In a venue that has hosted Nothing But Thieves, Nelly and J Hus in the last month alone, I feel as though it would be hard to find anyone who has graced the stage with as much charisma as Frank Carter. In fact, scrap that, I think it would be a struggle to find anyone who has ever played the venue with as much magnetism. The man oozes talent and, despite his marmite appearance, I think that it takes a someone as balls-out as the frontman of The Rattlesnakes to truly hold the attention of a room for over an hour. I have had the honour of seeing the band before, and man, I was ready for the ride this time around.

Ecca Vandal

I must admit, other than one very quick Spotify listen before the gig I was unfamiliar with the work of Ecca Vandal. 10 seconds into their set and I felt as though I had been hit by a shovel (in a good way, I assure you). The four-piece from Melbourne owned the stage as if this was their moment – what was to follow was an attention-grabbing flurry of around 6 songs. Each track did something completely different, the dynamics of the standard guitar, bass and drums were coupled wonderfully with what appeared to be two synth pads. The result: a collision of genre-busting jams that made you want to move.

I don’t dare make comparisons, however, if I had a gun to my head I would have to describe Ecca Vandal as being a collision of artists such as Lady Leschurr, Papa Roach and, in parts, even Enter Shikari. If you are reading this and feel a little confused, that is the right emotion. My senses were heightened in every way, I had no idea what was happening on the stage, but I knew that there was an infectious energy and some interesting music. The perfect amuse-bouche for the evening. I cannot wait to hear more.

4.5 / 5 Bytes.

Basement

It is no secret that I love Basement, something about their aura fascinates me. The last time I saw the band was supporting Bring Me The Horizon in the O2 arena last Halloween. Fast-forward a year and I couldn’t believe my luck that they were supporting Frank Carter in Norwich, they seemed up for it. Hailing from Ipswich, it felt as though this was a homecoming show of sorts. The band rattled through a selection of hits from all three of their studio albums. As always, my personal highlights were Fading and Crickets Throw Their Voice from their very first release I Wish I Could Stay Here, an album I fell in love with at my very first semester at UEA – it was great to see them perform the song live in the very same setting, a full circle of sorts. After a notably sombre start to their set, these two tracks gave the room the energy it needed.

The band seemed as poised as ever, professional in their execution of songs such as Aquasun, Promise Everything and fan-favourite Covet. The crowd had found their rhythm by the second half of the set and the drop-down dancefloor of the LCR was a sea of colliding bodies. Secretly I was hoping for some new music from the band but I am sure it is due soon. If you haven’t checked out Basement at a live show, what the hell are you doing? They are a very important band; their set was a testament to this.

4 / 5 Bytes.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

On the way back from a quick, and perfectly timed, bathroom break I found myself passing a huddle of bouncers who were standing next to the barrier. I overheard one ask the other “have you ever heard of this guy?”, his colleague replied very calmly, “nah but I don’t see it being a busy one”. I smirked and thought to myself buckle up boys, you are in for a long night.

Frank Carter is notorious in the alternative music sphere, his music with The Rattlesnakes has transcended genres and placed a spotlight on the artist. Now, 10 years on from headlining the very same stage as he did with Gallows, it was his time once again.

The set burst open with the appropriately titled Primary Explosive, the atmosphere detonated and the whole room started moving. Every person on and off the stage had a sadistic looking smile on their face, all aware of the carnage that was about to ensue for the next 75 minutes or so. Blossom and Wild Flowers did a fantastic job in keeping up the energy (if it was ever in doubt of fading). They wonderfully set up Juggernaut, a huge song which was made even more emphatic by the stage antics of the band. Carter took it upon himself to command this one from the crowd, joining in with the fun.

Acid Veins, Modern Ruin and Paradise were highlights of the set, emphasizing that the band were completely deserving of the magnitude of this headline tour. The balance was spot on, the artist reached the perfect equilibrium of talking between songs, the perfect set length and the right choice of bangers. Frank hailed Norwich throughout the set, having played the Owl Sanctuary (an incredibly intimate venue) at the band’s inception, it felt that they were as happy as everyone else in the room to play such an impressive venue.

I struggle to use my words to describe the personality of Mr Carter, breaking up fights, inviting fans on stage, offering hugs to members of the audience – the man does it all. One minute he could be throwing his limbs in every direction, screaming his heart out and in a blink of an eye he could be parting the crowd, surfing on top of it or even delivering a sermon from a completely different part of the venue. It is electric, the LCR was lucky to host such a figure. I struggle to think of anyone who does it better.

Lullaby and I Hate You were tasked with the job of closing the show. Being forced to stop the show once more because of more negative crowd antics, he humorously declared that Lullaby was written about his daughter and that if people were going to fight during it he would have to come into the crowd and beat everyone up. Now that had been understood, the band took the song from the top and the room seamlessly slipped back into a sea of bounce. I Hate You is, well, a lyrical masterpiece. Hearing 1500 people scream this one back at the band was a laugh. With an introduction to every member of the band, the frontman announced that his name was ‘Frank Fucking Carter’, the lights dropped and the evening was complete. Everything about this evening reminded me why I love music, just incredible.

5 / 5 Bytes.

Callum Huthewaite
Big thanks to Rob and Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes for the guestlist spots for this show.

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