After starting his musical career as a British punk-rock icon back in 2006 with his first band Gallows, Frank Carter has had what you might call a ‘varied’ career thus far. Finding astronomical success with his work in Gallows on the now-ten-year-old ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ and it’s successor, ‘Grey Britain’, he then went on to form the critically divided Pure Love, a short-lived project with a two year life span. Fast forward to 2015, and Frank Carter was back with his new band The Rattlesnakes, a four piece outfit featuring both himself and former Heights guitarist Dean Richardson. A return to the frontman’s glory days of sweaty punk rock, the band’s debut ‘Blossom’ saw massive success. Now, on the eve of announcing his brand new record, ‘Modern Ruin’, Carter has made the decision to truly return to roots, by playing a show in what could effectively described as a tunnel-cafe. Lovely.
Donning an outrageous white suit, Carter decides to begin his little soiree by making his way through the crowd to what could only be described as ‘stage-floor’, wasting little time introducing him and the rest of his band. Grasping the mic to calmly inform the crowd just who stands before them (“My name is Frank Carter … and we are The Rattlesnakes”), the band launch into a predictably raucous rendition of ‘Trouble’, including the first bout of crowd surfing antics from the man himself, in a room that could only truly allow some form of ‘ceiling-walking’.
Ripping through a selection of new material as well as tried and true favourites in ‘Fangs’, ‘Juggernaut’ amongst others, Carter commands the crowd with almost unbelievable ease, inciting chaos on the floor as well as calling for a sit-down/jump-up Mexican wave to culminate the end of ‘Devil Inside Me’. Debuting brand new track ‘Lullaby’, Carter fears a ‘dip in atmosphere’ as he moves to unknown material, but to claim a drop in enthusiasm would be an outright lie, as the room continued to push, pull and tear itself apart.
Despite the chaos, it would be hard to fault Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on their absolute commitment to reinventing themselves with each passing record. Whilst tracks such as ‘Snake Eyes’ and ‘Lullaby’ yield a more passive, careful sound, Carter & his ‘snakes decided to throw in title track ‘Modern Ruin’ for good measure, and rest assured, if you were worried the band may have thrown in the punk-rock towel, your fears may rest easy. A white-hot, aggressive two-minute exercise in rage and spite, the song quickly picks a room full of tired, beaten onlookers back to full speed.
Of the several stand-out moments throughout the evening, special mention must be given to the band’s (well, Carter & Richardson’s) rendition of ‘Beautiful Death’, a song dedicated to ‘anyone who has lost somebody’. Requesting each and every audience member take a knee, what follows is a tender, heartfelt few minutes of true affection, with pained vocals from Carter and gentle picking from Richardson. Sombre, yet unwaveringly poetic in it’s live form, Carter thanks the crowd for their respect and commitment to the performance. It’s a beautiful sight to behold, that’s for sure.
Finishing their set with fan-favourite ‘I Hate You’, Carter thanks the crowd for the energy and ‘still being here’, to which an onlooker would shout “It’s the energy you give!”. He couldn’t be more right. Finishing the show atop one of the several tables enclosing the floor, Carter ends the show with an extended refrain, ushering in the now long, agonising wait for the release of ‘Modern Ruin’ in January, and I for one, cannot wait.