This was only my third time seeing Hands Off Gretel performing live, but I’ve been a fan for a while and was really impressed when I first saw them at Firebug back in 2017 that I’ve kept and eye on their tour dates ever since. Being based in South Yorkshire I haven’t noticed too many gigs from them around here, I think this may be their first time back in Leicester since that gig at Firebug, but I did manage to get to their Christmas show at The Old School House in Barnsley last year. For this gig they had Flying Kangaroo Alliance as their support band which was a massive bonus as I’ve also been a fan of theirs for a good few years.
It’s been quite a while since I was last out at a gig at The Musician, and it seems weird when I leave it so long without going here as when I first started out going to local music gigs this was the venue I spent most of my time at. Doors were to open at 8pm, with Flying Kangaroo Alliance due on at 8.30, so I aimed to get there for around 8.15 to make sure I didn’t miss any of the bands sets and it gave me a bit of time beforehand to chat to a few people.
Flying Kangaroo Alliance are a band that a few years ago I saw quite often, but they have been absent from the local music scene for a while, with lead singer Meri continuing on with solo shows and I think I remember seeing her in another band, Turn, but I don’t know what happened with that. Due to band members moving away, there is a new lineup, and Flying Kangaroo Alliance are back. Having not seen them for a few years it was a strange coincidence but this weekend I saw them twice. First gig on 14th supporting Skating Polly and then again this evening. This gig they played a bit of a longer set and I think quite a few people who had came along to see Hands Off Gretel would have gone away as Flying Kangaroo Alliance fans also, it was a really good set.
A quick break while the bands changed over and it was time for Hands Off Gretel to take to the stage. With a set of over 10 songs, lasting for around one hour, everyone in attendance was in for a treat.
I may have only seen them live three times but each time they’ve played a fantastic set. A combination of some of their older songs mixed in with their newer material, their time on stage seemed to fly by, I was having such a good time. They recently released a new single called ‘Kiss Me Girl’ , with a really well made video to go with it and this was my first chance to catch them playing it live. It may be their latest release but it is quickly becoming my favourite track of theirs, and from the reaction of the crowd this evening, it’s going to become, if it isn’t already, a fan favourite.
There are certain gigs that I go to where I notice that even if there is plenty of room, the crowd gets right up to the front of the stage, which is great but it can make it a bit tricky to take photos. As The Musician I have a couple of places I know generally don’t get that crowded, and this is right next to the speakers on both sides of the stage, so that’s where I took most of my photos from. I did manage to get into a few other positions, as I try to keep down low so that even if I am allowed and can get in front of someone for a track or two, I don’t block their view of the stage.
Before I knew it Lauren informed the crowd that they were playing their last song of the evening. Having looked at the set list before the show I knew there would be an encore, so technically it wasn’t their last song, but you never know. If the crowd don’t cheer for an encore after a band leaves the stage, they may not come back on even if it’s written into their setlist. There was no danger of that happening this night, as soon as the band left to go backstage the chanting started, and soon after Hands Off Gretel were back on stage for their encore.
After a couple more songs it really was now time for them to leave the stage. A solid hour of pure punk rock from Hands Off Gretel, performed brilliantly to an adoring crowd at The Musician this Sunday evening, what more could you ask for.
This was Hands Off Gretel’s 8th date of their current ‘Kiss Me Girl’ UK tour, which lasts until the end of October, taking them to places such as London and Glasgow. I’d advise anyone that can get to any of the rest of their tour dates to do so, this was a wonderful gig and I’ll hopefully be seeing them again in December when they are back at The Old School House in Barnsley for their hometown Christmas gig.