Handbags at Dawn

Does anyone remember this band? Around 2005/6 they very briefly tore up the London toilet circuit and produced, in their first EP ‘Guantanamo Babes’ one of the finest undiscovered punk rock gems of modern times. I first saw them at the Buffalo Bar, snarling their way through a late night set at a hundred miles an hour to a full house, the bass player Tim bearing more than a passing resemblance to Sid Vicious, all messy eye-liner black spikes and bass down at his knees, Shane the front man veering from cockney wide boy to spitting drunk Irishman and back in the space of a song and  drummer Matty clearly off his tits, shouting along from behind his kit; these boys left their mark. I got to know them vaguely a bit later when they came and played our club night and like all modern punk bands they were terribly nice and polite, except for the drummer who was off his tits again.

True to the punk ethos they didn’t bother with myspace, which of course was virtually compulsory back then, and they gave all their tracks away. They had a website which, bizarrely, is still accessible although it hasn’t been updated since April 06 and happily all their music is still available to download from there.  I was given their first EP after that first gig and it remains the best CD I’ve ever been given: 3 tracks of venomous fury, bawdy humour and sublime melody concealed under layers of visceral electricity. “I don’t have a drink problem, there’s one right there”, drawls singer Shane to kick things off and there’s no looking back from there as the music continues on its alcohol-fueled expletive-laden momentum. Their second EP was good but lacked the menace and swagger of the first. After that I have no idea what happened to them but if any of the Handbags or associates ever come across this post, get in touch. It was one hell of a ride.

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  1. Jezebel
    Jezebel February 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm .

    HANDBAGS AT DAWN WERE A LEGEND IN THEIR OWN TIME. HELL YEAH, LOVE THIS BAND. Also, I thought their second EP had plenty of swagger!

    1. clubsodarecords
      clubsodarecords February 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm .

      yeah was good, just didn’t move me as much as the first … still, much better than almost anything on the circuit at the time though. So where are they now??

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