aN ACCLAIMED Edinburgh poet is to pay homage to the late Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison with a unique night of spoken word and “Scott-shaped stories”.
The songwriter, who fronted one of Scotland’s most popular bands, went missing on 9 May and his body was found on the banks of the River Forth near South Queensferry days later.
Hutchison had initially planned to play songs at an Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) event to mark the one year anniversary of Michael Pedersen’s poetry collection ‘Oyster’, which he had illustrated.
However, Pedersen has reworked the event by inviting a range of artists and performers in memory of his long time close friend.
He said: “Michael and Scott’s ‘Oyster Party’ was to be a story- filled, sumptuous and soppy gig where we garrulously talked through the past year together.
“It was a wee monument to friendship and us igniting a fuse on what I had hoped would be a lifetime of unique collaborations of every ilk.
“Rather than see this event cancelled, I thought it more important to sculpt something together that would honour what we had initially intended to do and proffer the opportunity for friends, fans and loved ones to come together and celebrate him.”
Poet Pedersen first collaborated with Hutchison after setting up the Edinburgh-based arts collective Neu Reekie in 2010. Last year, the duo toured Oyster around Scotland, England and South Africa, with Hutchison showcasing his artwork as well as performing his band’s songs.
But plans to reunite for a wider commemoration of their years of work together were shattered after the much loved singer’s disappearance.
Pedersen said: “We signed off on Michael and Scott’s Oyster Party some months back and EIBF reworked it moments before it went off to print.
“When they did this, Scott was missing and I was searching for my friend with every ounce of mettle I could summon.
“It’s so vitally important to keep talking about him, the wonder he unfurled, the immense talent he possessed and joy he brought to all our faces.
“We all miss him to levels it’s hard to comprehend, let alone understand, but there’s something that unifies us in that.”
Thousands of fans have paid tribute to the musician over the past month and a fund-raiser to erect a memorial bench in a Glasgow park has received thousands of pounds.
Artists performing at the upcoming memorial event, to be held at Charlotte Square Gardens on 16 August, include local songwriter Withered Hand and English poet Hollie McNish.
Performers will create “unique products” for the night, which will be sold to raise money for a charity of the Hutchison family’s choosing.
American author Elizabeth Hanks, who is also performing at the event, said: “You’re lucky if you have a friend like Scott – who inspires you to do better work and who makes you laugh so hard it’s more like ecstatic sputters of surprised snorts.
“I’m honoured to be in this group of people coming together, in music and poetry, to celebrate our friend.
“It’s this coming to the table, with community and kindness, that’s a balm for the heart right now.”