Monday, January 14, 2008
Kate Nash , Powerhouse Pipes behind the Little Red Curtain
Stashed behind a Pizza parlor, Miss Kate Nash made her Pacific coast debut last night at San Francisco's gentrified hipster hole in the wall, Popscene.
by Ella Lauser
photo by BarryB's fab phone!
With so much hype in such a short time, it was fitting that this red headed Brit was to have her Californian debut at a crap venue that she already had outgrown. If peanuts and straw had been strewn on the floor, it would have felt more authentic and less "sham in a jam" turned cool nightspot.
It wasn't until I saw that Little Red riding hood had apparently martyred her famous cloth for a more honorable cause, Kate Nash's keyboard skirt, that I relieved a sigh of knowing I was certainly in the right place. In a Joan of Arc meets ABBA silver shirt frock dress, Kiss Me Kate shimmied and shimmered her way past the men's water closet onto the four foot high stage. Leaping with the help of a formidable security brute, she mounted the platform steadying her course, it was not unlike an elementary school recital entry and it was just as endearing.
Plunking out the set with relatively unknown "Mariella" we were immediately informed that this songstress was packing a punch, no deer in headlights here. She was solid and yet with an aloof timidity, Nash presented her pipes and her prose. With simple, cute, and honest songs like "Merry Happy", "Pumpkin Soup", and knock out smash "Foundations" she finds her place amongst her fellow Brit-tersweet chart topping peers, Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, who have made an indelible impression on the airwaves with their over-the-top brass and crass. Decidely, Kate dresses more like a Grandma but is just as sexy in her pert and classic manner. She's lovely and I was surprised to see that live, she's fucking ferocious. Giving her all, in wails that would have made Robert Plant or Bjork proud, Nash is a whole heart, playing full out as a performer and hopeful friend. She is polite, candid, warm, and a proper English rose even when she spats out "what you being a dickhead for" during the appropriately titled "Dickhead."
She's young and her candor is reminiscent of a time not too far back for this lass, given she's only 20. Nash manages to have this wise knowing, it's like she's knitting while explaining how a particular boy is a total shit.
Playing a full and heavy set on her piano with strong rhythmic support in her drummer, Elliott, she gave us a good thump on the head. Too bad she didn't actually thump upon the two tall boys in the front row that obstructed the entire audiences' view by taking upwards of 80 individual pictures, that would have MADE the show given that we couldn't see half of it. Sidenote- maintaining grace under digital fire ain't pretty for performers nor patrons and clubs should really enforce a no photographing policy and just be done with it.
As for Kate, she's a powerhouse cleverly disguised behind a ninny's pinafore and petticoats. Be prepared to pleasantly surprised, Kate Nash isn't tinny or folky although her myspace song samples prove otherwise- she is a wolf in a granny's moo moo that pounds heartache into it's proper place- your pulse.
Nab her debut album "Made of Bricks" out now and North Americanos, catch her if you can!
Instore performance and signing at Amoeba Music in Hollywood followed by a sold out show at The Troubadour, January 14th.