If you’re not familiar with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, here’s a quick rundown for you. Former frontman of Gallows and Pure Love, Frank’s been doing his thing now with the Rattlesnakes for almost a decade, putting out five very good albums in that time including the band’s most recent, Dark Rainbow. The Rattlesnakes have also gained a deserved reputation as one of the UK’s best live acts in that time, having sold out venues up and down the country; tonight, they’re live in a wetter-than-usual Cardiff, at the Great Hall.
Main support comes from north-west England’s The Mysterines, who ply their dark brooding rock before Carter and co take the stage. They’re very good, with the likes of Begin Again and Goodbye Sunshine sounding fantastic, and singer Lia Metcalfe also lets the crowd know she turned 18 while in Cardiff. What a time to be alive, eh?
From there, onto the man of the hour. Mr Frank Carter and his fabulous Rattlesnakes have a muted entrance tonight: the music stops, the lights drop, and they walk on with little fanfare before opening their set with five tracks from the new album. Some bands would flounder live with so much new material frontloaded into the set, but not these. The self-proclaimed ‘punk rock renegade’ is undoubtedly one of the best frontmen of his generation and asks the crowd if they “wanna turn the heat up?” before a run of songs that include the likes of Kitty Sucker, Devil Inside Me and Wild Flowers – the latter, as is customary at Rattlesnakes shows, is purely for the women in the crowd to mosh without the men getting in their way.
It’s Juggernaut that sees the biggest pit of the night, however, with limbs everywhere as Frank leads this cavalcade of chaos. The main set ends with Man Of The Hour which sees the crowd screaming the lyrics back at Frank; a somewhat muted encore, comprised of Thunder and A Dark Rainbow, follows, and then it’s all over.
Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, Great Hall, Cardiff University Students Union, Tue 6 Feb
words JOSHUA WILLIAMS photos OWIN WONG