Live Report: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Underworld, London

A hometown hat-trick...

“Welcome to night two of our hat-trick”, announces Frank Carter from a throne that’s had his name on it for nearly two decades – the Camden Underworld stage. Veterans of this room as both punters and performers, The Underworld is deep-rooted in the history of Carter and lead guitarist Dean Richardson from long before they launched Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes in 2015. 

Whilst they have since soared to the heights of Brixton Academy, Ally Pally – and famously a headline slot at Download’s post-pandemic pilot event – the pandemonium of an underground sweatbox is their true home. This week, they have returned to their realm with a three-night residency that sold out in a matter of seconds.

Despite the dominance from Carter on stage, he spends much of his time towering over the crowd, launching straight in with the bone-crushing ‘Juggernaut’. It’s a career-spanning setlist that zigzags between all four of the Rattlesnakes’ albums, showcasing their sonic shifts from the post-hardcore influences of ‘Blossom’ to the gut-wrenching ballads on ‘End Of Suffering’. 

‘Cobra Queen’ and ‘Go Get A Tattoo’ were particular highlights from their most recent offering, ‘Sticky’, the latter championing Carter’s second life as a tattoo aficionado-turned-artist. His Hoxton Street tattoo parlour Rose Of Mercy – suitably named after his daughter – continues to thrive, alongside the band’s new card game ‘Halves’ – it’s a hectic time away from the music.

Whilst dedicating ‘Lullaby’ to his daughter has become a staple moment in the set, Carter’s mother appearing on stage for a quick selfie was a wholesome surprise, exemplifying the circular nature of these shows. This Underworld residency was a celebration for the entire Rattlesnakes family; for fans who have followed their journey to the summit and allowed the band to grow into the fierce finished article that they now represent. 

Crowd calls for fan-favourite ‘Fangs’ were answered by Carter from deep in the pit, crawling his way back to the stage with none other Mimi Barks funnelling the microphone to him, after the trap-metal emerging star had made a surprise appearance for ‘Devil Inside Me’. Carter, Richardson and co. emerged with a fresh dose of energy for the encore, leading up to the inevitable climax of ‘Crowbar’ – a message of self-worth that expands exponentially when performed by five men who live and breathe the very essence of its spirit.

Seven years at the top of their craft, the evolution of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes has never compromised their roots and their fanbase for one moment. These historic Underworld shows are the pinnacle of this loyalty.

Words: Rishi Shah

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