Kate Nash rose to fame back in 2007 with her #2 hit "Foundations" which was lifted from her platinum selling #1 debut album Made of Bricks, from here, a further two albums have been released, the latest being Girl Talk in 2013. She's set to release a new EP titled Agenda which is going to be hitting the shelves in May.
Arriving at the venue rather early, I was surprised to see a healthy throng of fans had been there for some time, waiting outside the auditorium doors to guarantee themselves a good spot at the barrier. The merch table consisted of a couple of cassette tapes from the support act Gothic Tropic, a Los Angeles band who are playing every UK date with Kate and a selection of Kate Nash souvenirs including caps, tote bags and a range of T-Shirts with various slogans across the front of them.
The doors opened and in poured the hoards, vying for the best place to stand to enjoy the evening’s entertainment. I took up residency on the lower balcony which afforded me a great vantage point to take some long range photos whilst my photographer was afforded the pride of place slot inside the press barrier.
Gothic Tropic took to the stage and immediately launched into their set, made up of indie-pop infused 60's surf rock which went down a storm. Fronted by Los Angeles resident Cecilia Della Peruti, the melodies were soon cascading around the room, bouncing off all corners and filling the room with heavy reverb. Their music was varied, one minute, quite 'poppy' the next, quite 'grungy', I heard elements of bands such as Wolf Alice and The Strokes in the sound which is never a bad thing! The band looked like they were having great fun on stage, Cecilia bonding well with both the bass player and guitarist to deliver the goods. I caught up with Cecilia after the show and she told me of how she'd played guitar with Kate Nash in Los Angeles and she asked her if she'd consider supporting her on her UK tour, naturally she said yes! I also commented about the audio cassettes on the merch table and asked her if they were making a comeback? She said that they were becoming very popular again in America and with the introduction of events such as 'Cassette Store Day' happening every year, it wouldn't be long until record shops were stocking them again, I disagreed but admired her for her honesty and belief in a format that I know is destined for the history books of old. I must also add that the cassettes had a download code in them for anyone wishing to add the music to their portable devices, maybe something to do with not being able to purchase cassette players anymore?
After a short break, the stage was set for the arrival of Kate Nash and her band, I knew from looking at her social media that the tour is pretty well sold out all over the country and I admit that I didn't really know what to expect. The band members walked on stage whilst the video backdrop played a film of Kate whilst "You Don't Own Me" belted out of the PA. Kate took to the stage whilst a montage of Russ Meyer snippets were beamed across the backdrop, strapped on a bass guitar and launched into "Sister" followed by "Death Proof", both lifted from her 2013 album Girl Talk. This set the scene perfectly, I admit that it was way more raucous than I thought it would be, her band doing a tremendous job of keeping up with her lively stage presence and raw energy.
The setlist continued to deliver one quality song after another, "Oh My God" was a real pleaser, followed by "Birds" which saw Kate take to the acoustic guitar, bringing things down a level, allowing the fans a chance to rest!
Kate dropped in some new material which will be arriving in May in the form of a new EP , one of the tracks was "Musical Theatre", which was written about Kate's relationship with her brain. Kate is a supporter of the mental health charity MIND and she spent a few minutes telling people about the great work that the charity does. She herself struggles with mental health issues but is at a stage in her life where she can openly talk about her feelings and encouraged anyone with mental health issues to seek out help.
"Dickhead" saw Kate enter the pit and walk the front row, singing to fans, posing for selfies and generally hanging with her fans, something that will be remembered by many for a long time to come.
Another new song, "Agenda" was a fusion of electro, rock and rap and saw Kate leaping about whilst her sampled vocals played over her own to create the desired effect. It was after this that the opening chords of "Foundations" kicked off, this got a huge roar of approval from the room and I must admit that hearing it played in this way was refreshingly good, gone were the twee tinkling of the ivories, replaced instead with heavy distorted guitar and growling bass!
Kate gave a lengthy speech on how there is, even after so much has been done to highlight and combat it, still so much sexism in the music industry and recalled her early days when she felt that she had to try so much harder than her male counterparts to get herself shows. This was concluded by a rousing piece on how women shouldn't be afraid to give anything a go, be it performing in a band or just standing up for what you believe in, this received a huge roar of approval from the capacity crowd, the majority of which were young females, looking for a role model in their lives and you know what? I think they just found her!
Following this rather lengthy speech, she launched into "Underestimate the Girl" and midway through the song, invited a bunch of young ladies on to the stage to dance and let their hair down whilst she pounded on the bass guitar, looking at their smiling faces, I'd say that this really made the young ladies evenings and again, gave them some real memories to treasure.
The band left the stage and I honestly thought it was all over but a few minutes after, Kate came crawling back onto the stage. Joined by the rest of the band, they launched into "Mariella" which was all it took to close a very successful, energetic and thought provoking show. They took a bow at the front of the stage and over the sound of "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls, the ladies left the stage for the final time.
Do Wah Doo
Oh My God
We Get On
My Little Alien
Underestimate the Girl