Picture a freeze frame if you will. An agile young man is positioned mid-air between the stage and audience of Aberdeen’s Tunnels. Everyone in the venue has their eyes fixed on him, including the main focus of the evening Frank Carter and the rest of his band the Rattlesnakes, mostly because his body is tucked upside down approaching a front flip. It’s one of the many specific freeze frames you could take from tonight’s show, but how did this specific moment happen?
Before all this, openers Thee MVPs enjoy a large turnout of punters and make no waste of their brief time slot. Their playful garage rock sound is soaked in heaps of distortion which recalls the Bronx as much as it does the Pigeon Detectives, as jangly melodies intertwine with punching breakdowns on tracks like ‘A Torah for the Tourer’. Playing a youthful style of rock n’ roll, they leave the crowd impressed and show off the kind of music tonight is all about. (3/5)
As the stage is set up for Dead!, one cannot help but notice bouquets and lamps which seem to have been purchased in a BHS closing down sale being scattered on top of amps. Presumably to add an aesthetic quality of tacky motel romance, the London quartet are keen to introduce an element of sleaze across their set. This is demonstrated in the scrappy appearance of frontman Alex Mountford and the effortless swagger to ‘Skin.’ They deliver enough gusto through their performance as ‘Something More Original’ and ‘You’re So Cheap’ already see audiences singing back to them, and the delight from the band can be felt. (3/5)
As soon as the floral-suited spectacle of Frank Carter leaps onstage, the crowd grows into an unstoppable force of ecstasy as Gareth Grover starts jamming the drum intro to ‘Trouble’ before Frank sets off the crowd, who clamour to the front of the stage to sing with a man who “eight years before played in the same room with a band called Gallows to twenty people.”
From here, the show can be better measured in the number of standout moments, all testament to Frank’s incredible crowd control and command. He gets a circle pit to spill out of the main room moving backstage and into the venue’s entrance, has the entire audience sitting down during ‘Beautiful Death’ and joins guitarist Dead Richardson to perform numerous songs on top of everyone else in the room. The size of personality Carter delivers is backed by a storming set of riffs and beatdowns which sound great on festival main stages, but really have a home in intimate venues like this, as ‘Juggernaut’ and ‘Fangs’ sees everyone at their most animated.
During ‘Devil Inside Me’, an eager crowd rush the stage while one audience member gets there right as the band plays their final note. Frank points to a large amp at the far left of the stage. Knowlingly, the lad climbs the amp before Carter commands: “Do a flip!” Thus, the young chap tucks himself into a forward roll with the grace of an Olympic diver, spins a full 360 degrees before slamming into the arms of an adoring crowd, confirming Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes as the most exciting band you could watch in 2016.
Concluding the evening with a rousing rendition of ‘I Hate You’, an overwhelming satisfaction can be sensed across the room from audience members and musicians alike. Frank Carter has experienced a resurrection over the past 12 months and tonight is a display of the man’s power in full effect. (5/5)