Gig Review by Kirsty Hillyer with Gig Photos by Lee Allen

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Leamington-Spa lads Loom were first up and before they even walked on, one couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t a massive fail of a name. Loom bands, that’s all I have to say on that. Looking like The Strokes but playing Nirvana covers, one song has the melody of ‘Territorial Pissings’ down pat. Lead singer, Tark Badwan, has something of Lost Boys era Corey Feldman going on but in a taller form.

Loom

Loom

The moment he gamboled off the front of the stage into the polite space the early doors crowd left, I was hysterical with laughter. LOVED IT! More bands need to incorporate forward rolls; it’s an underrated move. Gym class with Loom continued as he nearly clotheslined the crowd with the ‘not quite extra long’ mic lead as he went walkabout.

Loom

Loom

Climbing the cross beam of the roof, after a little rest up there, Tarik nearly took out the bassist in his monkey bar climb down. He declared he would have stayed up there but didn’t have mic. Schoolboy error Tarik, schoolboy error. With another gambol and lack lustre throw of a bin across the room, his attempts at aggression that resulted in gymkhana petulance was an amusing start to the night. Like a good boy he picked the bin up, more brownie points.

Milk Teeth

Milk Teeth

Milk Teeth broke all the rules and started 3 mins early. When you’re ready there’s just no point in drawing out the waiting, especially when backstage equals a duck down behind amps and speaker stacks.

Milk Teeth

Part of the grunge resurgence a chunk of the crowd were visibly there for Milk Teeth, cue dyed dreads, oversized plaid a plenty and long hair loose. The most awesome thing were a pair of 12-year-old BFF girls front and centre whilst their Dads were at the back, they were swaying and singing aplenty.

Milk Teeth

To take the 90s feel into full effect female bassist, Becky, kicked ass and embodied the Riot Grrl energy in her delivery. Whilst most may focus on this member of the band it is drummer, Olly, who is most under utilised and the one to watch. Screaming along with lyrics, I just wanted someone to pass him the mic. Awash with a bubbling fury he hits hard, incites the crowd and has a great rapport with lead singer, Josh, who excels in awkward scissor kicks and bouncing.

Milk Teeth

Despite a remarkable similarity to Greenday’s Brainstew/Jaded riff on one of their songs, these guys are worth checking out for that 90s garage rock, grunge sound. Playing with an intensity and fire that will sure to take them far. Their penultimate track sees them barely contain the urge to break stuff before they take it down a notch with final song Trampoline. When a band gives you so much that their bassist Is lying on the floor spent with fresh ladders in their tights whilst the drummer hits themselves in the head then they are worthy of your respect and attention.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

The air was thick with building anticipation for Frank Carter’s latest incarnation and what promise of former brutal delivery. A break to the tension was found as the crowd heartily ooohed along to Weezer’s ‘Buddy Holly’ and as I scanned the room one couldn’t help but wonder if the venues for this tour were scouted for hardcore parkour potential.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

The crowd still left a semi circle of open dance floor and after the cheers for The Rattlesnakes entrance, Frank declared “I haven’t seen something like this since I was 14, get in”. His combination of humbleness and assertiveness never fails to gain idolatry; “Thanks for coming to see a band with only 3 songs I wouldn’t have done that”.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

With one foot on the monitor and his hand behind his back the pit closed in and went off as the stage was offered up to them. Opening with secret track Loss in ‘loud’ form they kicked off proceedings hard despite them passing around a cold to each other.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Now whilst you may expect and want me to write more about this set, especially in comparison to the detail on the supports, I don’t want to ruin any future experience you’ll have seeing this band and hearing the album.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

We were treated into insights behind each song, with a very real and raw emotion which saw a bit of an onstage breakdown. The EP was played to mass sing-a-longs and clapping. It only took till ‘Fangs’ as their third in the set to see Frank climb the speaker stacks, that were practically to the ceiling, to dive into the crowd and lose his mic in the process.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank’s wry smile of mischief and basking in the energy of the room is a reflection on what an authentic and inclusive show it was between band and crowd.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

As the band name suggests this to be all about Frank, it really isn’t. Whilst he may be the draw, as you watch this band you are excited to see what’s next to come. Former Ghost of a Thousand drummer, Memby Jago, drums with such intensity it provides the foundation for the dirty, driving delivery of songs about loss, the economy, relationships and national feeling of despair.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Its from the harshest of what life has to give that we find the greatest sense of empathy, community and solace from music. Whilst it sucks that Frank’s return is out of one of the worst periods of his life, the outcome is charged with a necessary release. As Frank says about their album dropping in August “Steal it, download it, whatever, I don’t give a fuck. Just listen to it”. This band is the next evolution of what Frank Carter has to give, perfectly combing the vitriol of Gallows and the melodic vulnerability of Pure Love.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

The DIY essence permeates this band from the garage recordings of the songs, the Frank organised tour and the underground basement feels to the shows.

“At 31 its a violent punk rock tour thats hurting me” – Frank Carter

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

With them added to Reading/Leeds festival you won’t be seeing them in such tiny venues again. As the images attest, if you missed it then you missed out. I’ll finish with the words from the pit “Birmingham loves the Rattlesnakes” so come back soon.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Itching for more visual delights from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ Birmingham gig? Well, take a look at the full photo set (57 photos) over at Flickr. And then head over to Lee’s blog for a superb Frank Carter stage dive photo montage!

3 Responses to “Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes + Milk Teeth + Loom at The Rainbow, Birmingham, UK – 7th June 2015”

  1. lee allen Says:

    Your best review yet Kirsty… blomin nailed it!

  2. john bentley Says:

    Fantastic!!! Just like we were there!

  3. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes + Blackhole + Creeper at The Rainbow, Birmingham, UK – 20th October 2015 Says:

    […] in June, Frank Carter brought his bunch of Rattlesnakes to the Rainbow for what was only their seventh gig together… […]

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