Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes -22nd October 2015 Newcastle Cluny

The juggernaut comes to Newcastle. I anticipated this show would be great. But the truth is I didn’t expect it to be quite as mad as it turned out. The wildest Cluny show I’ve ever seen and will easily make my top 10 gigs of this year.



A lot has changed since Frank last played Newcastle, having played with his pop-rock project Pure Love early 2014, who are now on ‘hiatus’. He returns to the Cluny with his new act Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes. This band take him back to his hardcore punk roots. Their debut album was released in the summer and has become a favourite of mine. It took a few plays to fully digest and appreciate it. It is not just a Gallows MK II (although some similarities of course), they have their own identity, great songs and one of the best frontmen around.

The songs are short, powerful and catchy as hell. They’ve been selling out shows across the UK and seem to have had a better reception than Gallows latest incarnation. I do love both periods of Gallows (in fact saw them twice this year around the country!). Wade brought a new life to Gallows and transformed them into something different, yet still clearly Gallows. That spilt a lot of fans, some love it, some hate it, some, like me adore both periods. Pure Love didn’t appeal to me musically, so I was keen to hear this new project in person. 

As mentioned the show is sold out. People were hanging around the bar desperate to buy any spare tickets. This is going to be a wild night and I can’t wait to witness it. They have only been a band since February 2015 and they only have about eleven songs, so a fast intense set was anticipated. Their shortage of material didn’t stop them playing an extended set, one new song (‘Jackals’, I believe it was called, it was class!), and they played two songs twice each!

‘Loss’ was played as both the raucous hardcore number and a soul searching stripped back version where Frank gathered fans in the middle of the floor, where he explained the poignancy of the song, delivering it with such feeling and pain. He looked visibly shaken singing it, as if tears could roll out at any moment. The audience circled around him, you could hear a pin drop, fans captivated by his performance. In such a wild frenzied show it was a welcome break and highlights the depth of his songwriting skill.

The crowd’s reaction seemed to thrill the band. I must admit I’ve been to hundreds of shows in Newcastle and I have never witnessed a Toon audience let themselves go this much. We had circle pits, a wall of death, crowd surfing, all the punk rock trimmings. Newcastle audiences usually make bands work for their applause, even the support bands tonight (Creeper and Blackhole) were made to work for a reaction.

I have to mention this… hats off to Paddy the security, who had the task of monitoring the mosh pit. Frank brought him up on stage and encouraged him to stage dive. Fair play Paddy went for it and he looked like he enjoyed it too. Top bloke!

‘Devil Inside Me’ ended the night, which they’d already played earlier in the set. But that is fine by me, bloody brilliant song, that speaks to me on many levels. Smiles all round in the venue as Frank stormed out the door and headed to meet fans outside.

The stage banter provided a few hints of bitter feuds, dramas and past events. Whilst he never named who those were aimed at, it’s not hard to connect the dots. It’s safe to say Frank has something to prove with this new band, as he stares out into the crowd with a mad glint in his eye, you can tell he means business.

Frank stated that this show was the best he’s ever played. Yes, EVER.

So yes, even on his own, Frank IS a juggernaut. An utterly brilliant show. 15 quid well spent.

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