• Naomi Sanders

LOUDER REVIEWS: Hands Off Gretel + Miss Kill at Thekla, Bristol, 05.09.2021

There’s just something special about a gig at the beginning of September on a boat, especially one that’s filled with the sounds of alternative rock and grunge music on a Sunday evening. In a city that’s so vibrant like Bristol, it’s no wonder why this show for punk/grunge band Hands Off Gretel was the talk of the city. After waiting so long to go on the road to promote The Angry EP, it was time to play and show many people why the hype is real for this four-piece. Does the group succeed in impressing the masses, or like the ship they perform on, does the performance not set sail?

All photography by Stuart Rowles - https://www.instagram.com/sturowlesphotography/

First to perform that night was Miss Kill, a duo of sisters playing their favourite sound and vibing with the crowd through their set. Despite being a small name, they blew everyone away with their style and music, showing their talent and ambition with just a guitar and drum kit. With amazing songs like “Prescriptive Poison”, “Being Young”, and “Explain Yourself”, and a debut EP coming later this season, they’re certainly a band to watch to see what awesome things they do next. Not one to skip out on, a great way to start the show.

Then, it was the turn of Hands Off Gretel and what a set it was! Mixing together their latest work from The Angry EP and I Want The World as well as a couple of hidden gems from their debut album, Burn The Beauty Queen, the set list they created was well balanced and jam-packed with brilliant song after brilliant song. From fierce headbangers like “I Want The World”, “Rot”, and “She Thinks She’s Punk Rock N Roll”, to softer ballads like “Freaks Like Us”, as well as the new song, “War”, there wasn’t a dull moment within the show. This is made even more special by the fact that each member of the band were able to showcase their talent in their own way, for example, with guitarist Sean Bon’s riffs and solos and bassist Becky Baldwin’s licks and rhythms, as well as her additional harmonies on the songs. Finally, finishing the show with their cover of “Territorial Pissings” by Nirvana was a genius move and a treat for those in attendance as that was originally only heard online, so hearing this live for the finale was a great way to close their set.

All photography by Stuart Rowles - https://www.instagram.com/sturowlesphotography/

Overall, this was a stand out show that only both Miss Kill and Hands Off Gretel together could deliver. The passion and love for their craft from both bands was overflowing in the venue and it truly shows that there’s something special within the UK's growing grunge scene. Worth catching both bands whenever possible because both of them are a delight to witness and satisfying to hear from beginning to end.

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