After adding a single extra date to their sold out UK headline tour back in October, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are back to cause havoc in Camden’s Underworld, bringing destruction and ferocity in their wake. Naturally, I’m a fan of narrowly missing flying kicks to the head, so I went on down to get a bruise or two.
The last time I saw Brawlers was opening for THE HELL at Bloomsbury Bowl a few miles from here, and while I wasn’t in a state to review the show, I was thoroughly impressed with the band’s presence amongst such a different crowd, one that I would usually label as more hostile toward this kind of music. However, tonight the band were clearly in their element, with a crowd that seemed to be with them 100% from the outset. Arguably the catchiest band of the night, the performance held a huge amount of sing alongs for potential fans, and even more for the fans already there. The Leeds based punk-rockers threw everything into their set and it showed, bringing all they could to their stellar performance. Watch out for Brawlers, because they have a lot to give.
I’ll be honest, I had no idea that God Damn were supporting until the evening before the gig, so naturally I was very pleased with such a surprise. The industrial Rob Zombie brainchild float-rockers put on a stunning show, proving that it’s not only Royal Blood that can master the previously impossible two-man show. Sonically, the band sound as huge as any other, making incredibly smart use of any dynamics they can grasp, putting a sharper edge on their live sound than on record. A multitude of effects pedals and ear-splitting amps contribute to an almost crushing sense of claustrophobic impact, forcing God Damn to hold their own on a bill they wouldn’t necessarily usually be playing. Listen to God Damn, people.
Well, what can I say about Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes you don’t already know at this point. I’ll do my best to keep it as fresh as I can then, shall I? Opening with Primary Explosive, the crowd were rabid and ready for anything, giving it a mere two or three songs before Frank decided to join us on the floor, screaming in the face of anybody willing to let him (or not, in some cases). Bashing out a set made up of the band’s single album, two songs being played twice and one new song (it’s bloody fantastic), the band managed to stretch out their 30-odd minutes of material to an action packed hour riddled with stage dives and absolutely relentless circle-pits. Frank’s decision to move venues the morning of the show doesn’t seem to have deterred a single one of these die-hard fans and the lack of barrier he coveted so much clearly paid off.
It’s been a few years since I’ve seen Frank Carter grace a stage, and it’s nice to see that very little has changed. To compare him to a rabid Chihuahua would be accurate but unfair, given the pipes the man wields, and given his incredible temper. Several breaks in the night’s proceedings included taking a vote for smashing a fans phone (he didn’t!), dedicate songs to his wife and family and one absolutely unforgettable moment in which he requested the crowd calm down and take a seat whilst he launched into a beautiful rendition of Beautiful Death. Culminating in a room wide stage-invasion (before you ask, of course I did), the only way to describe the night was special. Not many things come close to what the sold out crowd of The Underworld experienced tonight, and few things ever will.