Following the recent double bill of Belle and Sebastian with Teenage Fanclub in New York, Scottish music fans in America are in for another treat this week as Frightened Rabbit and The Phantom Band head to DC, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago. Vic has more on two of Scotland’s best new bands.

Frightened Rabbit and The Phantom Band in DC, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago
by Vic Galloway

With a growing following in the UK (they play 2 sold-out nights at the Glasgow Barrowlands in December – wow!) it’s in the USA that Frightened Rabbit have really broken through. Loved by college radio, blogs and magazines, they creep onward into the mainstream consciousness with every release.

They’re continuing to promote their excellent third album ‘The Winter of Mixed Drinks’ which definitely hints at a bigger and more lush studio sound, without compromising the raw emotion of the songs. But, if you’re looking for ‘Midnight Organ Fight’ part two, then look elsewhere. Touring-wise, they’ve certainly put the work in. Every time I check their website, they’re off to the States again playing bigger and bigger venues as crowds lap up their honest, down-to-earth yet epic songs of love, love-lost and heart-ache.

This is their most ambitious tour yet, and to their credit they’ve taken another Scottish band with them as support. The Phantom Band are absolutely superb, make no bones about it. Their debut album ‘Checkmate Savage’ was a triumph, and their sophomore effort ‘The Wants’ ups the ante even further.

With indie, folk, psychedelia, krautrock and electronica all in the mix, it defies categorisation and honestly makes them sound like no-one else, past or present. They now have a new drummer and are coming into their own in the live arena as well as in the studio.

As a first tour and visit to the USA, this is a gift for the Phantom Band – they’ll be playing to huge audiences each night. I sincerely hope the rabid Rabbit fans take to the Phantoms, as they will be in for a treat every night if so. Anyway, it’s a dream bill for me and anyone into Scottish indie music right now. If you live in a town or nearby one of these gigs, make the effort and head along – it’s a special bill of two excellent bands in their prime. These are gigs which will never be repeated!

Also on tour this week: Lloyd Cole, The Cinematics, and The Waterboys.

Check out Vic on BBC Radio every week:

Monday Night 8.05pm-10pm, BBC Radio Scotland
Vic has Edinburgh’s Broken Records in Session

Wednesday Night Midnight-2am, BBC Radio 1 in Scotland
Vic has United Nations feat. Kobi Onyame, Not Squares, Hot City & Vanguard

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Download Frightened Rabbit and The Phantom Band in the Dear Scotland Shop:

The Phantom Band
Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit – The Loneliness & The Scream


Interview: Frightened Rabbit


CMJ 2010: The Phantom Band

CMJ 2010: The Phantom Band performs at Brooklyn Vegan’s day party at Public Assembly from on Vimeo.

Scotland on Tour this week

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Photo Credit: Elmear Connolly