Ladies Nite with Kate Nash

The first night of the year when I’ve got my legs out (bruised & blue) and it’s in honour of an intimate gig with Kate Nash at Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush. The amazing Rebekah Roy is Kate’s stylish stylist and greeted us at the merch table before we headed up to the terrace bar for pre-gig g&t in the balmy night.

this wasn’t an ordinary gig though. before brigitte aphrodite and her band spangled onto the stage there was a screening of a short film about kate’s after-school rock clubs for girls, a brilliant initiative that she’s taken on the road with her for this rocknroll tour slash extracurricular scheme! (there’s more details about her fine work with them here).

kate IS angry about the state of the music scene – particularly the lack of girls in it, so she’s initiated her own grrl-takeover by showing her audience the film, getting girl-fronted bands in as supports and hiring an all-new backing band of some v accomplished young women to play with her… she’s also put together an awesome, can’t-go-to-the-bar-cos-i might-miss-something show for her fans.

we were wowed by the raw rage of ‘mansion song’, the joyous ‘do-wah-doop’ and thrilled to hear ‘pumpkin soup’ and ‘foundations’ at the end as kate, with a black heart painted on each cheek took to the piano. The show felt like a glorious celebration of all the best aspects of girl-led rock – there were hints of heavy metal in the guitar solos, screeching worthy of Courtney Love or Kim Deal, gibbering free-form poetry in the style of PJ Harvey and sweet-and-sour shimmering punk-pop of Angelica, Kenickie and Lush. Over it all hovered the righteous anger of Riot Grrl – Le Tigre and gang. So many references, all wrapped up and presented in a style that was purely Kate, thanks to her winning way with the crowd, her cheeky banter and her ability to hurl herself off her keyboard, head first, and bounce back up to finish the song.

There’s no other pop star like her – she’s got a gang together and created a kate nash scene through her zine (my ignorant youth: issue 4 – FREAKS*) , her passion for her rocknroll clubs for girls and her willingness to include everyone in the party, a generosity which even extends to the young designers whose pieces she chooses to wear… and who wouldn’t want to be in it?

what she wore: Skirt – Gemma Slack, tights – House of Holland, top – Aqua, cuff – Michelle Lowe Holder, headpiece – Tour de Force who phoebe wrote about on All styled by the megacool Rebekah Roy!

*FREAKS, a proper lo-fi old school zine was handed out by friendly boys after the gig and features contributions from kate herself, her sister clare and other bloggers, photographers and illustrators.

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