FRANK Carter and the Rattlesnakes took to Star & Garter in Manchester last night, Quays News entertainment reporter Will Stevenson was there…

Since Frank Carter’s first band, Gallows,  burst on to the scene in the mid 2000s he’s been infamous for one thing above all; above even his consistently stellar musical output. Frank Carter is infamous for his awe inspiring, intense live show. So when his latest band, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, announced they’d be playing a string of tiny UK dates in October tickets flew out, despite the band having just one album to their name.

Though all the tickets were sold out before either support act was announced both Creeper and Black Hole go down well with the hundred strong crowd. Creeper in particular look to be set for big things; with just two EPs to their name the melancholic, Southampton based grunge-punks set was filled with tunes that got a few dedicated fans singing and head banging along and surely convinced the rest of the room to take an interest in the band. Front man Will Gould has both the look and stage presence nailed to be headlining stages of this size and beyond himself in the coming years.

Soon after Creeper are done, Black Hole take the stage. They’re notably the heaviest band of the night, filling the room with crushing breakdowns and harsh vocal screams from the start. Still, they do flourish their beat down hardcore with interesting guitar riffs that manage to distinguish them from the also-ran hardcore crowd, if only slightly.

After the decent warm up, it was time for Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. Bursting onto the stage with ‘Primary Explosive’, Frank wastes no time in getting the audience screaming back the lyrics into his face, igniting mosh pits and causing chaos throughout the venue. In his third band now, Frank’s bag of stage tricks is expansive yet never seems forced; about halfway into the set, Frank descends from the stage to take to the centre of the floor, where he performs an emotional rendition of “Beautiful Death” to a captive audience, dedicating it to his deceased father-in-law. As the song reaches its climax, Carter’s voice cracks and strains – his emotions were on full display. For almost any other performer, this would come off as either insincere or try-hard but here it’s just quite indescribably raw.

Never one to let the energies in a room lapse for long, Frank makes his way back to the stage to perform one of The Rattlesnakes’ grooviest songs: “Fangs.” The room, seconds before sat in an appreciative silence, explodes into circle pits, dancing and moshing once more. The song signals the beginning of the end of the set; it’s followed up by The Rattlesnake’s biggest hitter in the form of the brutal “Juggernaut,” where Frank looks a man possessed as he strides around the stage, ferocious and fearsome. After that, they blast through new song “Jackals” and the climactic “Paradise” before inviting the entire crowd onto the stage for the blues rock style “I Hate You,” where he pokes fun at people crowd surfing to the least heavy song of the evening.

Notably the gig ends without an encore, but it doesn’t need one. Frank and co. put their soul into the last hour and a bit of music and anything more would have ruined the intimate gig. The crowd don’t demand one: when Frank Carter says a gig’s done, it’s done.

By: Will Stevenson

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