THEY’VE only been a band for just shy of two years but Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes kicked off a huge UK tour on Wednesday 2nd November in Manchester at Gorilla – with all but two dates selling out completely.
The band was formed by the former frontman of Gallows and Pure Love, Frank Carter incorporating both the hardcore punk and alt rock stylings of his previous projects..
In May 2015, the band’s first EP was released. Very soon after this, in August “Blossoms” followed as their first full album.
Tonight, The MVPs are the first support act.
When they take to the stage at 7.30 there’s only about 50 people in the roughly 600 capacity venue, however, by the end of their set the room has started to fill out a lot more.
Despite them being the first act on stage and people still making their way to the show when they come on they take to the stage with the enthusiasm you’d expect for a full venue.
— Birthday Cake For Breakfast (@BirthdayCakeFB) November 2, 2016
The second support act brings a mysterious presence to the stage before their set even begins. Lamp shades and bunches of fake flowers have been placed on amp heads during the bands changeover and set up time.
The band go by the name DEAD! Their music changes pace a lot, weaving in and out of drum solos and guitar breaks. The frontman himself has a unique voice.
It’s very much a love or hate style but it goes with the sharp guitar choices and the changes which happen in each of their songs in terms of style and chord progression.
By the time Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes take to the stage the room is full to the brim – with the show originally selling out so fast that another 100 tickets were released.
Frank himself has been known for his energetic performances for his entire music career. So as he takes to the stage in a full Gucci suit it is no surprise that the audience are ecstatically cheering.
The crowd feed off the energy of the band with several stage dives before Frank address the crowd as he crowd surfs on them himself and says “walk me into the middle of this f***ing room, let’s go.”
Once he arrives, the band begin one of the Rattlesnakes most popular songs “Juggernaut”. For the most part of this song Frank sings the lyrics whilst still being held up by the crowd.
Directly after this Frank introduces the next song in the set as one written for his one year old daughter; “Lullaby” with lyrics “Sing you a lullaby every night. Just shut your eyes. We will be alright.”
Throughout the set, Carter continues to expresses his love for both her and his wife and it’s very clear he’s in a hugely positive headspace.
Frank and the band keep this upbeat atmosphere going, revving the crowd further and further asking the crowd to “open the dance floor up.”
At one point, Frank takes a phone from a fan stood filming in the front row to film himself up close as he performs before handing it back.
The set is then deliberately slowed down for one of their most emotional songs “Beautiful Death.”
For this, the crowd is told to sit down; “Everybody have a seat, sit the f*** down.”
When about two thirds of the room has sat down Frank continues…
“This song is for my wife. I didn’t have the words and I don’t think she had the words at the time. But I don’t think anyone has the words when they have lost someone that the love very much. This song is for all the people that we wish we could celebrate this moment with. This song is for them and this song is for you.”
It’s quite amazing to see the crowd patiently stay sat down and sing along, the complete opposite to the crowd surfing and stage diving that has been happening during every song prior to this.
It is however a wonderful way to break up the set and one that even manages to bring tears to some of the most hardened punk rockers eyes.
— thisisGORILLA (@thisisgorilla) November 3, 2016
Next, Frank and the band launch into a new song.
Frank makes jokes about the crowd not knowing any words and how they will find this part of the set boring but it is greeted with the same amount of positive energy that the crowd have been enthusiastically giving all night, regardless of them never having heard the song before.
As the set then continues into its last few songs, the crowd find themselves holding one of the guitarists up in the same way they did Frank at the beginning of the set;
“Don’t drop him, that’s my pension,” Frank cracks.
Paradise is played during this with the frontman himself again jumping into the crowd as well.
The atmosphere is bursting with excitement throughout the song before the band leave the stage afterwards to prepare for the encore.
When the band return on stage thank yous are given out to the people who have helped make the show possible as well as an announcement that the band will be back in March and that tickets will go on sale on Frank’s daughter’s birthday on the 18th November.
The final song is “I Hate You.” And is introduced in true Rattlesnakes fashion; “this song is about that one person who has been a piece of s*** since day one, I wrote this for you.”
After this Frank does one last crowd surf, all the way to the back of the venue and up the stairs to the merchandise, before taking a bow and exiting through the back door that leads into Gorilla’s main restaurant area.
As the band thank the crowd one last time, it’s hard to think of anyone in music who has the same level of charisma and compassion the ginger punk and his band of rogues.
By Bethany Halfpenny