Tramlines 2017: Hands Off Gretel @ Crystal Stage

Hands Off Gretel

Crystal Stage, Saturday

After spending an impressively short time setting up, Hands Off Gretel got right down to it. Opening with ‘Little Girl’, the crowd were instantly immersed in their post-punk, no BS universe.

Interestingly enough, front woman Lauren Tate is able to slide seamlessly between jovial South Yorkshire chat (giving the audience ample warnings, such as “We might be a bit scary” and “This one’s a loud one”) and switching to screamo with ease. As she befriended the crowd, I decided that all rock and roll from now on needs some northern charm.

Even amidst the chaos, it’s hard to describe Hands Off Gretel without using the word “polished” – but it’s a grungy type of polish, if you catch my drift. From the sexy ballsiness of ‘Be Mine’ to the sleek guitar hooks on ‘Bad Egg’, the group overall seems like a perfectly executed passion project. And any feedback just adds to the drama.

Finishing with ‘My Friends’, and enough shredding by guitarist Sean Bon to take an eye out, the crowd were left in unforgiving punk rock heaven.

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