Tonight’s headliners walk on to a body-shaking grime beat before unleashing into their explosive brand of rock. Over the next hour and a half, Carter alongside guitarist Dean Richardson, bassist Tom Barkley, drummer Gareth Glover and Thomas Mitchener (guitar/keys), show why they’re one of UK rock’s best live acts right now.
While it’s easy to praise Carter for his charismatic-yet-sincere role as frontman, as a unit, The Rattlesnakes are a blistering force, carrying their set with unrelenting energy. ‘Juggernaut’ is preceded by Carter stating this is a safe space for female audiences members, encouraging them to invade the stage. Sure enough, he’s soon surrounded by girls on stage, all in the spirit of just having a good time.
‘Vampires’ broods along with a sludgy bass groove before a handful of cuts from this year’s ‘Modern Ruin’ highlights their ability to produce anthemic rock songs with a subtle punk rock bite. While recent single, ‘Spray Paint Love’ fits in nicely with its strutting, cooler than cool tone.
As you’d expect from Carter, he’s not afraid to venture around whatever venue he’s in. Disappearing after ‘Modern Ruin’ with Richardson being a distraction on the barrier as they begin playing ‘Loss’. An absent Carter begins singing before appearing on the balcony overseeing Rock City’s legendary stage. As he makes his way down the stairs, he ends the song diving off a side barrier into a sea of euphoric fans.
By the time the chugging of ‘Devil Inside Me’ begins their fantastic four-song encore, Carter and company are beaming with broad smiles as the crowd take over his singing duties. Followed by ‘Snake Eyes’ and ‘Lullaby’, it’s clear that FC&TR are elated and thankful for the response they’re getting. The atmosphere in the sold-out room is one of unity, even during the angst-ridden finale of ‘I Hate You’.
While their elevation from intimate clubs to academy sized rooms has been rapid, on tonight’s evidence, Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes simply back it up through hard, accessible rock songs that are genuine, and by a band that grateful to be where they are. None more so than Carter himself. Having gone through some troubled times in recent years, you get the impression that his gratitude is completely genuine. There’s no ego in sight as his positivity and tireless energy radiates and connects throughout.
With stadium shows supporting Foo Fighters pencilled in for next summer, we have a feeling that Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes will give Dave Grohl and company a run for their money. (5/5)