The Verse’s Lennon Craig reviews Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ show at Concorde 2 on November 14th.
Frank Carter is a man with a score to settle in Brighton. When The Rattlesnakes last toured the country in February, their talismanic frontman had to settle for a much more subdued performance than we’re used to seeing from him, owed to him repeatedly having to vomit offstage mid-show. After finishing the set, Frank vowed to come back and make it up to those who were there that night. Now, just under nine months later, he’s back to make good on his word.
It may be mid-November but amongst the sold out crowd at the Concorde 2 sweat hangs thick in the air in anticipation for the return of one of the most frenetic and vitriolic live bands currently touring. A rapturous response greets the band on their arrival, who immediately drive into the pulsating, vicious punk rock that has endeared them to so many. It doesn’t take long before there are bodies and beers flying around the venue in earnest, and while debut single Fangs may gain the plaudits for inciting topless crowd surfing three songs into a set, it’s not as if they need much encouragement.
The spellbinding authority that Frank Carter is able to hold over his public is a sight to behold in itself, with security being reprimanded for attempting to remove crowd surfers from the venue. ‘No one gets ejected from a Rattlesnakes show for crowd surfing’, we’re told, ‘because otherwise you’d only see one song’. It’s for good reason to, as Frank then spends the entirety of the brutal sonic assault that is Juggernaut wading through the upstretched arms of the first few rows.
The theatre only increases as the set continues, with any lapse that may have been expected by the introduction of two brand new tracks offset by the creation of a venue-wide circle pit, and, in what may be a first, a female-friendly stage diving session. Only women are allowed to take part, to give them a break from ‘being jumped on by the ugly boys down the front’.
After a lengthy reintroduction, the motorik rhythm of Snake Eyes, with its softer, cleaner sound, sparks wild excitement from both the newer converts in attendance as well as the old hardcore, who continue moshing just as hard as before. The drama is too much for one man, who scales one of the ornate beams that run along the side of the venue before hurling himself back into the crowd from ceiling height.
Before the band finish on the ever vitriolic I Hate You, Frank reveals that he hopes to grow this band to the stage where they are one day able to headline Wembley, or Reading Festival, reasoning ‘if Bring Me The Horizon can do it, then why can’t we? Even if Oli Sykes is like the David Beckham of hardcore’. It’s in good spirits though, as he exclusively reveals that Sykes has been calling him a ‘ginger prick’ for years.
All in good humour it may be, but judging from the stratospheric rise of this band, who only formed two years ago, it may not be that unrealistic. One hugely successful album already under their belt, with another soon to come, and consistently brilliant live performances to boot, it seems as if these Rattlesnakes are shaking up something very big indeed.