The news that Scott Hutchison, frontman with the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit, was missing came as a worry and shock to his family, friends, and fans alike. Hutchison was last seen at 1am on Wednesday (May 9) when he left the Dakota hotel in South Queensferry.
This morning many awoke to the worst possible news. After police made the discovery of a body at Port Edgar near South Queensferry in Edinburgh at 8.30pm last night, it was duly confirmed to be the 36-year-old singer, guitarist and lyricist.
Frightened Rabbit’s surviving members, which include Hutchison's brother Grant, posted a statement earlier today, saying:
There are no words to describe the overwhelming sadness and pain that comes with the death of our beloved Scott but to know he is no longer suffering brings us some comfort. Reading messages of support and hope from those he has helped through his art has helped immensely and we encourage you to continue doing this. He will be missed by all of us and his absence will always be felt but he leaves a legacy of hope, kindness and colour that will forever be remembered and shared. Rest peacefully Scott.
Much love Grant, Billy, Andy and Simon x
Hutchison, who had spoken of his trouble with anxiety and depression in the past, had recently completed a tour with Frightened Rabbit, and another with his other band, Mastersystem. The Cure's Robert Smith had asked them to appear at his Meltdown curated in June, and the band were also due to support Father John Misty in Halifax later this month, before playing The First Incident Festival in Glasgow on June 1.
Here, in a tribute, James Masini reflects on the troubled artist.
It’s hard to put into words how today feels. How the past 48 hours feels, in truth.
The death of a rock star is barely newsworthy these days. However, the tragic loss of Scott Hutchison has hit harder than most. That it occurred less than a 10 minute drive from my childhood home in Fife, unquestionably makes it worse.
Scott Hutchison, his brother, Grant and their bandmates in Frightened Rabbit touched many lives and Scott leaves behind him, one of the richest legacies in contemporary Scottish music.
For me, Frightened Rabbit represented an awakening from the moment 'Sing the Greys' starts. A record born of frustration, boredom and suffocation that those of us from nondescript Scottish satellite towns know only too well.
However, it was through their following records that Scott found both his words and music transforming the day-to-day humdrum of their avid listeners. No record captures this better than 'Midnight Organ Fight' – a record which the band have just finished touring in support of its 10 year anniversary - on which, Scott’s ability to sing with a pointed foul-mouth about feelings of isolation, separation and loss against a background of euphoric, soaring guitars and harmonies, arranged more like chamber orchestra than resonates more this week than ever before. I’ve listened to it three times today and get as far as 'Floating in the Forth' before turning off. Knowing what awaits is too literal to stomach at this point. It’s too raw. I can’t go further.
It’s clear that Scott was haunted by some horrendous ghosts and whilst these came through in beautiful and considered angst on record, it was in his live performances where Scott’s passion manifested itself. The live performances, in particular those in support of 'Pedestrian Verse', were as visceral, heart-wrenching and unspeakably ferocious as one could imagine.
Yet between songs, Scott always managed to maintain a witty, slightly awkward veneer. I suppose this is the curse of mental illness. The stiff upper lip. Many communicate this a lot less than Scott; he was literally screaming for help, we lapped it up, we understood what he was singing about, but we couldn’t help. I suppose this is what I’m struggling to deal with today; I can’t help but feel the pang of some form of guilt.
Scott once assured us that we’d be fine in these disastrous times but right now, I’m struggling to believe him. Dark has beaten light. Today, music mourns the loss of a sweet soul and unmatched songwriting talent.
Rest peacefully now, Scott, in a way you couldn’t in life.