Frightened Rabbit are a hard act to follow, but this works – Kevin Buckle
Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of The Midnight Organ Fight is a fitting tribute to an iconic Scottish album, writes Kevin Buckle
Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of The Midnight Organ Fight came out on vinyl and CD yesterday and despite my reservations I have to say it works tremendously well.
I had in fact spoken to Scott Hutchison about what they intended to do to celebrate the album’s tenth anniversary after having heard from Alex Knight, the co-founder of FatCat Records who released the record, that Scott wasn’t keen on earlier versions of the songs being released which I thought was a shame.
Scott had said he wanted artists they had toured with and known from that time to cover the songs rather than have their own alternative versions used.
If I’m honest I’d never heard a Frightened Rabbit song cover that I liked and given how personal the songs are I wasn’t sure it would be possible to do the album justice this way.
Anyway I gave Scott a call to suggest maybe both options could be considered and was relieved to hear that he didn’t mind others hearing the early versions at all he just didn’t want people to have to pay for them.
Obviously this meant they could be made available digitally and we even talked of a reissue with a bonus album of demos but at a single album price but even that had drawbacks as it would still mean fans having to buy again an album they already owned.
Scott seemed very sure that the covers album would work and it wasn’t my place to disagree so we left things as they were, with the possibility of the alternative early versions being made available at a later date.
We met up not long before Christmas to discuss the Scottish music exhibition centre and he said he would rescue the artwork for the album from his parents so it could be shown.
I was glad to hear later that having initially dismissed Frightened Rabbit from my list of bands that must be included in the National Museum of Scotland’s Rip It Up exhibition there had been a change of heart and the artwork would be shown after Stephen Allen, the curator who had asked me for the list, had met Scott at a Mogwai concert.
Thankfully I needn’t have worried and the album works incredibly well, starting fittingly with Biffy Clyro’s cover of The Modern Leper. Not every song is perfect but really that would be too much to ask and while many may not know of all the artists involved that is maybe why it works so well. Old label mates and good friends The Twilight Sad do appear of course.
Available now from all good record shops on double vinyl and CD with a proportion of any profits going to the charity Tiny Changes set up after Scott’s untimely death.
Also released yesterday was the new album from ArdentJohn Malin Head with a very limited run of 300 vinyl being made available to accompany the CD.
When I watched their new video the next song recommended was Benjamin Gibbard’s Keep Yourself Warm (from Tiny Changes) and certainly Frightened Rabbit fans should give it a listen.
The band have made a big effort to make it available locally as well as further afield so again do support your nearby independent record shop.