A common way to start a review is to set the scene by delivering the back story. It enables context and pulls the reader in, often elaborating on the truth and forgetting the boring details. The back story makes every artist sound interesting, even if the reality is often far from it. So, here’s some context to this gig, for this review could never be impartial and open minded.
It was back in 2006 when we first came across an unsigned Kate Nash propping up the bill on an unsigned bands stage at the now extinct Electric Gardens Festival in Kent. Sitting awkwardly at a piano she bashed out slightly scrappy but charming Spektor meets Allen pop songs. We instantly fell in love with her in the way that all great romances start – you have to forget analysis of why, it just is.
Skip forward a couple of months and following Myspace liaisons we caught up with Nash at a singer songwriter’s event at Brighton Komedia. Kate performed about four songs, including a couple with Peggy Sue. They sealed the deal. Funny, sassy and a little quirky, we were convinced that Kate Nash was going to be a star. One record deal later and Foundations sat at No.2 in the UK pop charts throughout the summer of 2007. Irrespective of your views on Nash, the cocky lyrics “You said I must eat so many lemons ‘cause I am so bitter, I said I’d rather be with your friends mate, ‘cause they are so much fitter,” are if nothing else instantly memorable. Her My Fair Lady gawd blimey LDN enunciation may have annoyed as many as it pleased, but there is no denying that Foundations was an edgily brilliant pop song. Tours and festival appearances followed and all was well.
Yet music history continued to evolve. The odyssey of pop music and fashion is one of stylistic change, with artists being dumped by audiences quicker than Ashley Cole can bed another ‘classy’ lady. And whilst Nash was beavering away with album number two we jumped into bed and romped passionately with Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding, Blue Roses, Laura Marling, Little Boots and Marina and the Diamonds to name just a few and enjoyed it a lot.
Then we hear rumours. Rumours that the new Bernard Butler produced Kate Nash album My Best Friend Is You is not very good at all. Worse than that, we hear that it’s a steaming pile of turd. I Just Love You More, a screaming banshee Huggy Bear-esque free download puzzled, whilst the sixties surf guitar and piano pop of debut single proper Do Wah Doo trod more familiar Nash ground, with catchy melodies and hooks. Another rough demo of album track Kiss That Girl displays a fifties / sixties petticoat nostalgia, but the demo is so rough it is impossible to tell what the finished article would sound like. Then there was the new haircut. This is the context, the back story to this review. We try to bring an open mind, but there are niggles. Niggles that we are going to be the Ashley Cole of music blogging -that we are going to fall out of love with Kate Nash and bed up with whoever else we can find. There are niggles that divorce is on the horizon.
We step up to the Komedia in Brighton, four years on from our last romantic rendezvous, with concern furrowed on our brow.
Was there a happy ending ? Well, you'll have to check back here tomorrow.