Since then, Frightened Rabbit has multiplied into a 10-legged Scottish indie-rock titan whose latest long-player, Pedestrian Verse, crashed the UK Top 10 last month. The group are now favourites on Radio 1 and muscular, melodic anthems like The Woodpile and State Hospital feel ready-made for rock arenas.
Yet what struck at this first homecoming show (they play Glasgow Barrowland tonight) was that Hutchison still thrives when he is and alone in the headlights. His solo acoustic rendition of Poke, from 2008's Midnight Organ Fight, had the crowd out-singing him verbatim (as has long been a live tradition) and it vividly showcased Hutchison's knack for writing fragile, rabble-rousing songs.
Midnight Organ Fight also provided several full-band highlights – Head Rolls Off, The Modern Leper and My Backwards Walk – but that album's hugely popular centrepiece, Keep Yourself Warm was conspicuous by its absence. So too was their debut single, Be Less Rude, from 2006 calling card Sing The Greys. The venue's sound did the band few favours, especially on their new material, and it slightly undermined the impact of Grant Hutchison's excellent drums, which are as cardinal, forceful and eloquent as his brother's words. Similarly, the sight of four guitars onstage didn't tally with the strangely muted volume. But their songs, and Pedestrian Verse, shone through, notably on Late March, Death March and Acts Of Man – the latter of which saw a largely male room croon: "I am just like all the rest of them; sorry, selfish, trying to improve" in falsetto, and offered a hair-raising reminder that Frightened Rabbit are rare indeed.