This was a gig that I thought about going to as soon as I heard about it. If I remember correctly, when I first saw it only Hands Off Gretel were named, with support to be announced, but I had no other plans for this evening and I’d wanted to see Hands Off Gretel again after seeing them earlier this year in Leicester.
With the gig being in Barnsley and at a venue I’d never been to before, I always try to look online to get an idea of what the venue is like from other photos people have posted from there, to have a better idea of what camera equipment to take. From some photos it looked like decent lighting, but from others it didn’t seem as good, so I went with a few different options.
Closer to the date of the gig and the support bands were announced, with support coming from Alisha Vickers, Desensitised and Pretty Addicted, this just made me more excited for the gig. Out of the four acts, I’d only seen Hands Off Gretel performing before, and only once, but I’d heard of all the others, with a lot of good words about them from people I know. I was particularly wanting to catch Pretty Addicted as I had missed them earlier on in the year at Unholy Messtival due to me attending on Friday and Sunday, but they were performing on the Saturday.
Getting to Barnsley isn’t too much trouble at all, it’s pretty much straight up the M1 for me, and then a couple of miles to the venue once you’ve left the motorway. Easy to get to, plenty of places to park around the area, very accessible venue that I’ll be keeping an eye on their gig listings as I wouldn’t mind going back there if there are any other gigs that look interesting.
A couple of days before the gig and the set times were released online, with Alisha Vickers kicking things off half an hour after doors opened. Next up would be Desensitised, and then Hands Off Gretel with Pretty Addicted finishing the night off, which I wasn’t expecting, but was explained on the Facebook event page with ‘You will notice we aren’t headlining, that’s because we want to kick back and enjoy the party too!!’, and fair play too them.
I arrived at the venue just after the doors opened and made my way into the event room where I immediately saw the barriers in front of the stage, used for a photo pit. I had noticed the pit on some photos when I was looking online, but didn’t know if they were permanent as I know of quite a few smaller venues that have them where they can either be put up or not, depending on the size of the band and what they prefer. If you can get access behind the barriers, it makes it so much easier if they are there, as you’re not having to try and squeeze into small spaces next to people to take some photos, so I asked about getting access and it was no problem. Always better to ask the event organiser than just assuming you can go there.
With there being a bit of time before Alisha was to go on stage, I noticed a few people there who I knew, so I was chatting to them for a bit before the music started, and as 8pm arrived, Alisha took to the stage. What, A, Voice! I’d heard good things about Alisha, but didn’t expect her to be as good as she was. For the first couple of songs I was down in the photo pit, getting used to the venue and the lighting setup, and then I was back out into the audience to watch the rest of her set. A great performer, fantastic original songs, I hope to be able to get to another of her gigs sometime in the future, whether that’s when she gigs closer to where I am, or I have to travel, we shall see.
A brief break while artists changed over and Desensitised were just about to go on stage. Another act I’ve not seen before but know a few people who have been to many of their gigs and seen the photos on Facebook. Performing mainly original tracks, with a few covers thrown in, including ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’, well is was only a couple of days till Christmas. Great set, good sound, and being Nottingham based, I’ll probably be able to get along to a few more of their gigs next year.
Nothing against the first two acts, they sounded amazing and I’m glad I got the chance to see them both, having heard so much about them, but it was the next two bands I was really looking forward to seeing this evening, particularly Hands Off Gretel, who were on next.
I’ve only seen them performing once before, earlier on this year when they were in Leicester, but that definitely left me wanting to see them again, and this had been the first opportunity for me to do just that. With a set that would last for around an hour, I was in for a treat. Since the last show I’d seen, I’ve listened to their music quite a lot, and I was excited to be at the gig knowing more of the songs than I did last time.
Fantastic set from Hands Off Gretel, and while they technically weren’t headlining, they were the stars of the show, putting in an amazing performance for the packed crowd who had all come along to see them. Once again, during the set there was a change of pace and a more acoustic style of music was on show for a couple of songs.
Their set seemed to be over before I knew it, and after playing their final song of the evening they were cheered back on for an encore. Staying to play a couple more tracks, the crowd loved it and you can tell that this is a band who should be going places. Awesome song writing skills and they put in a performance that does the songs justice, providing everyone in attendance an amazing show.
So how do you follow that? You bring on Pretty Addicted! It’s hard to describe them to someone who hasn’t been along to one of their gigs, it’s an experience you won’t forget or regret. I unfortunately missed out on seeing them at a local festival earlier this year, so I wanted to make up for it here. So much fun to photograph their set, very animated and great crowd interaction. Later on in their set, Lauren from Hands Off Gretel came back on stage with her grandmother for a couple of songs and you could tell everyone on stage and in the crowd were having a great time. I need to get along to another Pretty Addicted gig as soon as I can.
And that was that, an amazing gig came to an end, what a night it was. Fantastic musicians putting one one hell of a show to a packed crowd who loved every minute of it.