Remember the year 2007? It was the year that gave us Lily Allen, a bratty pop singer that was going to change the world. From the same city we also got to meet Kate Nash, a timid 20 year old singer / songwriter that played piano and wrote catchy songs primed for radio and play on british teen soaps. Here we are, six years later, and Lily Allen has essentially fallen out of view, and Kate Nash is a world away from the Kate Nash that we knew and loved in 2007. The piano has long been put away, and it has been replaced by loud, fuzzed out guitars. The question is- will the sold out crowd at The Chapel be willing to embrace this new Kate Nash?
We were treated to a far too brief opening set by Peach Kelli Pop. They are a four piece pop punk band from Ottawa, Canada. We got 25 minutes of pure, quick and catchy pop punk songs. They reminded my quite a bit of the legendary Vancouver band, cub. Their set was full of amp’d up, sugary enthusiasm. They managed to get the crowd worked up into a fine frenzy, which is fantastic when nobody knew a thing about them before the show. (The show sold out long before the band were added to the bill.) Their melodic pop punk was perfect for getting the crowd fired up. And, when they didn’t feel the crowd was fiery enough, they pulled out the big guns. They covered the Sailor Moon theme! This set was such a joy that I may actually see them again, only a week later at The New Parish.
The stage was one of the biggest productions The Chapel has seen yet. The stage was littered with TV screens, as well as a huge projection screen behind the band. These were used to show all sorts of video images, and made for a somewhat psychedelic approach to the new, heavy Kate Nash sound. They opened up with Nash alone on fuzz bass and vocals singing “Sister,” off her genius new record Girl Talk. The second verse brought the band into a full on, fuzzed out garage rock mode. Her two guitarists, Emma Hughes and Linda Buratto kept trading searing riffs, and within 3 minutes, the whole room was a sweaty mess. The next track was “Death Proof,” a reverb heavy, rockabilly inspired number that wouldn’t be out of place in the kind of Quentin Tarantino film that the song was named after.
The rest of the show stayed in a very “up” mode- blistering energy, and in full rock mode. Yes, Nash did get a little long winded with the banter. And in most situations that could have gotten a little annoying, but she’s such a great speaker that it was OK. She did have friends in town that gave her what looked like a pint of scotch early on in the show, which may have inspired the speaking.
With no keyboards on stage, I was curious about how songs off her debut record, Made Of Bricks, would come off. “Mariella” remained a ballad, but the piano was replaced by guitar. The re-arrangement wasn’t too far off from the original, despite the lead instrument being gone. Harder to recognize was “Foundations,” which was led by a bit of slide guitar, turning it into some sort of 90’s alt.country number. Best of all was the performance of “We Get On” with Nash just on vocals and Buratto just on guitar. The song turned into a stunning heartbreak number.
The whole set was full of majestic rock glory. Her performance of the Record Store Day exclusive single “Free My Pussy” was especially emotional, even when she did the “all meowed” verse at the end. During set closer “Paris,” she brought as many people from the crowd as possible onto the stage to dance. It was an awesome way to end an already glorious set. It was the kind of show that reminded you why rock n roll is great.
Kiss That Grrrl
Doo Wah Doo
Free My Pussy
We Get On