Evaluating the performance of an artist you have liked for about nine years – an artist who has developed and grown into her music, and who you have seen live before (twice) – is unlikely to lead to a negative review. I had not expected, however, that Kate Nash’s recent concert in Glasgow would be one of the best gigs I have ever been to. The fact that Nash’s band consisted of three strong female musicians made it an outstanding gig.
Nash started with Sister, a song from her 2013 album Girl Talk, followed up by Kiss That Grrrl from My Best Friend Is You (2010). I could immediately tell she was excited to be back on tour and happy to be performing in Glasgow. With Mouthwash she performed one of her oldest and, apparently still, most popular songs. After Do-Wah-Doo, another song from My Best Friend Is You, she exclaimed “I’m just gonna have a quick cuppa tea”, sounding delightfully British. OMYGOD!, the second song of the night from Girl Talk, had the audience happily dancing and sing-shouting along. Nash then delivered three songs from her first album, Made of Bricks (2007): Birds, Pumpkin Soup and We Get On.
Compared to the aforementioned other two concerts I was lucky enough to attend, she performed more songs from her first record and seemed happier doing so.
After what felt like a trip down memory lane, Nash then surprised us with a new song. Musical Theatre is, in Kate’s own words, about her relationship with her brain and her mental health. She talked about how badly she suffered from OCD before her pet bunny Fluffy got ill and she “made a deal to become vegetarian”. Fluffy survived and Nash got her compulsive behaviour under control, as becoming a vegetarian seemed like a big enough sacrifice to save her bunny. After telling the audience about Mind, a mental health charity for which her sister Helen is raising money, Nash treated her fans to a rendition of Mariella, a song fruitlessly requested by fans at both previous concerts I attended. “We love you, Kate Nash!” a fan screamed, and Nash, trying to sound Scottish, enthusiastically yelled back: “I love you, Glaesga!” With Fri-end?, Nash performed the third (and last) song from Girl Talk. This was followed by Agenda, another new song. “I don’t give a f*** about your agenda, I don’t give a f*** about your agenda, I don’t give a f*** about your agenda!” she sang, and the crowd responded ecstatically.
Next was Foundations, yet another song from her first album. The gig then got more political as talked about Donald Trump: “I’m not taking your f*****g racist, sexist, homophobic bulls**t, and I’m taking a stand against that!” About Donald Trump, Teresa May and Nigel Farage she said: “You’re not f*****g stupid, are you?! No, you’re not! They are f*****g stupid, and they should never f*****g underestimate you because they’re gonna see what happens when they f*****g do!” This she followed up with Under-Estimate the Girl, which had an undeniable riot grrrl sound to it. Exacerbating that sentiment, she went crowd surfing during the song and rolled around on stage with her guitar.
Everybody moved closer to the stage as the night went on, but at the same time it never felt I was being pushed out of the way. The fans seemed eager to sing along and to be close to Nash, yet people were polite when leaving to get drinks and when making their way back . There was an expected encore, which was My Little Alien, which is about her dog Stella. It was the perfect ending to a great concert experience. I left the venue thinking that as well as having been the first gig I went to in 2017, it is likely to remain one of the best this year.
Photo by Kelsey Hart.
For more on Kate Nash and her touring dates click here.