Handbags at Dawn - Schadenfreude

Handbags at Dawn

Yes, I am still alive, lets just say its been an interesting few months and, short of being turned into a drone by some evil corporation, not much has changed. Anyhoo, enough excuses on my own fleeting appearances, and on with Handbags at Dawn.

I had no expectations at all from Handbags, having not heard a great deal of them beforehand. It starts off with ‘Are You Lookin At My Missus?’ which explodes into life with enough pomp and swagger to make any half-drugged tramp tap their foot uncontrollably.

It’s an odd mix of Irish style folk music with traditional rock. It gets even weirder when the vocals start, as initially it warrants a moment to take in the London accent – but that’s no a bad thing at all. If anything it grabs your attention from the moment the first word is uttered. The first verse which sounds like a tourettes sufferer on a good day, only grabs you more firmly by the scruff of the neck. The contrast on the backing vocals on the chorus again gives it something different and is nothing but listenable. In fact ‘Are You Lookin At My Missus?’ seems to be over quicker than England’s World Cup dreams, but leaves you wanting more.

‘Playin the Gay Guitar’ is a lot more relaxed in its build up, with a gentle strumming acoustic guitar and again we find well crafted lyrics which, while abstract, are clearly not put together just for the sake of it. And to say that the chorus is not hooky would be to say that you have as much musical knowledge as a small pebble at the bottom of a very deep hole in the ground.

There are echoes of Moby’s ‘Play’ album in here, which may sound strange, but the sound is very folky and again the backing vocals only serve to add an extra dimension, leaving the addition of ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’ to only add to the sense that its a very gentle, swaying song. I’m tapping my foot listening to it as its ridiculously easy to listen to.

The final track ‘Gonzo’ again eases you in and soon the Handbags style of lyrics mixed with half-said conversations (with some random third party) are by now, to be expected. It almost seems as if these guys are just practising in the room next to you.

In fact by the time ‘Gonzo’ finishes, its difficult to believe that its only three tracks as, although they are standard(ish) in length, they have so many different parts to each song that it feels like you’ve listened to an album.

Full of energy and a small amount of invention, there is nothing mainstream about these guys. I don’t usually get on with this style of music, but its impossible to not listen to each track and not want to put it on all over again.

Written by Bradshaw on

Duncan Bradshaw is a gentleman, a musician, and a renowned bizarro author.

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