handbags at dawn

the band

Four-strong musical collective Handbags At Dawn formed in the summer of 2003, in a variety of pubs around London's Soho. Singer/ guitarist/ songwriter Shane Rennick moved from his native Dundalk, Ireland to the city of London in 2002, and quickly established himself as a menace of open mic nights in pubs across town, with his self-tailored blend of fierce ranty folk-punk. Impressed by these fiery solo performances, guitarist Matt Lancashire and bassist Tim Steele - themselves an inseparable musical duo for a number of years - teamed up with Shane to pad out his musical vision and take the role of general henchmen. Completing the line-up was drummer Matty van Roden - a flamboyant drug-fuelled Australian who had bashed the skins for fourteen years in a church band, before renouncing religion and taking up rock 'n roll.

Together, the Handbags entered a rigorous rehearsal schedule over a period of six months and emerged a tight musical unit, eager for action, opportunity, and universal adoration. Demo disc "The Guantanamo Babes EP" was recorded in March 2004 at Din Studios, in London's Docklands, and perfectly captures this young band's edge, bite, and hook-laden tunefulness. Lead track "I'm the Fuckin' Geezer" was the first song the Handbags ever rehearsed together, and perfectly showcases singer Shane's chaotic poetic stream-of-consciousness narratives, Matt's searing lead guitar, and Tim and Matty's quasi-disco rhythm section. Accompanying tracks "Opinionated Blue-Collar Outlook" and "I Like Piggybacks Too!" are charged stompers with upbeat folk-pop choruses, giving a taster of an even more melodic side of the band.

Handbags At Dawn are spending the rest of this year gigging around London, and their sizzling, mesmerising live performances are well worth investigating. Catch them while they're still fresh, young and hungry for action!

July 2004

the band
the music