This was one of those gigs I’d been really looking forward to for ages. As soon as it was announced that Hands Off Gretel were playing in Leicester again, and I wasn’t at work, I booked my ticket. This was even before the support bands were announced, and when they were, that made this a gig to even more look forward to as support would be from James Byron and Siobhan Mazzei band.
Hands Off Gretel are another band that I’ve heard great things about, have many friends on Facebook who’ve seen them multiple times, but I hadn’t seen them live yet. I’ve listened to their music, seen their videos, but I wanted to experience the live show for myself.
With doors due to open at 8pm, I got to the venue at around quarter to 8, grabbed myself a drink and chatted to a few people I knew who were also attending the gig. I had wanted to try and get down earlier, maybe getting in and taking a few photos during soundcheck, but my plans had changed and I was busy earlier.
Opening up the night we had James Byron. I’ve seen him a few times before, but not enough as he is an amazing singer. Playing some of his own songs before finishing with a few covers, there was a good sized crowd already and everyone was enjoying themselves. Good to see people arriving to see the whole show and not just turning up for the headliners.
Up next was the Siobhan Mazzei band. While I’ve only seen the full band a handful of times so far, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen her perform now, must be getting into quite high numbers, as she was performing at one of the first gigs I went to and I’ve been a fan ever since. With the band behind her some of the songs people know and love from her acoustic performances come to life, I’m sure there were plenty of people coming to see Hands Off Gretel who left this night as Siobhan Mazzei fans.
The crowd was getting bigger and I had to make a choice, where was I going to stand to take photos. With the previous two acts I could move around pretty much to where I wanted, but I thought that for Hands Off Gretel the crowd would be right up to the stage, and they they were. I started off to the side of the stage and thought I’d try to move around a bit and see where I could go, with the risk of not being able to get any decent shots from anywhere else. It was either that or park myself at the front of the stage somewhere which then kind of blocks off other people wanting to see the gig. I prefer to move around and at least that way, if I do end up standing in front of someone, I’ll quickly take a few photos and move on, so I’m not obstructing their view for too long.
Hands Off Gretel were as good as I’d expected them to be, the sound, the performance and that voice is just incredible. Really good energy on stage, you can tell they all love doing what they do, and the crowd loved it. There was a section of the show which was a bit more stripped back, but not entirely. Lauren sat down and played her guitar, but it wasn’t a full on acoustic part of the show as there was still the others playing along later in the songs. I know Lauren does occasionally perform acoustic gigs, and I really want to try and get to one of those if I can
Once again, before I knew it, we were coming to the last song. It seems a common theme for my recent gigs that they just seem to be over too quickly, but they do say time flies when you’re having fun, so I guess the more fun the show is, the quicker it seems to go by.
This was such a fantastic night, all acts performed superbly and so well organised by Casbah Music Management and Promotions, you always know that their shows are going to run smoothly and with top class talent on the stage.
This certainly won’t be the last time I see any of these performers, they are all bands I’d happily pay to see perform without hesitation. I’ve already been on the Hands Off Gretel page to see if there are any future gigs I can get to, so hopefully it won’t be too long until I see them again.