LIVE REVIEW: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ Academy, Manchester (12/02/2020)

Credit: Emma Stone

Date: February 12th 2020
Venue: Academy, Manchester
Support: Ho99o9 / Cleopatrick


Last year, Frank Carter managed to achieve with his current project Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes something he didn’t quite attain with his previous outfits (Gallows and Pure Love): release a third album.

‘End Of Suffering’ is a record that came as the product and acted as a catharsis for Carter to deal with some personal changes in his life, and saw the revered British frontman expose himself at his most vulnerable, self-reflective, and human. The rewards are ongoing, including the band’s biggest headline show to date tonight at Manchester’s Academy selling out several months in advance.

Canadian duo Cleopatrick [7] are tasked with greeting everyone first, and they make sure that the room has their attention pretty quickly. Combining a mix of Royal Blood, Foo Fighters, and ‘Puzzle’ era Biffy Clyro, songs like ‘Family Van’ and ‘Hometown’ are vibrant, and when vocalist/guitarist Luke Gruntz eggs the crowd to give a bit more energy, they happily comply.

Ho99o9 [7], though, as per usual, are a different beast entirely. In fact, they’re always a beast of their own on any bill that they’re a part of. Eaddy jumps against the barriers and shouts in the faces of the front row of the crowd nice and early during ‘ShadowRUN’, but it doesn’t take long for co-vocalist theOGM to join in and display just how deadly the duo are.

The chaotic combo of hip-hop and hardcore punk is destructive in all of the right ways, and the dominating bass exploding through the speakers alongside the live percussion, courtesy of drummer Billy Rymer, really adds a beating heart to monstrous tracks like ‘City Rejects’ and ‘The Dope Dealerz’.

A somewhat warning message of sorts plays over the speakers whilst Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes [9] progressively take to the stage, setting the scene for the band’s career-spanning set that is to follow. Carter is elevated on a mini-stage platform of his own aside his fellow bandmates, and they kick things off by diving into ‘Why A Butterfly Can’t Love A Spider’.

From here on out, we see time and time again why Carter has been and continues to be revered as one of the most prolific and esteemed frontmen in rock today. It takes him just a few minutest to pounce to the crowd and clamber to his feet atop them for ‘Tyrant Lizard King’, and then we blast right into the band’s ferocious punk rock past with the aptly-titled ‘Juggernaut’.

What makes Carter stand out from out from his peers, however, is not only the fact that he constantly emanates bounties of charisma as a performer, but also his fearlessness in raising and discussing topics that are important and relatable, and they help to bear him as a human and not just an idolised rock star. He invites a safe space for a female-only circle pit for ‘Wild Flowers’, and offers advice and help about anxiety before jumping into, well, ‘Anxiety’, something that Carter has confronted and had to deal with himself.

Of course, there are fans out there who’ll consistently want the heated and outraged Carter of the band’s ‘Blossom’ era and his time in Gallows, and ‘Devil Inside Me’ helps to scratch that itch. ‘Kitty Sucker’ and the contagious bounce of ‘Crowbar’, however, both stand as some of the greatest work from Carter and his merry men The Rattlesnakes, and the full band version of ‘End Of Suffering’ really brings the song a new identity.

Whether it’s the stripped down rendition of ‘Bleed’ of just Carter and Dean Richardson with an acoustic guitar showcasing his soaring cleans, the two crawling and being hoisted in the air by the crowd in ‘Juggernaut’ and ‘I Hate You’ respectively, or the passionate relatable tales of life, Carter can do it all and maintains his respected stature as a frontman. What’s next on the bucket list? Dominating those festival main stages.

A full photo gallery from the event can be found here.

Photos by Emma Stone