Review + Photos by Lee Allen

With the announcement of new album ‘End of Suffering’ Frank and his merry band of Rattlesnakes announced a batch of intimate shows to launch their third album onto the world. A chance for them to blow off the cobwebs and for Frank to stand on people again. Tonight saw them kick their way into coventry to terrorise a sold out Empire.

FRANK CARTER (18 of 22)

Before Frank we were treated to Black Futures. A duo who deal in “future punk with a FUCK for good measure” (their words not mine). Space and Vibes (yep thats their names!) take to the stage flanked by white suited flag bearers and proceeded to confuse the shit out of me. Before the show I had seen them described as having a sound somewhere between Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys and Death From Above 1979 what I actually got was a faux Jon Spencer Blues Explosion covers band with the electronics of Enter Shikari. The singers (Space or Vibes – delete as applicable) accent flitted from British to American and all the talk of “brothers and sisters this is your movementttttttttttt” got a tad grating. Affected facial ticks and constant gurning felt a little forced at times but saying that I can fault their energy and commitment to what felt more like sci-fi inspired art project than a punk band. By the end of the set I felt like I had just had a McDonald’s Happy Meal – kinda fun to eat but not satisfying and ultimately all you end up with is something shiny – in this case it’s the pictures I took.

BLACK FUTURES  (19 of 25)

BLACK FUTURES  (13 of 25)

BLACK FUTURES  (4 of 25)

And so to Mr Carter…

But first a caveat: I have been shooting Frank for 12 years… We have hung out… he’s tattooed me in a hotel room… he’s a mate. It’s hard to be critical. Even more so when at the moment he seems happier than he has been for a long while.

Tonight set starts with latest single ‘Crowbar’ and the Empire erupts… The ill feeling that permeated the room before the show (football chants and a brawl yay!) vanish and good honest positive aggression take over. Half way through the first song Frank is hit with a pint and he laughs it off something Frank of old may not have done.

FRANK CARTER (3 of 22)

FRANK CARTER (2 of 22)

FRANK CARTER (9 of 22)

The feel good bounce of ‘Lullaby’ is next and the crowd surfers start… Frank beaming like a kid on Christmas morning. Guitarist Dean has grown over the years from that amazing guitarist to the right of Frank into a whirling maniac, grinning like a loon as he despatches riff after riff. Song three is ‘Tyrant Lizard King’ from the new album and Frank is off into the crowd. From here on it’s a blur of circle pits, headstands in the crowd and waves of crowd surfers. Finishing with the a bruising ‘I Hate You’ the Rattlesnakes head off into the night.

Frank wants to take the Rattlesnakes into Stadiums and currently there isn’t anything that can really stop them. A high spot on the Reading bill and surely a top ten album when it drops this surely is the year of the Rattlesnake.

See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

FRANK CARTER (10 of 22)

FRANK CARTER (21 of 22)

FRANK CARTER (13 of 22)

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