I love smaller gigs, over the years I’ve grown a bit tired of the impersonal nature of arenas. I much prefer some seedy dirty bar where I can listen to a brand new hard-hitting grunge, punk or riot grrrl band.
Jimmy’s in Manchester was perfect. Glass shattered on the toilet floor, posters of Bowie and Blondie hung under neon lights. Tables scattered around the top bar in various states of repair. And the band room, down the stairs in the basement, with red lights, old sofas and a small stage.
I was sent by Grrrls with Guitars to interview and check out Hands Off Gretel. I’ve been listening to them for a few months on youtube and liked what I heard. A kind of hats off to my early love of Babes in Toyland and L7. And to make it better, they just got Becky Baldwin added to the line-up on bass with them. A lady after my heart with a gorgeous 4001 Rickenbacker bass. I was excited to talk instruments to her.
Hands off Gretel
There were four bands on in total and I heard various influences as the night went on, Queasy had a Faith No More kinda sound about them with heavy drums and hard punchy vocals, The Velvet Hands were more punk and Faux Pas definitely had the Placebo vibe going on, with the lead singer in a dress, the music flitting between that 90s sound of light verses and heavy overdriven chorus.
But Hands Off Gretel played a blinding set. Becky’s Lemmy-esque bass playing adding to an already tight and established grungy riot grrrl sound. It was so grateful to them to take the time out of a busy evening to chat with me and you can read my interview in full on Grrrls with Guitars. In true “Don’t tell. Show” I’ll leave you with a couple of vids. Their single ‘One Eyed Girl’ and one that I took on the night.
(C) Stephanie Burgess, 2018