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Live: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

19 August 15 words: Alex Phelan
The former Gallows frontman brought his latest outfit to Rough Trade
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes launched their album with a Rough Trade in-store

Rough Trade knew what to expect inviting Frank Carter to play in-store with his new outfit. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are a return to the angry days of Gallows, a band in which Carter was a force of nature and reached iconic status in the rock community. They still might not have expected a circle pit around their café, with fans literally hanging from the rafters, but that’s what happened anyway.

With red hair, a hard stare and countless tattoos, Carter was an unmistakable presence as he took to the stage and the small room resonated with applause. He was vitriolic towards his former management, and announced with satisfaction that new album Blossom had hit forth in the UK chart before the band tore into opener Loss and mayhem erupted.

Anyone expecting that time had tamed the beast were quickly proved wrong as their aggressive attack sent you reeling. This was shock and awe hardcore punk, combining the old-school rough-edged and abrasive delivery of Carter with more contemporary blasts of heavy guitar. The frontman spat out typically spiky lyrics and did so with unquestionable passion.

As second track Trouble motored into being with its thunderous bass a pit opened out in the crowd and Carter was smiling from ear to ear. Between songs he had the audience eating anecdotes out of his hands, but was also keen emphasise the darker side of Blossom and how he had written the record to help him cope with troubling events in his life.

He followed this with a sobering rendition of Loss (Part 2) with just him and guitarist Dean Richardson. He sung a cleaner vocal, although still with a slight gravel to it, and showed that his voice has some real quality as he bared his damaged soul. The respite was short lived however, as Beautiful Death had Carter screaming his mind as he lambasted terrorism.

Shortly after Fangs had prompted the aforementioned circle pit, he had his audience join him on stage for closing number I Hate You, and what followed was a fittingly chaotic end to an evening of brash and audacious punk rock. Bodies flew everywhere, microphones were grabbed, drinks were dropped and Rough Trade rocked to the sound of Carter singing “I hate you and I wish you would die.”

Frank’s back, and he’s very, very angry.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes performed at Rough Trade on Monday 17 August 2015.

Blossom by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes is out now via International Death Cult.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes website

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