LIVE: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ Electric Ballroom, Camden

By Christopher Lee

Last time we caught up with Frank Carter he was just embarking on this current tour. His enthusiasm for playing live coupled with the fact that as far as front men go you’d be pretty hard pushed to find anyone better out there, means that ever since we’ve been gagging to see what he had in store for us tonight. Between then and tonight Frank and co. have blazed across Europe and the UK playing no less than 26 shows, demolishing venue after venue.

Walking on stage to a crescendo of roaring delight, Frank emanates confidence, he’s been doing this for well over a decade now all be it with various bands and has collected an army of fans along the way. The floor erupts into a sea of movement as the band kick off proceedings with ‘Trouble’ and there’s an electric atmosphere throughout the Electric Ballroom which is packed wall to wall. It’s not long before Frank ends up in the crowd almost walking on the sea of people whilst powering through ‘Fangs’ and ‘Rotten Blossom’ with a ferocity that not many bands can replicate.

Returning to the stage Frank addresses the crowd “How the f**K you doing London? Thanks for coming down to Camden for this sold out show!” the fact that the band have sold out every single date on the UK leg of this tour is something that clearly fills him with pride and shows through a huge beaming smile on his face. Up next is ‘Lullaby’ and Franks asks everyone to sit down with the majority of the room adhering however there’s one person in the room who can’t sit for their own reasons and as a couple of fellow people in the crowd decide to berate her Frank steps up and immediately puts an end to this by asking “What the f**K do you know about their life? They’ve already said they can’t sit down and I respect that” which draws a huge round of applause from the crowd. The song finally gets underway which prompts a huge explosion of silver confetti as Frank orchestrates the crowd to bounce with almost everyone obliging.

Up next is ‘Juggernaut’ which again causes the floor to erupt into chaos, something that a couple of guys in the mosh pit get a bit carried away with and Frank has to stop the show briefly to single them out and ask “What happened there? Are you guys ok? It’s alright, it’s a punk show it happens!” which draws a burst of laughter from the room turning what could have been an ugly situation into something funny. Frank then commands his army to open the biggest circle pit the room can handle “I wanna see it going all around the sound desk! Circle pits are fun!” as we’re treated to another new track ‘Jackals’

Things then take a somewhat sombre but beautiful tone as flanked by guitarist Deano, Frank tells how he wrote the song ‘Beautiful Death’ for his Father in Law who unfortunately passed away before his daughter was born and dedicates it to anyone who has ever lost a loved one. It’s a beautiful rendition which brings a tear to the eye and illustrates that amongst all the chaos of a Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes show there’s an incredible voice. Back to upping the pace and next we are treated to another new song in title track ‘Modern Ruin’ and Frank declares that it’s crowdsurfing time as no one knows the music or the lyrics! But only for the girls, tasking the guys with looking out for them and being gentleman. Bringing the set to an end with a storming rendition of ‘Paradise’ which sees guitarist Deano surfing through the crowd whilst playing. There’s a brief encore which Frank takes the time to tell us about the last time he played this venue back with Gallows, “it was sold out that night and now we’ve sold out every single night on this tour. Never give up on your dreams that’s why I’m up here in a Gucci suit playing punk rock! And I wear it better…” an obvious message for Robbie Williams which draws laughter from the crowd before the room spontaneously begin to sing ‘Angels’ and much to everyone’s delight Frank joins in too claiming “I even sing his songs better!”

Gareth on drums then launches into an awesome solo before we’re back to it with ‘Snake Eyes’ which gets everyone back to bouncing. Frank then checks how we’re feeling before getting everyone down low during the intro to ‘Devil Inside Me’ as the whole crowd jump up a la Slipknot. Before the final song Frank takes the time to thank everyone for coming, his whole family is here tonight and it’s been an incredible evening. He also thanks everyone working tonight, the security, bar staff, venue staff, merch. He then introduces each band member Dean, Gareth and Tom before taking one more moment to “Soak it all in” before his now customary  “My name is Frank Carter and I.. Hate.. You!” the last track ends with the entire crowd singing the lyrics along with Frank.

It’s a fitting end to what has been an incredible, emotional and chaotic evening. Frank almost commands the room who seem to bow to his every instruction. The Rattlesnakes only seem to get even better every time we see them and with Frank they have one of the best, if not THE best frontman in rock. With the bands second album due out early next year and having just announced a new UK tour in March it’s certainly an exciting time in the world of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.