beautiful moment, such a contrast to what went before, and something not many could achieve.
As Scott started to tell folk the next song would be his last, another Balkan made its way into his hands. He gave his thanks to Crag, and his apologies to his girlfriend, as a baiting crowd urged him to sink one more.
The night was then finished on my favourite Rabbit’s song Keep Yourself Warm. I doubt there has ever been a more accurate lyric for a situation than the start of the second verse, which Scott sang with a massive smile on his face, changing the lyrics to ‘I’m drunk, Oh I’m definitely drunk’.
It was a great ending with the crowd getting stuck in and showing their appreciation for what was one of those memorable nights, though Scott may have struggled to recall it in the morning.
Photos by Fiona McKinlay
Look out for some cracking footage on Monday in Video News.