Gig Review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Lee Allen

As is customary on ‘these types’ of evenings the ‘Facial Hair per attendee’ ratio was a good 30% higher than a normal gig. Yes ladies and gentlemen a certain Mr Frank Carter was in town with his Rattlesnakes to deliver their own unique brand of English hardcore punk. It was gonna be wild, gonna be raucous and gonna be a whole lot of fun.

FRANK CARTER INSTITUTE (4 of 38)

Unusually for a curfew gig, there were two support acts, coming under the auspicious of Ecca Vandal and Basement.

There’s a lot of noise around Ecca Vandal (both literally and metaphorically) partially due to Let Live’s larger than life singer Jason Aalon Butler appearing on latest single Price of Living. Dis chords a plenty, and oodles of energy accompanied the charismatic ‘Miss Vandal’ and she provided the perfect bundle of energy as Mr Carters foil.

BASEMENT (3 of 8)

BASEMENT (7 of 8)

Basement were up next and whilst I’ve always got time for a man dedicating a song to his Nan (for those interested she’s in hospital nursing a broken hip) they didn’t quite hit the spot for me. Somewhere in between a more rocky version of Mcfly/less rocky version of Green Day, the act from Ipswich are described as noisy rock on their wiki page, but it seems they sit somewhere betwixt melodic pop and punk rock and don’t fully slot into either groove. What do I know though? They had a lots of fans in the audience – possibly due to their recent reformation since splitting in 2012, so it’s most likely that I’m just an old fart who no longer appreciates what’s ‘down with the kids’.

FRANK CARTER INSTITUTE (2 of 38)

FRANK CARTER INSTITUTE (6 of 38)

On to the main event and Mr Carter made his way on to the stage like a heavyweight boxer making his way into the auditorium – moody, sultry and hood covering his head, which had the desired effect of whipping the crowd up into an even bigger frenzy. Splendid.

Sporting a rather splendid luminous green barnet, the singer and his reptilian cohorts wasted no time in belting out their own unique brand of punk. Concerns about the singers voice from his recent bout of tonsillitis quickly abated.

“Birmingham. How the fuck are you?” enquired the likeable front man, before joining the crowd surfers in the mosh pit, the only surprise being that it took until the 3rd song for him to leave the comforts of the stage. Maybe he was feeling a little under the weather after all? This was the first of many forays into crowd by the enigmatic front man and not only did it add to the excitement and overall theatre of the event, but it resulted in a rather panicky hunt for his little red box and professions of being “too old for this shit”.

FRANK CARTER INSTITUTE (20 of 38)

FRANK CARTER INSTITUTE (26 of 38)

In between social commentary on women being inappropriately manhandled by men “if anyone touches you I will cut their fucking heads off with my bare hands”, dedicating songs to the coward which is Theresa May, her cohort Trump and his nemesis Kim Jong Un who are “careering us towards World War III” and dedicating Paradise to “Terrorist Scum”, Carter treated the audience to a rip roaring, high octane show, which whilst bordering on a little crazy, REALLY worked. Delivering alternative hit after hit, from the sumptuous ‘Vampires’ to title track of second album ‘Modern Ruin’ and the rocking ‘Devil Inside Me’ all tunes were perfectly executed, knocking the proverbial socks off the partisan audience.

FRANK CARTER INSTITUTE (28 of 38)

FRANK CARTER INSTITUTE (30 of 38)

The finale came in the shape of everybody’s favourite singalong ‘I Hate You’ which genuinely brought the house down, clearly touching the emotive singer. It was a truly special night for punk rock fans in the Second City and I for one will be counting down the days to when he graces us with his presence next time round.

Take a look at the complete photoset by Lee on Flickr.

FRANK CARTER INSTITUTE (12 of 38)

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