Saturday 13th August found me at Liverpool’s, Krazyhouse. Probably the best rock venue in the city!
There were 3 acts on, but I’d made the trip to catch Hands Off Gretel. The band launched in Feb 2015 with the release of their first video ‘Be Mine’ and a 3 track EP for free download.
In less than 3 months Hands Off Gretel were invited to play both Camden Rocks Festival, after being selected from over 3,000 band entries and Devolution Magazines 10th year Anniversary event.
The band have also been recognised Internationally, including the US, where Alternative Press picked them out as “A band you need to know about” in their Feb 16 Edition and Brooklyns TomTom magazine featured their EP.
The South Yorkshire 4 piece, consisting of Lauren Tate, vocals/lead guitar…Sean McAvinue, lead guitar…Sam Hobbins, drums…and Joe Scotcher, bass…..Hands Off Gretel provide a new style of music. They have been labelled as the new grunge, grunge rock and other epithets. I think they have their own style, not only pleasing to the ear, but a veritable feast for the eyes too. They own the stage, all players having equally important input.
Upon first sight I was reminded of Nina Hagen, full of the brash, operatic/theatrical style about her ( if you don’t know Nina Hagen, take my advice, google her straight away )… but its Laurens’ eyes you are immediately drawn in by, they dance and sparkle throughout each song, lending another dimension to the music. If you can drag yourself away from Lauren, the pure theatre that Sean and Joe produce on stage is a riot. They seem to have their own party going on in the background, 100% adrenaline fuelled stage antics!…all this over the machine gun drumming of Sam!
They blasted onto stage with “ World Against She “, followed by ,“ Queen Universe “, the crowd where hooked . Straight into “ Under the Bed “, “Be Mine “ and “ In The Eyes “…..all received with rapturous applause. ”Little man “ and “My Size” followed before they drove on into their hit song “ One Eyed Girl “..the crowd were ecstatic!..finishing off with” Oh Shit “ and an encore screamed for relentlessly by the crowd, the organiser relented and let them play.
I can only say, as a photographer first, they were stunning! A perfect band for images…as a listener, well…… they were double stunning!!…the type of stuff you have on in the car, the house, the gym!..They are a delightful change to the usual mainstream. They have created a band that pleases all the senses. Will I go to another Hands Off Gretel gig?…..just try and stop me!