LIVE REVIEW: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, The Underworld, 06/12/2022
Photo Credit: Bridie Florence
“I’ve had three bands come through The Underworld. The first was Gallows, the second was Pure Love and now it’s Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes,” reminisces frontman Frank Carter. Ordinarily a person with a piercing menacing look in his eye and possessed expressions plastered across his face that scream sheer chaos is about to commence, but during this moment on the opening night of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ three night sold out residency down at The Underworld in Camden, there was a teary eyes softness that sweeps across Carter’s face.
The same can be said for guitarist Dean Richardson, his previous hardcore endeavour Heights having deeply ingrained roots situated in the sticky floors of The Underworld, having performed at Camden Town’s iconic venue with Attack! Attack! circa 2012. But when you have as many precious memories and career building history as he does associated with Camden’s sweatiest underground music venue, Carter’s teary-eyed emotions can be understood as every band that has been through his life has shared stages of its life with Camden. Whether it be down in the mosh pits of The Underworld or the crates of All Ages Records down the road, Camden is Carter and Richardson’s not so far home away from home.
So, finding themselves a decade later selling out a three-night residency down at the dingiest music venue in town feels tinged with nostalgia and a throwback to the band’s respective roots. Whilst Frank Carter & co have since risen through the ranks headlining Download Pilot event back in 2021 to packing out larger venues such as Ally Pally or O2 Academy Brixton, the punk ethics and the overwhelming stench of an underground sweat box never truly leaves your nose hairs, The Underworld always being the beating heart of Gallows, Pure Love, Heights and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes for that matter.
“Let’s get night one started of this beautiful week in Camden Town shall we?,” Carter‘s voice asks from the depths of darkness The Underworld has been thrown into to welcome the punks back home. As the lights lifted to reveal Carter’s troublesome glare and Richardson’s ear to ear brimming smile at the sound of the crowd chanting “DEANO, DEANO, DEANO”, the band catapulted directly into opener Devil Inside Me, pandemonium, carnage and destruction erupting everywhere. Things were getting uncontrollably wild before they even truly had the chance to start.
“For this next song, I want a ladies only mosh pit. All the girls and any non-binary people, this is your safe space to enjoy yourselves with freedom. Right now, I’m speaking to all you men out there, all you have to do is to not go in the mosh pit for this next song because by sitting this one out and standing on the side lines, it makes you realise your worth in life. Men spend their whole life taking up space, and if you dare go in this mosh pit I will purposefully call you out,” Boss mode activated and not taking any bullshit from the male species in the room, if you have been to any & The Rattlesnakes set ever, you would know the significance song Wild Flowers has to any person that doesn’t identify as a man. Curating a safe space for women and non-binary people to unapologetically be themselves in the middle of a mosh pit or crowd surfing over strangers’ heads, without anxiety, fear or trepidation, Wild Flowers is that safe haven spot that sets the tone more bands should be taking.
“We don’t play this song often, but we are in London and we are feeling sexy,” says Carter slinking into sultry number Spray Paint Love carrying through their Londoner style and suave into Sticky album song Go Get A Tattoo, where frontman Frank’s tattooist day job resides in his Rose Of Mercy parlour on Hoxton Street.
From dedicating Lullaby to his daughter to throwing in two fan favourite crowd requests with Juggernaut and Fangs, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes delivered a three-night Underworld residency, cementing them as undisputed modern punk juggernauts themselves. 10/10
Written By: Katie Conway-Flood