Tuborg Reader Review – Kate Nash

By Clash reader Barney Howes

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So, Harrow’s golden girl has gone from releasing her debut 7” to the Hammersmith Apollo in just under a year, a meteoric and unexpected rise for a singer whose mixture of kitchen sink pop and acoustic balladry has captured young girls’ hearts everywhere.

At least this is the succinct overview which can be deduced after entering the bustling Apollo tonight. It is not often as an eighteen year old indie die hard guy I feel out of place at a gig with a BRITS and NME Award winning artist, however the endless swarms of adolescent girls dressed in pokedot and bright colours demonstrates how Kate Nash has completely won over a well defined (and no doubt lucrative) demographic. It also means a misplaced swing of an elbow whilst jumping about on my part could result in a serious injury so I confine myself to the centre and listen to the deafening cheers as Miss Nash strides on confidently to The Supremes’ ‘Stop In The Name Of Love’. A quick hello and she breaks into the poptastic ‘Pumpkin Soup’, the perfect song to get the restless teens pogoing like grasshoppers.

As Nash moves into ‘Shit Song’ something seems out of place. Despite the presence of a large backing band and all the specialist equipment a major label funded large venue gig brings the star tonight is barely audible. Converse to some less appreciative listener’s beliefs that Kate Nash can only sing like a faux cockney she actually has an excellent singing voice, however it is only evident when the audience is quiet as dormant mice for softer hits such as the sublime ‘Birds’. The audio problems are exacerbated when Kate Nash does a string of lesser known ballads, barely perceptible above the chatter of the young crowd.

Just when things look to be spiralling into chasm of mid set tumbleweed rolling though Kate Nash steps up a gear and dances around manically for ‘We Get On’ and ‘Mariella’. The audience respond to their heroine’s new found enthusiasm and start singing along as if it had not occurred to them that this was a popular pastime at gigs. Infuriatingly Kate Nash is too quiet between songs or simply uninterested in stating which song is next (there should be a campaign against this) meaning her punkish and explicative filled new ditties are impossible to put a name to.

‘Mouthwash’ followed by ‘Foundations’ should be an epic ending to the set, and many girls do indeed scream at eardrum busting volume. Nash is still too quiet though, it is inescapable. ‘Foundations’ is pretty rather than the amazing closer it should be tonight. Striding on for her encore Kate Nash is gleefully happy. Merry Happy in fact, for after a quick song with support act Black Kids she breaks into her latest single ‘Merry Happy’ and it is a triumph, keyboards being finger beaten to breaking point and huge canon loads of confetti ate are fired high above the audience’s head.

So whilst Kate Nash paid her dues to her obliging and delirious fans the Apollo failed to show her at her best. Not every act can be Muse, and Kate Nash would definitely be better suited to a residency at a smaller venue rather than soulless mini arenas. However at the aftershow there was free cake so 10 out of 10 and stuff the marking system.

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