Gone were the days when Kate Nash used to play songs acoustic on the guitar (Birds, I Hate Seagulls etc) or songs which were performed on keyboard (The Shit Song, Later On, Pickpocket etc). Now Nash is back with the 3rd album Girl Talk which was self released through her very own record label Have 10p Records and it was funded by fans through PledgeMusic. Kate’s style has changed ever so drastically and this being a mixture of pop and punk. Now if you ever saw her side project band The Receeders, well the new material has that feel to it. The closest Nash song that comes closest to the new genre is I Just Love You More which featured on sophomore album My Best Friend Is You.
Enough about that. The Barfly played host to the third helping of gigs put on by the well known alcoholic brand Beck’s Vier. For the past month I knew the headliner was Kate Nash. I even asked her after the ending of her last UK tour at the 100 Club if she knew when tickets were going on sale. Come mid May the tickets appeared online and I scored mine straight away. I always relish seeing her perform live and maybe it is the fact I have seen her grow up from the day she performed to 50ish people at PureGroove when Foundations came out in 2007 to playing out a sold out gig (and rocking it) at the legendary 100 Club 6 years later. During those 6 years she has played festivals and venues such as Hammersmith Apollo, Village Underground, Shepherd’s Bush Empire etc but the fact she got dropped by her record label after only 2 albums Nash had to start over again playing smallish venues such as Sebright Arms, Hackney Attic, Shacklewell Arms and now Barfly.
The set opened up with a montage of video clips of Kate Nash who sang You Don’t Know Me which was originally sung by Lesley Gore. After we were then plunged into darkness, then the intro of Faster Pussycat Kill Kill started to play when they were all making their entrance. “There was this cool cool girl, she was about your age? She kind of had your style, she kind of had your face” Nash sang gently strumming along on her electric guitar. Once that was over the rest of the band came in and that is when the energy was cranked up a notch. Sister was an infuriating song plus there was a killer chorus which was delivered with plenty of gusto. This tune just hits you right in the face because this was so ferocious and the punk/ pop vibe was prominent during it. “Hey London. It’s fun playing in London. Thanks for coming to the show” Kate then said before Death Proof. This tune appeared on the self titled EP and it had spoken word verses and an infectious chorus which oozed plenty of energy. Its melody actually fitted perfectly to the powerful melody. After some whisperings with the rest of her band mate it was then onto an alteration. Now Mermaid Blue was a lot different compared to the opening two numbers and this being the fact it was a lot softer and beautiful at the same time. It can actually bring a tear to your eye. After Kate mentioned that it was for a close friend that died. At that moment I had a lump in my throat. It was then onto the first offering of old material and this came in the form of My Best Friend Is You track Kiss That Grrrl. Compared to her new material this song is completely different. The melody is actually really gentle/ hypnotic despite the fact you had the guitars and drums. Its lyrics were impeccable and rather contagious as well. Its lyrics were very clear cut as it was about being in a relationship, going out, drinking and then arguing. “Tonight we have not got on well/ I know I have given you hell/ I wish we should have stayed at home/ Cause now I’m standing on my own/ And you are having a nice time/ With a girl I really don’t like”. Following on it was onto another oldie. “How you doing? Are you ready to party?” Kate then enthusiastically said to the audience before Do Wah Doo. This had a 60′s feel to it and it oozed plenty of energy. They actually blitzed through it and nearing the end Nash jumped into the audience and flawlessly finished the song. It was then onto a song which Kate wrote on the beach whilst on holiday. Then she mentioned she had the shittest time ever with the worst person ever. OMYGOD! Was the song which followed on. Nash had put the guitar down for this one. This track was an infuriating infectious chorus which oozed fun vibes. The verses were very chilled out and during it Kate paced from side to side getting dizzy in the process as she stumbled into the drum kit. “Oh my god/ I really really miss you/ I remember what it was like to kiss you/ The words you said don’t make no sense/ I wish he was in my bed”. Kate Nash then introduced her all girl band and after some reminiscing of how she got a Myspace message to play at the Barfly in 2006 it was then onto Paris. Nash delivered this infectious blistering song to perfection. The verses were fantastic while the chorus oozed plenty of energy. Following on it was a song about having shit friends. This being Fri-End?. 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. “You don’t treat me like a friend yeah/ You don’t treat me like a friend/ I’ve been saving all this stuff inside me for you but/ You ain’t giving me the best”. It was then straight 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. Plus there was participation when some people joined in with the ooooooooooo parts. Kate put so much energy into this song which made this performance of this song outstanding. What came after was a double dose of told tracks. Mariella is such an amazing tune and one of the many highlights from the début album. For starters with it being utterly infectious everyone sang along to its chorus. Secondly it was delivered at a fast pace. From my point of view this was the single that never was.
It was then onto something everyone wanted to hear. Foundations was an addictive song and is also a classic. People were singing along to the infectious lyrics. My love for this tune always resurfaces whenever I hear it performed live. Foundations is really quirky with lyrics that had been perfectly written. It actually grabs your attention and entrances you. After Kate had thanked the supporting bands Twin Graves and Let’s Buy Happiness it was then onto the next tune of the evening. 3am was played at a frantic pace and the lyrics fitted to its melody perfectly. This number actually grows on you, its infectious lyrics were perfectly delivered at a fast pace. Nash then had a rant about the media and how that they bully people because they aren’t perfect. Kate then vowed never to have botox. It was then onto Grrrl Gang which Kate dedicated to all the fans that were in the audience. This song was a reworking of the Fidlar song Cocaine. This was powerfully delivered and had the punk vibe to it. Grrrl Gang sounded Sex Pistols esque. Underestimate The Girl infused to the ending of this re working. Now this 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 track. This then resulted in a stage invasion. Underestimate The Girl may have been a powerful romp but it had parts which were slowed down which felt rather chilled out. Everyone vacated the stage and many people started to leave because they thought with the fact it was around 11.15pm the performance was over. Having witnessed Nash perform on plenty of occasions in the past year I knew that she would finish her set late. I decided to just hang around in hope the encore was forthcoming. “We’re going to do one more” Kate said to the intimate audience. She was joined by Lindsey who was playing guitar for We Get On. Now I love this Made Of Bricks song and the lyrics were mellowing and hypnotic at the same time. Plenty of people were singing along to this infectious tune. It actually got a little tearful during the middle 8 “And when I saw you/ Kissing that girl/ My heart it shattered/ And my eyes, they watered/ And when I tried to speak I stuttered “.
Kiss That Grrrl
Do Wah Doo
Underestimate The Girl
We Got On
OVERALL: Other than witnessing the phenomenal Kate Nash perform in yet another intimate venue you also had stunning support. This coming in the form of Twin Graves who are a boy/ girl duo with an electric guitar and synths. I had looked them up prior to the actual gig and they are quite mysterious considering there is not a lot about them out there. Still I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 songs performed. As it was the first time hearing their music I do not know the actual titles. One I do remember is Blood Cell. Definitely Twin Graves are a band I will see again in the future. Also the début single Dark Moves is pretty amazing.
The second band on the night were Let’s Buy Happiness who hail from Newcastle. I have seen them perform in the past and I rather enjoyed the short but sweet set which was performed.