Words: Max Falvey Pictures: Ian McDonnell // Carl McGrath
“I want tequila on the rocks, I want the keys to all the locks, and I never wanna lockdown again!’. With an unrivalled level of swagger and oozing with pandemic angst, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes began their latest tour in Dublin last night, promoting their new highly rated album ‘Sticky’. Mixing a punk bravado with surprisingly beautiful melodies, to fans new and old this show was seriously mind blowing from the first note. For my third viewing of The Rattlesnakes on their debut in Dublin’s Academy, they easily maintained their reputation as one of the most exciting live acts around.
But before any of the mosh pits and heavy riffs came a surprise to the majority of the crowd, this being the support act of unorthodox pop sensation, Lynks. Dressed from literal head to toe in a sparkly black and red bodysuit and backed by his dancing group, dubbed ‘Lynks Shower Gel’, it’s impossible to describe how easily he engaged with and amped up the crowd. With a mix of pop and heavy EDM, tunes like ‘Everyone’s Hot (And I’m Not)’ had the crowd jumping from the start, with hilariously vulgar choreography that matched the lyrics. With a preemptive appearance by Frank Carter himself for the support act’s final song, Lynks easily gained himself almost a thousand new fans.
Gallery: Lynks (click on photos to see full image) Ian McDonnell
Then, as Frank and the boys took to the stage they immediately exploded into their impressive catalogue of fresh and classic material. The new album sounds absolutely fantastic live, with the live debuts of ‘Cupid’s Arrow’, ‘Cobra Queen’ and ‘Take It To The Brink’ sounding mega. It’s unfortunate that their newest hit ‘Off With His Head’ wasn’t played, but the song’s feature, Cassyette, wasn’t at this show so it’s understandable. This was the only song off the new album that wasn’t played, but it will be something fans attending the UK tour can look forward to. Halfway through the set, Lynks returned to perform his verses in ‘Bang Bang’ and ‘Go Get A Tattoo’, the crowd being delighted to see him once more.
Lead guitarist Dean Richardson was as usual a master at making each song sound as vicious as possible, with the band seeming to disregard their slower songs for this tour. Frank wasn’t up to much of his crowd surfing / walking antics for most of the show, but did go for a wander through the crowd during the stunningly melodic ‘Acid Veins’, and finally giving in during ‘Crowbar’ as he crowd surfed topless to the security’s dismay. Once he returned to the stage, he stated with a look of pride mixed with disgust; “I forgot how bad a mosh pit smells.”
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes Gallery 1 (click on thumbnail for full image) Ian McDonnell
In a strange move from the band, the show didn’t end with their infamous closer, ‘I Hate You’. Instead opting for Sticky’s finale of ‘Original Sin’, which features the legendary Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, who of course didn’t make an appearance here. While I do love this song, it’s lack of easily recitable lyrics and crowd involvement don’t make it the finest choice to close what was overall a perfect show up to this point. The song is great, just not to end the set. But I refuse to judge this show on such a slight mishap, as seeing The Rattlesnakes emerge from their well documented pandemic struggles was beautiful to be a part of. They’re a band who will never fail to entertain and hopefully a trip back to Dublin for them isn’t too far away.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes Gallery 2 (click on the thumbnail for a full image) – Carl McGrath