Rattlesnakes

Live: Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Rock City – 6/12/17

Opening the show to a largely empty Rock City were Aussie alternative artist Ecca Vandal, who was almost a surprise addition to the lineup with quite how different she is from the other two bands. She and the band played through their electronic-influenced tunes taken largely from her debut self-titled album. A seemingly well-rehearsed machine, Ecca had a huge energy and optimism that would not be broken by the lack of crowd – a quality to be admired in a vocalist. Not a bad set at all, and definitely one that will have gained her some fans. [6/10]

Following up in the middle of the sandwich were Ipswich emo punks Basement who brought with them an instant wave of excitement as they hit the Nottingham stage. With a huge back catalogue to choose a setlist, the band produced a collection of their greatest hits from through their career. The weighting towards previous album Colourmeinkindness was somewhat surprising, but nonetheless the audience were as active through the older songs as the new; the pits weren’t big but they were very active throughout WholeSpoiledAquasun and Covet which got frontman Andrew Fisher into a mixture of humility and excitement as he finishing off their set with new fan favourite Promise EverythingBasement had set up headliners The Rattlesnakes immaculately well with a set as fantastic as usual. [9/10]

Closing up the night were Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes who had high hopes resting on their performance from the raving crowd. Carter is known as one of the best frontmen around, and the set did not disappoint; this whole tour was to celebrate where they are now as a band with Manchester and Brixton’s stops receiving a performance of all 23 songs to date. In Nottingham, the band pulled out a modest 19 – missing only Beautiful Death and Trouble from debut album Blossom, and opener/closer pairing Bluebelle and Neon Rust from this year’s Modern Ruin.

Exploding onto the stage somewhat fittingly with Primary Explosive, the energy in the room just lifted on seeing the long-term punk talisman set foot on the stage. The first section of the set played out non-stop BlossomRotten BlossomFangs and Juggernaut providing a reminder of just how riff-driven the band were from the very start, contrasting with the riff-vocal balance in the following VampiresWild Flowers had Frank asking for all the women in the audience to crowdsurf and urged everyone to keep them safe so they could experience it safely just as he has in most of his shows this year, which ended up leading to a stageful of ladies dancing with him and singing their lungs out – their faces just summed up the event as a whole.

Acid Veins and new single Spray Paint Love made their first outings on this tour and the Nottingham set contained both, performed with the swing and swagger they deserve from the very roots of the song. A crowd-surfing Frank and Dean both finished Jackals atop the moshing sea of people before the frontman made his way up to the balcony for the title track of the latest album. More crowdsurfing, an accidentally-stolen GoPro and a piano version of Loss later, the rollercoaster of emotion wasn’t near winding down as the band dedicated Thunder and Paradise to victims of terrorist attacks at musical events, citing the songs as chapter one and the epilogue of the same story in the fight against terrorism.

The Rattlesnakes finished their set off with a glorious rendition of I Hate You which was dedicated to a fan who had been punched in the face by someone nearby, who was rapidly ejected from the venue.  Thanking the crowd, Frank left the stage with a tangible mood in the air of the excitement and cathartic nature of the set that had just gone – a fitting feeling for the night. [10/10]

For those interested, The Rattlesnakes had taken her and a friend backstage, taken a photo with her and had a long chat – a class gesture to end a fantastic night from one of the best British bands of modern times.

Trivium – Rock City 18/2/17

Saturday night was a great night in Nottingham for the local metalheads – Trivium were back and headlining the stage at Rock City. Supported by the recently popular Shvpes and Sikth, who were unfortunately missing a guitarist, it was with mixed feelings the crowd entered the venue.

Shvpes had a very energetic front man, who engaged the crowd extremely well and got them pumped. Their 7 song set was short, but the crowd were singing along by the time they played Skin & Bones. The vocalist was constantly calling for a circle pit, and repeatedly spoke to the crowd and tried to get them as hyped as he could for the following acts.

[7/10]

Up next were Sikth, and although they were down a guitarist, it didn’t stop them from giving the performance 110%. The prog metallers have two lead vocalists, and although it seemed like this might be overwhelming, they both incorporate different styles into their performances and blend them together really well. The crowd gave Sikth positive reactions, singing along and giving them a circle pit. Shoeless guitarist Dan managed to fill the empty guitar space with some insane prog metal riffs that the crowd went crazy for.

[9/10]

Finally, out came Trivium. The crowd knew what was coming with a stage set up of a huge stone throne for drums. The trademark Trivium skulls were also present. The entire performance was planned, but it felt like the group were just going through the motions, all the way from Rain to Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr. However, that didn’t stop the crowd from getting into the performance and vocalist Matt Heafy frequently asked the crowd for help on the vocals.

