Gone but not forgotten

Scott Free

Every generation has their band. And every subsequent generation believes, or indeed knows that their band is the best of all. The unfortunate generation behind mine got Oasis and the good, the bad and the downright ugly of Britpop. The generation behind them, ’round these parts at any rate, were lucky enough to get Frightened Rabbit, a band who inspired an enthusiastically devoted and blindly loyal fanbase on a par with the previous generations who’d grown up with The Beatles or The Clash or The Smiths or the Stone Roses or any of the bands who ever truly mattered.

Originally from Selkirk, the ‘Frabbits made their name as a Glasgow band, packing out venues from the Captain’s Rest to King Tuts to T In The Park. I once met someone who’d been such a fervent follower of the band from their early days that he’d been saving money so that when they eventually made it to Tokyo, he’d be in the audience. I’m assuming he made it too. It’s that sort of devotion that sets bands apart and if I had been 10/15/20 years younger, I dare say I might’ve been just as devoted to Frightened Rabbit. As it was, I saw Frightened Rabbit live just the once. We shared mutual friends. And I met their vocalist and focal point Scott Hutchison briefly in hyperspace when I asked him a year or so ago if he fancied bringing his band down to Ayrshire for a gig. “Sure thing,” he said. “Here’s our agent’s number. Let’s sort something out.”

Today a whole generation of music fans are united in grief over the passing of Scott. His Tweets on Tuesday night hinted at the very worst and that was confirmed this afternoon. There continues to be a tremendous outpouring on social media and not one bad word has been said about him. He knew, it seems, how to help others suffering from mental illness, yet he couldn’t help himself. And there lies the terrible tragedy. From the outside looking in, here was a young man who not only was blessed with a fervent following who loved his songs, he also had immense respect from fellow musicians. Who knows what goes on inside the heads of those who need help the most?

Frightened Rabbit with Manchester OrchestraArchitect

With love and respect to Scott’s family, friends and fellow ‘Frabbits. x

6 thoughts on “Scott Free”

  1. Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in Scotland
    Scotland’s suicide rate is 80% higher than England and Wales and is the leading cause of death in young men.
    Those numbers are from 5 years ago. As far as I know, nothing has changed. And still the Government has done nothing. For more than 40 years I’ve been hearing that psychiatric services are “the Cinderella of the NHS”. That’s a lie – Cinderella had a happy ending. All we survivors can do is talk and make sure that anyone in pain knows they are NOT alone.

  2. Yes I too read this news with sadness – Where I live we have an epidemic of young men taking their own lives and a local charity has set up a helpline for those at risk. As the mother of a young adult girl, it’s not much better for them, and from personal experience it can take 6 months from the point of crisis to get a first appointment with a professional within the service – We are failing our young people, big time.

    As for Scott, there has been an outpouring of grief on social media locally as his band was a regular at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival – Such a waste. As for the “not being alone” I would love to agree that it’s the case but again from experience people often ignore cries for help, as it’s a tough gig to get involved with and everyone thinks someone else will react – Very hard on families. My heart goes out to Scott’s family.

  3. This is about Chronic Depression. It is a cruel and mercilessly bleak condition. However, it IS a treatable condition – its diagnosis is clear – but treatment can take a long time. Suicide is a long process too and very rarely done on a whim. Towards the end, they are too ill to take in the emotional devastation their act will cause to those around them. The act itself becomes (particularly for Men) a “problem-solving” thing. The practical “how” of it if you like. For those left behind the very idea that it was the act of a rational human being, a man just like you or I is an awful one and not a little frightening. Money has been poured into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Adult Mental Health Services and Suicide Prevention Initiatives with little proven impact.Perhaps this is because it is the extreme isolation and the very personal nature of the depressive illnesses which can lead some individuals to suicide, which makes it so difficult for anyone, professionals, family or friends to either see it coming or be able to avert it. Like many people my family were devastated by a suicide – the loss of my teenage nephew. I also lost a very good friend at work to suicide. He was laughing with me an hour before. His final act was thoroughly planned. No-one saw it coming. He even waved to me on the way out the building.

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