Frank Carter & The Rattlasnakes REVIEW: ‘Small gigs like this will be rare in the future’

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes at The Wedgewood Rooms, February 8, 2019. Picture by Paul Windsor
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes at The Wedgewood Rooms, February 8, 2019. Picture by Paul Windsor
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Frank Carter makes no bones about his ambition – he's aiming for the stadiums.

That may be easier said than done with the kind of emotionally raw, punk-tinged alternative rock he's peddling with his band, The Rattlesnakes.

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, February 8, 2019. Picture by Paul Windsor

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, February 8, 2019. Picture by Paul Windsor

But with songs this powerful, you wouldn't bet against them.

From the off, the audience is singing every single word back to them, and the pit is packed.

Three songs in they play the first of the new songs, from forthcoming album End Of Suffering, which won't be out until May.

READ MORE: Frank Carter on his new album

Frank Carter pulls a handstand in the crowd at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, on February 8, 2019. Picture Paul Windsor

Frank Carter pulls a handstand in the crowd at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea, on February 8, 2019. Picture Paul Windsor

Tyrant Lizard King is more melodic in a late-90s, hard-rock sort of way than what's come before, but it's all relative – it still swings like an absolute mother.

Last album Modern Ruin is well represented, with Wild Flowers, Vampires, Acid Veins and more, and the sold-out audience is word perfect on every song from the 2017 opus.

Four songs in and Carter is doing handstands in the crowd and walking on their hands. Two songs after that, his heavily tattooed torso is stripped to the waist.

Another new song they play, Anxiety, is dedicated to those who have suffered from the condition, and is the most down-tempo song the band have played to date, but it doesn't stint on the raw power.

There’s also an impassioned plea to create a safe space for women to crowd-surf, which is greeted with a loud cheer.

Frank has often been accused of abandoning his hardcore roots, but two of the encores come from his intense debut –  Devil Inside Me and the relatively simplistic yet full-on I Hate You, which has the crowd united in their chants of the chorus.

Frank's clearly proud of the new album, to the extent that the swaggering new single Crowbar gets two outings in the encores.

This tour is a low-key warm-up for what's to come. Gigs like this will be rare in the future. 

Those who were here can boast of it in years to come.