[8/10]

LIVE: Yellowcard – Nottingham Rock City 17/12/16

First on the stage at a very early 6:30pm (considering the entire gig was marketed at 7-10pm) were the UK’s very own The Kenneths, who seemed a little confused about where they were, first greeting Nottingham as Leeds, and then later on as Sheffield and even Great Yarmouth. However respect had to be given to the drummer, Aicha, who had broken her foot in the last few days, but was still drumming like nothing was wrong.

The Kenneths have been touring in support of their EP Double N which was released at the end of September. The punk trio was a great choice to support Yellowcard, as their obvious stage presence and energetic punk songs helped to pump up the audience in anticipation. Their music progressed through the set to show that they were not just a typical punk band.

[8/10]

Next up were Swedish group Normandie, who seemed to have a few fans in the crowd. Their songs were heavier than a typical Yellowcard crowd called for, however it appeared that all sorts of fans were in the audience. The crowd was jumping, the group were having great fun on the stage and the singer’s charisma really helped sell Normandie to those who weren’t previously fans.

Normandie had an entirely heavy rock set list that really showed off the individual musicians talents to the crowd. It seemed that they were continuing in the same vein as The Kenneths, helping get the crowd warmed up for Yellowcard. They were also chatting to the audience in between songs, and they seemed like a down to earth group who were stoked to be performing in a new city.

[9/10]

Finally, at 8pm, the crowd were more than ready for Yellowcard. The sound guys were pumping tunes like Sugar We’re Goin’ Down and All The Small Things over the PA, and the audience were singing along. Eventually the lights went dim and an announcement about mobile phones was played… and then out they came. Launching straight into Believe and then Lights And Sounds, the guys looked at home on the stage and really happy to be playing. Violinist Sean Mackin was constantly jumping up and down and moving around in excitement, something which is difficult while playing a violin!

In between songs vocalist Ryan Key chatted to the audience, announcing a proposal that had occurred (to audience cheers), and talking about the fact that this was going to be their final tour (aptly named The Final World Tour) after 20 years of Yellowcard. The group had great presence on the stage and were obviously having a lot of fun. There was no bitterness about this being their final tour, or their final gig at Rock City. They were also incredibly supportive of their The Kenneths and Normandie, several times mentioning how great they thought they were.

There was a great variety of music varying from Yellowcard‘s very early songs, to songs off their most recent album, The Final Record. Different genres within the Yellowcard bracket were played too, all the way from Lights And Sounds to the acoustic Hang You Up.

The final track before the encore was Hollywood Died, and then after very short break, Yellowcard reappeared to play Only One and Ocean Avenue. It was a real goodbye, and there will be a hole in the music industry where a cheery rock band with a violin should be.

[10/10]

 

LIVE: Feeder – Rock City, 14/10/16

The Virginmarys

The Virginmarys, hailing from Macclesfield, Cheshire, launched straight into their set with I Wanna Take You Home, supporting Feeder at Rock City on Friday 14th October. The Virginmarys are signed to Wind-up Records, and have been supporting Feeder for the third leg of their tour.

When The Virginmarys  began their set there was only a small crowd present, but they raised a large cheer. However, by the end of their second song, Halo In Her Silhouette, more of a crowd had drawn. Although there were some fans present at the beginning of the set, there were clearly more by the end.

Rock City, for a small venue, has a great sound. The sound technicians really make amazing use of the space, and the balance between instruments was great, everything could be heard clearly. The lighting was also great, although the light technician favoured yellow and blue for The Virginmarys.

The Virginmarys had excellent stage presence, moving around on stage and talking to the audience. Although they played heavier music than Feeder, the mix worked quite well as Feeder‘s new material is more musically explorative and less heavy. However, it was a shame that they didn’t perform Motherless Landthe first single to be released from their latest album Divides.

[8.5/10]

Feeder

By the time Feeder were due to appear, a massive crowd had appeared. Lots of people were sporting merchandise. Space Oddity by David Bowie was playing over the PA, and the crowd were singing along.

Straight after the end of the song, the backdrop lit up to show effects similar to those that were seen in Windows Media Player for MP3 files. There was a huge buzzing effect, and the crowd screamed when Feeder came out.

At first, the crowd didn’t move much, even for heavier songs, but still cheered extremely loudly. There were clearly crowd favourites such as RenegadesHigh and Buck Rogers. However, by the end of the gig, lots of the crowd were checking their watches and phones.

Feeder clearly draw crowds of all ages, from students to middle aged men and women were seen. They have 24 years worth of material, and had to balance songs from their new album All Bright Electric. However, material from this album did not seem to go over as well with the audience as their old classics.

However, Feeder have been gigging for a long time, and their shows have been honed and perfected over the years. The fact that they’re still touring and releasing new material really shows that their fans are loyal, and they’re obviously a great band. However, the show felt a little too polished and it would have been great to see more improvisation from Feeder because they’re such a talented group of musicians. It may have excited the crowd more too, as they stood still for the majority of the concert.

[8/10]

 

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