Frank Carter on a school nite in Swansea, let’s have a bit of that. I’ll be upfront, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, knowing what Gallows were like live I was a little bit unsure how or even what the setlist would be like, how far Frank would delve back into what’s let’s be honest is a rather blinding back catalogue. Truth be told the set that followed was put together from equal parts Blossom, Modern ruin and the soon to be released End of suffering, I suppose as Frank has battled through some demons, hinted at tonight he has grown and developed his songwriting, used the experiences and the three albums mentioned as a Cathartic experience and is now much more settled, while retaining that bit of an edge that holds the older fans interests.


But let’s not forget there was another band on first the rather splendid Black Futures, I suppose not having heard anything prior can sometimes be a hindrance or conversely leave you with a blank slate no preconceptions, in this case, it definitely opened my mind up to what the guys were presenting. With the two dancer’s, One either side in has-mat suits and shades and the industrial noise and intense strobe lighting between them I have to admit they perked up my interest straight away, at times veering /careering through KMFDM, NIN, Skinny Puppy influences what you ended up with was a great post-punk Industrial noise hitting you full on, slightly anarchic, all over the place, lots of ideas that can only develop over time, very much like another new band out there Sleep Token, be great to see them out as a doubleheader (If any promoters brave enough!!) they are definitely a band that I’ll check out again.


With an early doors finish tonight after a very short break we’re in to the main event, what was great was the feeling of being at an old school gig, the whole crowd up for it, singing/hanging on every word, the mosh pits grew and grew, the crowd surfing increased and just about everyone was up for a good time. Opening up with Crowbar was a no-brainer, but I’m not quite sure why it put in another appearance later in the set, the tracks from Modern Ruin I have to be honest stood out for me, I’m still singing Lullaby almost 3 days later, in fact looking back there wasn’t a track that you could say didn’t hit the mark the band were relentless, but at the same time the End of Suffering tracks seem to be moving in a different direction, more restrained, less angst, but pointing towards a crossover, not into the mainstream, but crossing genres picking up new fans along the way. On the strength of this performance, you can see some big festival appearances high up the bill later this year. Case in point “Heartbreaker”, with a female only stage diving section and the highlighting of the fact that women should be allowed to stage dive without the fear of being groped, something that seems to have permeated the psyche of a certain type of gig going pervert, thankfully very much in the minority. The shout out to mental health issues within “Anxiety” again pushed a strong message out there and as mentioned I think showing a band and front-man growing more confident allowing their natural voice to come through. Standouts tonight for me Lullaby, Trouble, Acid Veins and a rather blinding Devil inside me, finishing off with the crowd led “I hate you”!! I suppose the thing I took from tonight was how far Frank has moved things forward from the Gallows days, this band and this music is going in a new direction, shedding its skin so to speak, coming through more colourful and vibrant, but losing a bit of that old school attitude/comfort. There’s a balancing act going on and one that’s being managed well, new fans and old coming together and providing a defiantly old school arena to perform within “Long live the new flesh”.

author: Nev Brooks Pics : Johnny Hayward