It’s fair to say that it’s been a challenging week for Hands Off Gretel.

Earlier this week the band’s frontwoman Lauren Tate wrote an open letter to the men who come to their shows detailing the kinds of misogynistic behaviour herself and bass player Becky Baldwin endure at the band’s shows. Tate went on to say that ‘We just want to be valued and respected’ – surely this is not too much to ask for.

This evening the quartet makes a welcome return to Tyneside where a packed out crowd of old and new fans show their solidarity with Tate and company at Think Tank in Newcastle.

Earlier this year the group released their critically acclaimed sophomore album I Want The World and subsequently, Hands Off Gretel are currently on the road in support of their latest offering.

As the South Yorkshire based four-piece hits the Newcastle stage they kick off the proceedings with the thunderous fuzz fuelled title track of the record itself. The group very quickly blast their way through a further four back to back tracks from their new album. This includes the likes of Alien, Big Boy, S.A.S.S and the beautifully melancholy It’s My Fault, which in turn sets the tone for the night ahead.

The band pleases their old school fans with their groove-heavy 2015 single Be Mine and the hard-hitting Bad Egg and One Eyed Girl. Each of these tracks rock so hard that you could literally feel the floor vibrate as the band and their fans come together in unison.

However, tonight’s show is largely about the band’s new record, with the lion’s share of I Want The World featuring during the band’s hour-long set. For example, Milk is quite an aggressive and angry number, but the underlying theme relates to animal rights whilst the infectious melody of My Friend Said simply sweeps you away.

The group preview one of their newest tracks in the shape of Punk Rock and Roll, but by his own admittance guitarist, Sean hates it. With its thunderous rhythm yet poppy undertones, it certainly strikes a chord with the Tyneside faithful.

Hands Off Gretel close out their main set with a mosh pit inducing airing of My Size, before returning to the stage for the anthemic Kiss Me Girl, which is dedicated to the ladies in attendance.

In an oversaturated music industry, bands these days have to have something special to set them apart from the rest. It’s quite difficult to put your finger on what that characteristic is, but when you hear it or witness it live, you recognise it immediately. Tonight Hands Off Gretel prove that they are without a shadow of a doubt one of the most exciting bands on the British touring circuit right now.

Hands Off Gretel
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Event Date: 11-July-201

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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