Known for their all-out energetic assault, Yorkshire’s alt rock/grunge pop band, Hands off Gretel, have built themselves a solid live reputation complete with sugar-coated grunge-punk railing against the issues of body image, mental health, celebrity, childhood and loneliness. Damian Robinson caught up with frontwoman Lauren Tate to hear more about their trip back up to the North East.
Hi Lauren, for a band who’s reputation is fairly cemented principally as a live act how’ve you found the past year?
Ah, in some ways I feel like a caged animal because I love live shows so much, but in other ways I’ve been working on different ideas such as releasing hip hop under an alter ego. So you try to do what you can, I love live music but if it’s not there then I also enjoy the creative side of music.
You’re known for a pretty relentless live show, have you been back practicing the show before you play it live?
We’re working on things in rehearsal yes, but really when it’s a live show we all get super excited and super into the music. I think when you play live your adrenaline and the meaning behind your music takes over, so as much as you can get ready for a live show you can never really replace the feeling of a live show, with a live audience, and the energy that comes from the crowd and band interaction. As soon as we start playing it’s about being in the moment.
Your recent releases have had a slightly different sound to your earlier work, will that need a different set-up on stage.
You’re right, we’ve been trying new things in our music and we’re now at the point of experimenting more and seeing how the live shows go. We may have some new songs to play on the tour, and that’s good because it means we can experiment more and see how people react. If the reaction is good then that’ll influence how future songs are recorded.
So the plan is to hit the studio after the tour?
We’ll see. At the minute the focus is on the tour, and getting back out and creating some noise, and helping people to dance and scream and let it all out. That’s what we’re here to do- to create music that helps people live in the moment and enjoy themselves.
And do you find the North East crowd look for that?
They do, but I’d say all of our shows are crazy and filled with energy and laughter and energy. The North East may just sometimes be a little more energetic than elsewhere.
Hands Off Gretel play Newcastle Cluny on Wednesday 27 October