Fast rising grunge band Hands Off Gretel are in Leeds tonight to play Move, Leeds traffic being what it is I arrive slightly late walking in during their song Be Mine.
What is immediately apparent is how they sound exactly the same live as they do on record with Lauren Tate’s fierce vocal like razor blades drenched in honey.
After playing their EP first, the band startle me with a cover of Hole’s Asking For It which is delivered far more powerful and coherent than I’ve ever seen Courtney Love play it and shivers run down my spine as singer/guitarist Lauren screams out those final agonising, heartfelt lyrics.
Hands Off Gretel later claim to me that they couldn’t hear themselves on the monitors but none of that shows off stage, technical difficulties aside – Sean’s guitar strap comes loose during one song and bassist Danny pulls a muscle, leaving it to drummer Laura and enigmatic front woman Lauren to soldier on. Musically all four musicians are tighter than the proverbial Nuns crutch, and positively dripping with talent – quite possibly unlike one.
New song So Weird is bouyant and punky in all the right places and the rest of their set list is scintillating, sonic guitar fuelled anthems, at times blisteringly brutal and ridiculously good. Fans of Hole, and The Distillers should check them out immediately before they hit the big time which should be imminently.
Hands Off Gretel are currently touring around the UK with upcoming shows in London at The 100 Club 29th April,
Sheffield at Plug 29th May,
Leeds Verve Bar 5th June and Hull Adelphi 11th June.