Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes @ Manchester Academy
When will this man stop? Not even two years since Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes' debut album, Blossom, was released; the band have played 2 Reading and Leeds sets (lined up for a third), got a punk album to number four in the charts, and once again, took a Mancunian crowd, and tore them to pieces.
Words: Jay Kirk, Photos: Cai Dixon
Returning to Manchester, just as the attendees of their last show at Gorilla are recovering, Frank Carter and his Rattlesnakes were back to headline a sold out Academy 2. With a second album, Modern Ruin, under their wing, and a thirst for live shows, the 4 piece set out to only raise the already sky high expectations of a Rattlesnakes' show.
To kick off the evening were Yonaka, but except for some dispute about the unnecessary cat-calling towards frontwoman, Theresa Jarvis, they didn't kick much off. With absolutely nothing wrong with their musical capabilities, the set just felt slightly dry and failed to get any reaction other than courteous applause from the rapidly filling Academy 2. Strange Bones were next to the stage however, and with a genre slightly more in line with the Rattlesnakes, their set brought life, energy, and some annoyingly catchy tunes! With an excellent stage presence and some real bangers, the Blackpool band were the perfect choice to get any crowd ready for what was to come.
The time came for Frank to take the stage, and then 25 minutes later he strolled on, with yet another Gucci suit, bringing a new style to the phrase, fashionably late. Before Frank even made it on stage, there was a gaping hole in the middle of the room, filled only by the anticipation of what was to come with opening song, Snake Eyes. Somehow managing to make incredible new songs from Modern Ruin, sound even better than live than record, there is little fault to be found in a Rattlesnakes' set, with musical precision from the 3 instrumentalists, and if anything, even better vocals from Mr Carter himself.
It took a mere 2 songs before Frank deemed the barrier redundant as he clambered into the crowd, screaming the raw lyrics to Juggernaut into the faces of equally passionate fans. With a setlist of songs predominantly from Modern Ruin it highlighted how well this album was received by fans, as every word was fired back to the stage in some barely discernible way as the crowd were thrown around like ragdolls.
Towards the end of the set, Neon Rust was played, a maybe under rated song on record, but a true masterpiece, and reflection of this bands talent live. Beginning slow, the crowd sing the lyrics that discuss the effect of human life on our once beautiful planet, before it builds to the angry screaming, 'We don't belong in a wasteland' that has such a profound affect on everyone in attendance as lyrics on paper, become something of passion and deeper meaning.
The band leave the stage, for Frank to return himself, with a guitar and a spotlight. First track from Modern Ruin, Bluebelle is a song originally about Carter's dog, but with memorable lyrics about death, it's very open to interpretation. Stating the first time he had ever played guitar standing was the night before, there wasn't much hope for any shredding or intricate solos, and with a few cock ups, it's a good job he has a cracking voice to make up for the shoddy instrumental.
With such an impressive start to a band in the small time-frame they have been together, it leaves us only wondering where Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes will play next, what their next album will hold, and where they will be in 5 years. But either way, there will be a fanbase always following the footsteps Frank and his bandmates are treading into the ever changing music industry.