How much do school-kids and grown-up punks really have in common? The South-East Kent pop-punkers Hands Up are enlisting the help of two very special kids, Mabel and Osker, to find out!
Mabel and Osker are the children of Ben WQ, who dutifully jots down their more outlandish statements made during everyday life and turns them into lyrics for Hands Up. The songs cover an eclectic range of themes; from the joys of marble-and-pencil-football, to dancing in a loft, to the disappointment of having to work for wages that are inevitably poorly spent. It is everything you would expect to share in a conversation with a kid (and some things that you wouldn’t), except that all of this is set to a punk-rock backdrop of energetic drums, punching bass and crunching guitars; the music juxtaposes with the innocent, youthful lyrics.
Hands up began as a collaboration between three teachers; Ben, Rob (bass) and Oli (drums). Oli and Ben worked at the same school as Rob’s wife, who promptly introduced them. Together, they played a couple of songs at a local talent-show, clad in home-made tee-shirts of their favourite pop-stars. Rob’s college friend and university housemate Jim (guitar) would complete the line-up. Hands Up would go on to play more shows, record and release a number of singles, make music videos and promote inclusive and diverse charity gigs under their “No Name Promotion” banner.
Hands Up recently released the single and music video for “Pick N Mix”. The chorus refrain of “Sometimes I don’t like hanging around with you” repeats through the song, recollecting the unashamed dissatisfaction of a day out to the zoo and the cinema with your Dad. We’ve all been there. The accompanying music video embodies the day itself, as Ben stoically battles through popcorn, dinosaurs and glitter-bombs.
In “Loft Volcano”, Ben channels Osker and sings “big head, fuzzy face, dancing around all over the place”. That’s what grown-up punks and school-kids have in common; that what really matters is having a great time, whether it’s with the girl that wears light up shoes and stick-on tattoos, or working out what your age looks like, or playing kickball rounders. The big, beardy faces of Hands Up want to make you dance all over the place with their singalong playground pop punk!
hands up are…
Ben – Vocals, Oli – Drums, Rob – Bass, Jim – Guitar
…a punk band.