Kate Nash @ Shacklewell Arms 1st November 2012

The Shacklewell Arms saw Kate Nash play an intimate sold out show for Michael Sobell House. All the proceeds of the night were going to this charity/ hospice. This was the 2nd and final Kate Nash date. The prior evening saw her play at the Hackney Attic (which is a part of the Hackney Picturehouse) when she played an incredible Halloween show tackling the Once More With Feeling soundtrack. What was showcased on the evening was all brand new material. I arrived at the pub around 6pm. This was an 18+ evening and I wasn’t expecting there to be a massive queue of people.

Doors opened at 8pm and the first act was on very promptly. This support act being Alanna McArdle who took to the stage around 8.15pm. Alanna goes under the name of Ides and it was just her. I had previously witnessed her support Echo Lake in October and I was so impressed I kept tabs on her as she has something incredibly special. First of all McArdle reminded me of an early EMA and I love EMA. Maybe that is the reason why I took to the set that she played. Just the fact Ides supported was a nice little bonus. Despite the fact Alanna was playing the electric guitar each song that was showcased was not overpowering. The style of the music that was played was mellowing Punk music which left me wanting to hear more brand new material. Ides is an artist that excites me greatly and she is someone well worth keeping tabs on. Songs such as Trains and 16 were simply incredible. Once Alanna had finished it was then a short change over until the second support and this being The Tuts. I had previously checked out their material on the internet as they were in the audience of Kate’s show at The Haunt. Now the 3 piece band had their debut EP out and the set showcased songs from that as well as others. From what I heard during the set the style was Indie Pop which went down a treat. Once they were over it was then a wait until Kate Nash took to the stage.

Sister was the first song on the night. I had only witnessed this song on YouTube as Kate sang it at one of the Faster Pussycats Run Run tour earlier on in the year as part of the encore. It started off with Kate playing the guitar for the first verse. This was delivered at a steady pace then the rest of the band came in for the chorus through to the end. Now this was like a full on force it was extremely strong. I have been to 2 Kate gigs where she has showcased brand new material and the style has drastically changed. I love the new direction Nash had taken. “Hello, London. Don’t you just always want to say that at every gig?” Kate then said to the packed audience before Death Proof. I heard this back in 2011 at the intimate Christmas show at the Colonel Fawcett when it had the working title I Don’t Have Time To Die. The majority of this song was spoken through but it infused to the melody perfectly which resulted in one fantastic song. “So this evening all the money from tonight is going to a charity. The very wonderful hospice called Michael Sobell House. All the money from the merch and the whole show is going to that charity. So please give generously” Kate then said before mentioning that Mermaid Blue was for their friend Siobhan Malhotra whom they were doing the show for. I found this song really beautiful and had incredible lyrics. “Did you all have a Happy Halloween? I did. I had the best day of my life this Halloween because I was Buffy The Vampire Slayer” Nash then said referencing the successful Halloween show the night before. It was then onto the latest offering by Kate and this being Fri-End? which had been offered as a free download when you subscribed to the mailing list. “If you know the words sing along. If you don’t sing whatever you want and just dance and have a good time” Nash then mentioned to the audience. This tune was very up-tempo and was extremely powerful which literally blew me away. Fri-End was like a full on force which hits you in the face. This number was about having terrible friends. It was then onto Conventional Girl. At first it started off very smooth then the drums came in and it became rather heavy. This song had superb memorable lyrics (“I’m sick of being the bitch that you think I am”) and was delivered at a storming pace. It was then onto Sweet Heart and I found this number to be rather gentle plus the lyrics were lovely. The middle eight where Kate said the line “Sweetheart Of Mine” sent shivers up my spine. “This song is a new song. I mean loads of them are new to some people. Some superfans will know them from like YouTube clips and stuff. Thank you Superfans. This is like my favourite song title that I’ve ever come up with” Nash then said to the audience. It was then onto I’m A Feminist, You’re Still A Whore. Compared to what had already been played this tune wasn’t as heavy. The lyrics were superb and I can definitely see it on the forthcoming LP. All Talk was next and it sounded like what her side project band The Receeders would sing. Out of old Nash song I would compare it to I Just Love You More. It was then onto another newie and this being I Want A Boyfriend With A Car. This song was extremely powerful and it was sung at a furious pace. “Sing this with me please” Nash said to the audience urging everyone to join in with the oooo’s. “You’re very good” she then said before playing Cherry Picking. This was like a full on force and extremely heavy. 3am was played at a frantic pace and the lyrics fitted to its melody perfectly. Out of all the new songs that were performed this offered a lot of promise. “I totally remember what I was going to say. I was in a taxi recently listening to the masters of my new album cos I’ve just finished mastering it. That song, the one we just did before that. I was listening to it as I was being dropped off by the cab driver going through my whole album. He was like Is that your music? I liked it apart from that punk one” Kate then said before Do Wah Doo. The song featured on sophomore album My Best Friend Is You. Nash and the rest of the band blitzed through this electric song at ease. It was over in a flash. “Next song is like Summer vibes which is so very very far away right now cos it’s fucking freezing. Imagine that you are like on a beach by the pool in some amazing hotel eating the best food ever” Kate then said before Oh My God. I found this number to be rather light and easy on the ear. The chorus was really infectious and had a furious pace. What followed needed no introductions and this being Kate’s debut single on Fiction and this being Foundations. This was a right pleasing song and I really adored the fast paced quirky lyrics. Foundations had got the full on band version which made it extremely powerful. “Thanks for coming by the way guys” Nash said before Free My Pussy. She then hushed everyone as she wanted complete silence for this new song. This was a gentle hypnotic song with beautiful lyrics. I especially liked the miaow miaow parts. “This is a cover of our friends song. They’re a band called Fidlar and there from LA. They have this song about cocaine. When I first heard the demo I was like I really like that song about the girl gangs. Then I realised that I’m just like totally naïve. I like to imagine that it’s about girl gangs” Kate then said before Girl Gang. I have not heard the original before but I really liked Nash’s version. Nash then capped things off with Underestimate The Girl. Now this song was written and recorded less than 24 hours. Just like I Just Love You More this song does take a while to grow on you. Kate put everything she had into this brilliant song.


Death Proof
Mermaid Blue
Conventional Girl
Sweet Heart
I’m A Feminist, You’re Still A Whore
All Talk
I Want A Boyfriend With A Car
Cherry Picking
Do Wah Doo
Oh My God
Free My Pussy
Girl Gang
Underestimate The Girl

OVERALL: This was an incredible evening showcased tunes which will no doubt feature on the 3rd LP which has already been mastered. Kate’s style of music has changed dramatically since the release of My Best Friend Is You. The direction she has taken is the Punk/ Rock one. The style of what was showcased actually reminded me of Nash’s side project The Receeders.

Some of Kate’s fans may be divided over this brand new direction she has taken. Some may love it, some may dislike it (as it is extremely different from the Indie Pop she sang on Made Of Bricks and My Best Friend Is You).

I am looking forward to the forthcoming album. All of the new songs I have heard are superb. The only problem is so many have been showcased and there will be some that don’t make the final cut.


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