Wednesday, October 25, 2017

BLACK HONEY - DREAM WIFE - HANDS OFF GRETEL - "Grrrrls" - Various venues - 2016-2017

"Song van het Jaar" - Tivoli Vredenburg Pandora - Utrecht - (NL) 6 16-12-16 
1 - All My Pride
2 - Hello Today
3 - Sleep Forever
4 - Spinning Wheel
5 - Corrine  
The Fox Theater - Oakland - CA (USA) - 22-03-17 
6 - Hey Heartbreaker
7 - Love Without Reason
8 - Kids
9 - Somebody
10 - Act My Age
11 - Let's Make Out
12 - FUU 
BLACK HONEY - 22 d'Auron - "Printemps de Bourges" (F) - 15-04-16
13 - Bloodlust
14 - Black Honey
15 -You Said It All  
DREAM WIFE - "Chauffer Dans La Noirceur" Festival - Montmartin sur Mer (F) - 14-07-17
16 - Love Without Reason (cut in)
17 - Everything
HANDS OFF GRETEL - Toolmakers Studio - Sheffield (UK) - 04-09-17
18 - World Against She
19 - One Eyed Girl
20 - Bigger Than Me
21 - My Size
22 - Little Man (The Londoner - Barnsley - 17-06-16)

Technical info  :
DVD Pro-shot & Audience
Video : Mpeg - 720 X 576 - 25 FPS - 16:9
Audio : Mpeg - 48000 Hz
Running Time : 87 mns

Size : 4,03 Go
Menu & Chapters - Artwork included

Good to be back ! Must admit this summer may have been the rockingest summer I've ever had ! Twelve festivals, hundreds of shows, lots of discoveries, some confirmations, a few disillusions but on the whole a whale of a time spent in front of stages and in cramped bar backyards ! With so many nice memories in mind, I didn't really know who to start with for this new back-to-business kick. I've seen quite a bunch of full testosterone concerts over the last few months (see above) but don't know why, I feel like more oestrogenous as the winter breeze is drawing closer ! :-) So, ladies ... you're first !!
As frontwomen, Teri Gender Bender from Le Butcherettes and Duchess Says' Annie-Claude Deschênes are still my present-day craziest overpowering rule-the-stage favourites and even if the following ladies aren't the wildest amazons to have set foot on the platform, they are not to be left out either !!

 I first met Black Honey for one of their early dates in France, back in april 2016, for the "Printemps de Bourges" newcomers night. I'm used to going to that particular event every year and I must say the schedulers have flair as I've never been disappointed (I do remember Royal Blood's show - Black Honey is currently supporting btw - in front of three hundred or so people way before the release of their first album !). So again, I first found Black Honey quite sweet and to be honest, Izzy does have the knack to catch your eye ! Even if I usually rather go for dirtier loud things, as the show went on, I got caught by this indie rock that British people have so much talent for so that I finally ended up at the merch after the set. The guys were really cool, accessible and easy-chatting and Izzy was even pleased to feel a kind of "home" touch when she noticed my Blood Red Shoes tee, another Brighton band they spent some time with at the studio few weeks before. I walked out the venue quite happy of the shows I'd attended that night (Black Honey, Broken Hands, Vant, Yak, Last Train, The Limiñanas). The following day being even more hectic but this is another garage story ...

A few months later, I got all the more grateful to Black Honey when I came across an interview in which they mentioned an unknown band to me they were touring with at the time : Dream Wife !! Love at first listen ! I immediately had a crush on Rakel's voice and Alice's dissonant sound of guitar. A few weeks later, it even took me to a four and a half hour drive to their only French gig this summer, at "Chauffer Dans La Noirceur Festival". A few parts of the show are included in the "Bonus" section here (with a menu made from two photos taken at the time) even if, as for the "Black Honey" extras, the sound taken by a camera in a hall or under an open-air marquee can't match a soundboard capture. However, instead of keeping the yet too scarce professional Dream Wife livestreams available, I decided to turn to AdmiralNeeda's footage (big up to you, mate !) filmed in Oakland, California, this year as it sounds much more in tune with Dream Wife's pop-punk rawness and is much funnier too (see the mix-up between "Alice" and "Alison" before "Love Without Reason" :-) !)
Dream Wife has only released two EPs and a couple of singles so far but "FUU" is for sure my personal 2017 hit (I missed it out in 2016). Rakel's voice is just amazing on this one, shifting from sugared cheek to unleashed fury ! A voice that tells to "Fuck You Up" and that you definitely want to thank for it !!  

Can't really recall my first encounter with Hands Off Gretel. Some time in early 2017 but I do remember being really caught by the name I still love today. Yet, I was a bit wary about the " fairy-tale-freak show like" appearance of the band I first unfairly considered too sophisticatedly layered to be genuinely authentic and natural. But I kept a photo of Lauren Tate on my hard drive which is, to be honest, the least you can do when you're a man ! If I were eighteen today (ages ago !), Hands Off Gretel would probably be my new all-time favourite band of the week. I forgot the trio for a while and then recently came across this Lauren Tate photo again. I wondered how "bigger" the little band from Sheffield area could have grown, if it has ever, and I was quite amazed by the large amount of fans and materials available on the net on which not much could be grabbed a few months before. I was totally wrong on my first impression. Lauren Tate is a real creative power machine who commands respect and admiration at such an early age. Sticking to the band's DIY ethic, she turned down an X Factor offer to relentlessly dive in a grungy 90s revival in which she holds all the aspects of the band's imagery and sound, from the artwork, drawings, photos, posters, clothes, web design to the song writing and videos (quite a few impressive"behind the scenes" videos are available on the net). In her DIY spirit, Hands Off Gretel is also a family business, Lauren Tate's mum co-managing the band and the booking. Of course, one can't help thinking of Courtney Love's growls and Brody Dale's roars listening to the young screamer. More, she often quotes Kathleen Hanna as one of her personal role models. The reference to the riot grrrls movement is obvious and the name of the band is incidentally no less than a sassy variation of Babes In Toyland's song "Handsome And Gretel". Hands Off Gretel have just released their first thirteen-track album and a second lp comes out in january 2018 ! A sincere start for a promising band no doubt. Well, Linda Perry, Kate Nash and Shirley Manson seem to think so ... :-)

Enjoy !

Cheers !   


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