There seems to be a growing trend of bands offering album/ticket bundles right now and I’m all for it. As part of the promotion for new album ‘End Of Suffering’, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes announced a run of intimate, low key shows at record stores and small venues.
Billed as an album release show, the only way to gain entry to either of this evening’s 2 shows (an earlier acoustic set and a later full band electric set) was to buy an album/ticket bundle from Crash Records in Leeds. £24.99 for a splatter vinyl and a ticket to see one of the hottest live acts in the country play at my favourite venue? I only had 3 words…take my money!!
“I’ve been waiting 15 fuckin’ years to play this room…don’t let me down!” says a bare-chested and sweating Frank Carter before launching himself into the baying crowd during ‘Lullaby’…or was it ‘Juggernaut’? I don’t remember, as you see a Frank Carter show is chaos, fucking chaos! I knew this, I’ve seen him a few times now, that’s why I’m standing on the steps to get a good view, far away from the rabid crowd, who want a piece of this enigmatic frontman. A man who causes manic young men and women to lose their shit for the majority of a high energy hour or so show.
It started way more chilled than I expected, especially as the last time I saw them (earlier this year at Fibbers in York) it was the excellent ‘Crowbar’ that got things off to a frantic start. The acoustic, uncredited final track on the vinyl version of ‘End Of Suffering’ lends itself well as an intro tape before the band open with ‘Why A Spider Can’t Love A Butterfly’. The atmosphere is electric as the song builds and builds to a crescendo, Frank seemingly relishing the chance to get emotional from the off.
It’s not until the following ‘Tyrant Lizard King’ that the chaos begins. The crowd are off and bouncing as one unit, already singing the words to a seemingly new crowd favourite. An old crowd favourite follows. ‘Vampires’ makes the crowd truly react as the frontman desires, a smile across his face as the darkened room becomes an animated sea of flailing arms and legs.
For the next 50 minutes or so the onstage roadie earns his crust pulling crowd surfers from the crest of a human wave and guiding them stage left. If anyone outstays their welcome, Frank grabs them by the shirt and throws them back into the chaos, with a smile.
In this claustrophobic club environment, this band truly thrives. A young blonde haired lass makes it to the stage maybe five or six times, she’s all over the frontman, much to his amusement. Elsewhere a scrawny Frank doppelganger, with dodgy tattoos and an even dodgier mustache, is having the time of his life, on his back sailing a sea of hands.
The new songs fit the set well. The regimental ‘Heartbreaker’ has the crowd fist-pumping, as guitarist Dean Richardson thrashes the riff out on his battered Telecaster. ‘Kitty Sucker’ was always going to be a highlight, and while the beautiful ‘Angel Wings’ and crowd favourite ‘Anxiety’ offers a respite from the high energy show, the intensity of ‘Devil Inside Of Me’ was always going to get the crowd going again. And if anyone was still needing more, if there was just one person who felt they didn’t get their money’s worth yet, we get ‘Crowbar’, not just once…but twice in succession.
Those who are now spent gather themselves together with just enough strength to sing the band’s ultimate hate anthem ‘I Hate You’.
It’s no fluke that Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes will play third down on the main stage below Foo Fighters at Reading/Leeds festival this year. They are one of the most exciting live bands in the country right now, with a fierce reputation. They also happen to have recorded one of the best albums of the year in my humble opinion.
The band stay true to their beliefs, they sweat and bleed to deliver for their growing fanbase night after night, and I sure hope they continue to play these intimate club shows. Tonight’s show was a one off experience. Heavy, hot and totally exciting from beginning to end… everything you desire from a live rock band and more. If you missed it, then you missed out.
Buy End Of Suffering Here
Author: Ben Hughes