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It’s been over a week since I was introduced to the long awaited debut album ‘Anthems’ by Pure Love featuring the heavily tattooed Frank Carter ex Gallows singer, and Ex Hope Conspiracy American guitarist Jim Carroll, (which incidentally was heavily slated by the NME and given a dubious 1/10). Personally I loved the album and its been on heavy rotation ever since, so much so that I just had to see them in action, and here I am in Preston, in a room named appropriately ‘The Dark Room’ which like its namesake - almost pitch black. Pure Love are more commercial sounding, rock/indie inspired than Carters previously hardcore punk band Gallows, and even poppy on some tracks, its much easier to listen to and like the albums title are anthemic style songs. Its been quoted that he was sick of singing angry, negative songs, and this album contains references to many personal affairs of the heart.

We had to witness a great sounding band called The Vestals (who all hail from South Wales) destroyed by poor lighting, it was only as I reluctantly turned on the flash that I could actually see the band in question. The handsome singer looking Morrissey-esqe, meets Suede with black fur jacket and matching fingernails, playing 80’s retro electronic pop, great music, shame about the lack of vision, which undoubtedly hampered them on this occasion.


As the next band London based Turbogeist prepared the stage we had slightly more light, of the red variety, but not much better. Jimmy Jagger (vocals) with his arm in a sling tried his best to reach those aggressive high notes, to match those driving guitars, with its harder edged gutsy rock/punk, and a Nirvana edge. They have a fantastic newly released new EP, Ancient Secrets worth checking out.

Finally it was the turn for Pure Love to appear, the lights suddenly appeared brighter……hallelujah! Without further ado it was straight into action, as I perched myself on the bench at the side, Frank rushed from the low level stage bang smack into the heaving rabble, and into ‘She’ (Makes The Devil Run Through Me)… but no sound came out, not best pleased he sauntered back on stage whilst the sound engineer fixed the problem, thankfully vocals restored and ‘The Hits followed with its thunderous drumming, and heavy guitar riffs and hooks.

What you have to know about Pure Love is that they don’t actually perform very much actually on the stage; they integrate themselves into the crowd, and play alongside the people. Another little technical hitch as they were heading into another song the amp blew….and Frank said to the audience “I could tell a joke?...but I don’t think any would be appropriate” and tried to banter a little with the crowd till it was sorted out. Just small technical glitches, of which Frank hinted that this was “so typical”. Not to be daunted they carried on...

‘Beach of Diamonds’ their best known and loved track comes next, with the driving pulsating anthemic rock vibe, and guitar solos. ‘Anthem’ the albums title track slows down the pace a little, as they head into a ballad style track, just in time for the band to catch their breath again for a rollicking heavy thunderous number ‘Bury My Bones’, which has been described by NME as sounding like  The Darkness (so what). It’s a very riffy guitar number and went down a storm and I love the fact there are many strands to this band. ‘Handsome Devils Club’ an unmistakable pop number with a nod to The Smiths, makes for much dancing and fist shaking and jolly behaviour all round.

It's time to get a bit romantic, ‘Burning Love’ “Don't you look at me with those eyes, you’ll be the petrol, and I’ll be the fire, ours is a burning love so set me alight “. Recently married Frank, had his wife tattooist Sarah Carter standing by the side of the stage, and he dedicated this song to her, “I love you so much baby”, meanwhile she blew him a kiss. I think we know the inspiration behind his new happy outlook and those passionate, erotically tinged lyrics. He spent almost the entire song with his eyes firmly fixated on his Sarah during the whole song. Before too long Frank demanded the drum kit was physically moved to the ground floor, and people formed a circle around it, encouraged by Frank to run around and dance, holding people onto their shoulders. ‘Scared To Death’ another heavy based punk number, a return to The Gallows for Frank, sets the tones for another mad frenzy in the crowd, with  iphones held aloft and a singalong campfire atmosphere. They would go down a storm at Glastonbury!

Pure Love played nine tracks off their 11 track album and finally all too soon, its time to call it a night. Frank says “this one’s a proper punk song” and heads into ‘Riot Song’…“There’s a riot on the streets of England, tonight”. The all consuming crowd start their own mini riot in a final round of participation, the drum kit and the band disappear, as a circle of dancing bodies dart around them. Before long its time to pack up their kit for the night. These guys are all about getting stuck in, having fun with it, and by the looks of it everybody else did to.

She [Makes The Devil Run Through Me]
The Hits
Beach of Diamonds
Bury My Bones
Handsome Devils Club
Burning Love
Scared To Death
Riot Song
Review & photos by Melanie Smith

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