Kate Nash


Ok. I’m just going to put it out there. I want to be best mates with Kate Nash. Seeing her live has only cemented this and I am now convinced we could be total #squadgoals.

Heading along to The Ritz for her Made of Bricks 10th anniversary show on Friday night, I didn’t know whether I should expect the quirky, light-hearted, passive aggressive age of her first flourish on the music scene a decade ago, or the 50s honky tonk-inspired, slightly darker songs from her new EP Agenda.

Cherry blossom trees and big fluffy crowds adorning the stage, I still wasn’t sure.

Just as we arrive, Kate’s support roar to life in front of an already busy and sweaty crowd. Skating Polly are an unexpected surprise for me. An explosion of riot grrl, high kicks, Hole-esque rock that most of the crowd seem to get, it sets the feeling for the evening just right – women doing their thing, and being loud about it.

Half way through Skating Polly’s set, Kate joins the band on stage for “one of her favourite songs”, fairy princess outfit to boot, before leaving them to make her grand entrance at the start of her own set.

Backed by an all female band, it is soon clear that this show is going to be a celebration of Made of Bricks rather than a plug of her new EP, but something was different.

The well-known songs – ‘Foundations’, ‘Mouthwash’ – have a much harder edge than they did originally, probably something to do with the badass female rock band around her, but the usual poppy undertone is replaced with a nu metal rock one, and it works.

Kate dictates the pace and energy of the songs with eccentric dance moves, slut drops and head banging – she slips into almost metal mode at times. Moving seamlessly from delicate rhythm guitar on ‘Dickhead’ to an anthem-like acoustic ‘Birds’, she covers all the classics and gets the measure of the audience quite quickly. One small mention of Theresa May and the crowd starts chanting “Jeremy Corbyn”, much to Kate’s delight.

I feel tired just watching her dashing from acoustic to piano to being supported by the band but I’m drawn in by her well-known storytelling-style songs, and so is the rest of the audience. She’s got us in the palm of her hand as she runs through ‘Mariela’ and ‘Shit Song’, the crowd bouncing with her. We stay with her through the sassy ‘Pumpkin Soup’ and the pretty beautiful ‘Nicest Thing’ and others before she has a quick change and returns for an encore that introduces songs from the new EP to the set.

Considerably harder and louder, you can see where the new sounds on the old school songs come from. It’s still peppered with the same powerful messages of strength from a decade ago but you can tell Kate is really connecting with the emotion in these songs. This is told when she addresses a group of girls who’d written to her on social media earlier in the day – this song is for their friend, who lost her battle with mental health recently. The girls, who it just so happens are stood right behind me, are rightly extremely emotional.

Ending with ‘Merry Happy’ (unless you count the little sing everyone had to “I’ve had the time of my life” as we walked out), Kate Nash crashes to the end of her set, even if her long encore did tire some of the sweaty crowd.

Kate Nash is the girl we all want to be when we meet a f*ck boy – angry, confident and sassy. Empowering women to speak their minds whether they’re angry or horny or whatever, for 10 years, she marked the decade in a cloud of glitter and emotion. Cheers to that.

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