Michael Pedersen's Oyster Party for Scott Hutchison: 'We're completing a circle he started drawing for us'

This article is from 2018

EIBF 2018 Preview: Michael Pedersen's Oyster Party for Scott Hutchison

credit: Kat Gollock

Previously planned as a joint event now reconfigured as a celebration of the Frightened Rabbit frontman's life and art

In 2017, Edinburgh-based poet and co-promoter of the infamous music and spoken word night Neu! Reekie! Michael Pedersen launched Oyster, his second collection of poems, with illustrations from Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison. Following Hutchison's death earlier this year, Pedersen has decided to go ahead with this year's EIBF event in tribute to his friend.

'We met when Scott agreed to play Neu! Reekie! in our first year of existence way back when, saying, "I'd be honoured to, I didn't realise I was cool enough to play Neu! Reekie!" He discarded the mic and ambled around the room serenading the awe-struck audience; of course he was cooler than us, but humble as fuck and lush from the word go. We got on magnetically and we lived about a 15 second walk from one another, so that was that.

'Doing Oyster together was as much about creating a jointly-parented live show as it was about bringing a product into the world, a wee monument to friendship. In Scott's words illustration is the only thing he was trained to do, his work boasts deft hidden detail and it seemed to open something playful yet accomplished in him. If you look at the cover of Oyster there are two skilfully obfuscated obscenities – not sure the publisher has spotted them yet!

'This is not me deciding to throw an event to honour Scott, not my "memorial" event. It's a resculpting of something we were due to do together, something I didn't want to lose, and an opportunity for friends, family, fans and loved ones to come together and celebrate him. Myself, Scott, Hollie McNish and Withered Hand (Dan Willson) had performed together a couple of times as the Cold Turkey Collective, so that we should do this together came to me fast.

'I've also invited an LA-based writer and friend of Scott's from his time in the States, Elizabeth Hanks, as we've became close since Scott's passing. I like to think we're completing a circle he started drawing for us. We all miss him on levels it's hard to comprehend, we are lost and confused, but there's something in that which unifies us.'

Michael Pedersen's Oyster Party for Scott Hutchison

Prize-winning poet and Neu! Reekie! co-founder, Michael Pedersen pays homage to a dear friend and Scottish hero recently lost: Frightened Rabbit frontman and artist Scott Hutchison. Pedersen and Hutchison launched the poet’s second collection *Oyster*, which Scott deftly illustrated, at the Book Festival last year and a…