With two painfully mediocre warm up acts including Mick Jagger Jnr’s far from established punk-rock band Turbogeist, I think I speak for the majority of the 300 rockers of all ages at Bodega when I say this was a night focused purely on Love. Namely Frank Carter’s (ex Gallows frontman) year and a bit old rock’n’roll band Pure Love with Jim Carrol of Hope Conspiracy fame.

So emerged the man everyone had been waiting to see. A sweaty and simply dressed yet exuberant Frank Carter made an understated entrance in Bodega; a venue which pushes the word intimate to its limits. A Frank Carter who was batting back beach balls to the crowd and who was wearing a popped blow-up doll like a cape by the second song. The Frank Carter who stood and surfed triumphantly above some of the most eager fans I have ever witnessed, holding and supporting him like an idol.

But make no mistake, Pure Love should in no way be The Frank Carter Experience featuring Jim Carrol and co. The band more than held their own  during shredding anthems, such as ‘Bury my Bones’ in the middle of a packed Bodega, while Pure Love’s drummer spent half their non-stop 45 minute set playing in the crowd amidst circle pits and moshers alike, even taking being spear tackled off his drum stool in good faith. So it was here that lay the success of this night, Pure Love’s ability to stomp out their aptly named debut album Anthems with an entertaining mix of comedy and originality. Frontman Carter’s quips about the blow up sex doll that was floating around and the committed fan dressed in a Pikachu onesie were equally balanced with a truly humbled bid for applause for the bar staff, security and the merchandisers.

The aforementioned originality was evident as soon as Frank and Co. opened. A band to which the restricting stage of Bodega seemed better defined as: the crowd, the top of the bar, the lighting fixtures and the merchandise stand. Because make no mistake, all of these were utilised. Pure Love’s class seemed to be emphasised by the mediocre support acts. Far from suffering from the unbalanced sound levels their support encountered, Frank Carter’s vocal ripped through solid footstompers such as ‘The Handsome Devil’s Club’ to the support of Jim Carrol and three hundred odd fans. Justly so, Carter’s band seemed comfortable and established both musically and as individual persons, controlling a strongly reciprocating crowd easily with genuinely funny inter-band repartee and an explosive performance, which left me waiting for an hour afterwards just for a chance to meet the man himself.

Pure Love frontman Carter shouted to the crowd, smiling all the time as fans shook his hand or just tried to get hold of him, that moving the drum kit into the middle of the crowd (amid other crowd-pleasers) was nothing less than what you should get for paying to see a rock’n’roll show. Considering what Pure Love offered at The Bodega for a mere £11, I couldn’t agree more.

Harry Patte-Dobbs

…Harry has been listening to Pure Love – Anthems…

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