LIVE: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes/ Blackhole @ Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

By Lais

Tonight sees Frank Carter, the former frontman of both Gallows and Pure Love, bring his solo project to Cardiff’s legendary Clwb Ifor Bach. This is the last night of his headline tour, and he makes sure he ends it with a bang. The show sold out a long time ago, and everybody present is champing at the bit to see Frank Carter’s famously incendiary live show.

First up tonight are the mighty Creeper. Sadly we miss them due to timing issues, but by all accounts, they were just as brilliant as they always are. Next sees the return of Blackhole, who have always been woefully underrated. Just in case you’re not familiar with them already, Blackhole are fronted by Frank Carter’s younger brother, Richard Carter, and they released an unbelievable debut album (‘Dead Hearts’) back in 2009 before splitting up in 2010.

Considering they’ve been split up for five years, it was a pretty great surprise to hear they’d be reforming and touring with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, so to actually see them back in action is fantastic. They’ve still got that genuinely raw sound, and the aggression and sheer passion on tracks like ‘Forever’ is still just as great as it was six years ago. Welcome back, Blackhole. You were missed.

And last but not least are the mighty Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. There’s a reason Frank Carter is one of the most recognisable frontmen in rock music, and that is the passion and anger in his music, but above all, his explosive performances. And on all fronts, tonight’s show does not disappoint.

As you would expect from any show that involves Frank Carter, there’s a great deal of swinging from the ceiling, jumping from speakers, numerous crowdsurfers and immeasurable levels of chaos. There’s even a bit of beef with someone in the audience, but it’s all exactly what you’d expect from the fiery frontman.

However, the chaotic nature of the show itself is secondary to the actual quality of the songs and the emotion shown through the music itself. Debut album ‘Blossom’ came out back in the summer, and it’s a remarkable collection of both delightfully rowdy tracks (see ‘Juggernaut’) and songs that ooze emotion (see ‘Beautiful Death’).

The setlist manages to combine both the raw aggression and heartbreaking emotion shown on the album, and there are some truly special moments tonight. One of which involves Frank Carter standing on the floor, with the whole crowd sitting in a circle around him with their phones lit up, as he unleashes the pure emotion that comes from experiencing terrible loss.

Tonight Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes have truly delivered the goods in every imaginable form: from sheer chaos to some truly special moments that tug at the heartstrings, this show has been incredibly special. Here’s to many more nights like this one.