14th February | Thekla

Photo: Kelsey Hart

Opening with a spirited sepia washed montage of Kate Nash dancing to ‘You Don’t Own Me’, screams erupt from a thirsty crowd. Twirling onto the stage in blue and green tie dye tasselled shirt, Nash launches into ‘Sister’, a punk fired ode to an old gal pal.

The Tarantino-inspired ‘Death Proof’ reflected a changing tide in her music, it now sounds more fierce and sharp than ever. Her drawls of “Doctor doctor the temperature is rising” both exaggerated and dramatic as the directors jagged style. 

With her breakthrough songs she easily manages to woo the crowd. ‘Mouthwash’ fresh as ever, a biting monologue of her ordinary habits crammed into a pop vessel that hits Thekla hard, encouraging a mass singalong. She also chose to play ‘Foundations’ after in previous years telling fans “YouTube it”, which proved a welcome move. The great thing about Nash live is her ability to transform songs like ‘Dickhead’ into something dynamically epic and bombastic. 

The exclamative cuts stay true to their name. ‘Do-Wah-Doo’ grooves up an energy fuelled romp, and the most fun filled part of ‘My Best Friend Is You’, while ‘OMYGOD!’ blends beachy strings and sunny melody that makes for a nostalgic anthem for the summer gone.

After ‘We Get On’ she openly talks about mental health issues saying “a lot of people feel ashamed to talk about it, it’s something I only really started feeling 5 or 6 years ago” before shushing a few then uttering “thank you class.” in her best teacher voice. From her message of unity, to her pause to proclaim “The first step to changing the world is changing yourself” her comments brought a wave of cheer.

It’s the new songs that really thrill. ‘Musical Theatre’ bleeds with anxiety, guided by thumping beats but remains my undeniable favourite of her new tracks with the desperate call of “I keep on holding on”. It was unexpectedly beautiful and refreshing moment that shows, pop star or not, we are all human. Yet she outdid herself with banger ‘Jungle’, a grinding genre orgy of Bollywood bass and adrenaline fuelled dance folk that made everyone come – to the front. 

Her feminist roots really shine through talking about how dying her hair red made her think back to starting out; “You have all experienced sexism, it’s not just the music industry it’s the entire world.” Going into a surprising interlude of Daniel Bedingfield ‘Gotta Get Through This’ shaking off the quick 30 second cover she ended in a ice cool fashion with ‘Mariella’ bringing us back to normality. Oh, but Kate Nash will never be what you call normal, she is what you call a rock star.

Check out the video for ‘Sister’ below.