King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sat 31 Mar; Henry’s, Edinburgh, Sun 1 Apr
Providing further evidence that amateurism is the new professionalism, 19-year-old singer-songwriter Kate Nash makes music in her bedroom. The story goes that Nash fell down stairs and broke her foot after getting knocked back at an audition to be an actress. Laid up in bed, she began writing songs. Theatre’s loss was music’s gain, and the sweet-voiced star-in-the-making has been widely tipped as a hot talent to watch.
Besides the fact Lily Allen can’t stop bigging her up, the comparisons to that other potty-mouthed, pretty Londoner were inevitable. Like Allen, she twists her London vowels (what-evah, bettah) around a confessional, slang-heavy collection of stories about dickhead boyfriends, girls who obsess over The Killers, watching CSI, eating cheese on toast, and generally stuff that occupies her teenage brain. But comparisons should probably end there. Musically, she is more lo-fi than Allen, turning her hand to gentle piano and acoustic guitar, as well as 80s flavoured synths and drums, courtesy of Apple’s Garageband beats. Her stoppy-starty vocals and occasional beat-boxing sound more like Regina Spektor, who she says is an influence.
Nash does cheeky lyrics and dry wit very well, but her disarmingly reflective moments prove she can also take a soaring melody and casually tug at her listeners’ heartstrings without resorting to poppy schmaltz. Her Moshi Moshi released single ‘Caroline’s a Victim’ was released in February but an album is still in the making. Judging by her MySpace output so far, it’s likely to be a chart and press-pleasing banger.