Kate Nash / Black Kids

Barrowland, Glasgow on Fri 7th Mar 2008

It's Friday night, on a typical, dreary, dismal Glaswegian evening. The Barrowlands Ballroom fills itself on any given night - but tonight is an altogether different audience. Walking into the venue I am expecting to be lamblasted by the classic Barra's beer and sweat smell, instead the smell of refresher bars and red cola permeates the air, what's going on? I look round and realise that the average height in the Ballroom is 4'6" - one wonders if the venue will have to close early to allow the children to get home, and be tucked up in bed safe and warm. If anything, this collective is an example of the sheer parental ignorance of this generations digital lives.

Floridan five piece Black Kids pulled the curtain on tonight's show. Hailing from Jacksonville, the place that is responsible for Cold, Yellowcard and Limp Bizkit and has still not apologised for these heinous crimes, is trying to make amends in some way, shape or form with the aformentioned, ultra now band Black Kids. "Ultra now" meaning ultra hyped. They have it all, the right now sound, the right Topshop look, and most importantly for them, the right song titles. The only thing that this band doesn't have in their favour is the huge media propaganda machine spewing out so much goodwill about them that it is entirely possible that a backfire is well on it's way.

Black Kids

"I wanna hear Glasgow ringing in my ears all night" cries Ali Youngblood (which is not just a clever name) and the crowd responded in kind. The set itself is a blistering, frantic and bouncy pogo party. Their strengths are a voice heavily reminiscent of The Cure's Robert Smith and crunchy sparkly guitars supplied by Youngblood's sibling Reggie, huge synth lines and bubblegum backing vocals supplied by A.Youngblood and Dawn Watley and a good solid rhythm section in the form of Kevin Snow (drums) and Owen Holmes (bass). Their forthcoming single 'I'm not gonna teach your boyfriend how to dance' and equally popular 'Hurricane Jane' are little gems unto themselves. Make sure you check them out before it becomes passe.

Speaking of hype, when its time for Kate Nash to hit the stage the rampant hormones take over and high pitched wails envelope the room. She doesn't as much take to the stage as she attacks it, with gusto - all the while adorned in a pretty silvery purple glitter dress and ballet pumps. Her band, on the other hand, are akin to a pick n' mix. A Calvin Klein model, a 118 118 guy, a Ritchie Cunningham from Happy Days look-a-likey and a Gene Simmons-esque transexual all accompany Nash onstage in multi-instrumental fashion.

Nash is more than just a girl and a piano, her story telling lyrics are simple, yet funny and sincere, and as long as we don't take her too seriously, I don't think she will either. So here comes the mandatory Spektor/Allen comparisons. Yes, her voice sounds like Regina, and yes, her song writing style isn't a stones throw away from Lilly's but despite that Nash has an 'it' factor. Neither as chavvy as Allen, nor as sophisticated as Spektor, Nash lies in the middle ground where most of us can relate to her.

Kate Nash

The set starts with the bombastic sounding 'Pumpkin Soup', the lyrics to which are never going to win an Ivor Novello award, but the overpowering energy emanating from the stage puts a plaster on the holes the lyrics reveal in Nash's package. The set is comprised of album tracks from her 'Made of Bricks' LP, with a few new numbers thrown in for good measure. The highlight being new song 'You Don't Need to Suck Dick to Succeed', the only song Nash sings sans instrument. Inspired by "a bunch of wankers at a shit party" the track is a punky anarchic change, more of an homage to the Sex Pistols than any of her fellow female counterparts could muster. However, it's singles 'Mouthwash', 'Merry Happy' and 'Foundations' that attract the biggest cheers and throw the room into a frenzy of dance. She asks on more than one occasion for the lights to be pointed towards the audience so she can see their pretty faces, and builds a rappor with her adoring fans. It's hard to disbelieve that at this very moment in time Nash is the coolest girl on the planet.

Kate Nash

Her music is totally autobiographical, and while her debut album consisted mainly of moaning about failed relationships and other emotional cruxes, its pretty obvious from her gushing over the new man in her life, that her following work is going to be a bit more optimistic. I'm sure it's going to be proper well good. Like, seriously.

article by: L. Henderson

photos by: L. Henderson

published: 10/03/2008 13:57


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