Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Livestream at Brixton Academy, London, 13 Nov 2020

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Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes performed at Brixton Academy the other weekend and nobody showed up….or so the Daily Mail would probably have you believe if Frank Carter had tried to feed some hungry children. No, the performance in the empty room at Brixton Academy is a result of a band making the best of a bad situation. 

Tonight the Rattlesnakes teamed up with the lovely folk at MelodyVR to present a very interactive night of music, allowing fans to watch from the side stage, front of house or even smack bang in the middle of the stage with the band, all from the comfort of their own living room. The band performed to a wall of faces that could only be described as something pulled straight from an episode of Black Mirror.

Credit: Thomas Green

Bursting into Juggernaut from the offset, it’s clear to see the band aren’t phased by the lack of a physical crowd tonight. Frank still talks to the people watching and bounces around the stage as if there really were 5000 people present at the venue. The band powered through a great setlist which managed to span fairly evenly across the Rattlesnakes’ back catalogue as well as seeing the live debut of Fire which comes from the deluxe edition of the debut album Blossom. Snake Eyes still sounds as huge as ever and even managed to drum up attention on the screens from some doggos and even the Nature Boy Ric Flair.

One thing that is very striking is the duality of seeing what makes tonight’s performance so personal in comparison to a regular Frank Carter performance. There is a certain intimacy that comes part and parcel with a Frank Carter show, usually from him playing in the middle of the crowd, or failing that, playing on top of them. Whilst tonight may have lacked the connection that comes with the band feeding of an effervescent crowd, it still felt very personal in the way that the band were in people’s living rooms. In between songs they would take a moment to talk to people from their homes, whether it was some fans jumping around in front of their laptop, Download Festival head honcho Andy Copping or even Frank Carter’s mother whom he shared a story about before launching into Anxiety. There was something that felt very touching about the whole situation.

Credit: Thomas Green

Devil Inside Me is still pummeling and just made you want to stand in a room with thousands of other people all jumping and hurting each other. It’s getting feelings like this that are a testament to the sort of live band that Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are. Even if you’re 200 miles away from them, they can still evoke the energy and excitement as they would if they were 10 feet in front of you, invoking the “world’s first interactive at home mosh pit”. The band wraps things up with fan favourite I Hate You before thanking everybody and being grateful for the opportunity to play a show in 2020.

Credit: Thomas Green

This won’t be the future of punk rock as Carter had alluded to earlier in the set, but it is an absolutely necessary and fun thing to do at this moment in time whilst the world sorts itself out. 8/10

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