KATE NASH, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Evening Standard, 11 Aug 2017

Kate Nash’s debut album, Made of Bricks, went to number one, but her subsequent pop career didn’t turn out to be so solid. Dropped by her record label by text while making a third album, she might have vanished. Here, at a 10th anniversary performance of that first release, she seemed unbowed by her experiences and surprisingly, was looking forwards, not back.

The Brit School graduate, 30, is an actress these days, with an impressive role in the new Netflix drama GLOW – which stands for Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling. Here, in a red shiny bra top and pants, she looked ready to bodyslam anyone who didn’t believe that Made of Bricks was one of the key releases of the previous decade.

Songs such as Foundations, teased with one chorus at the beginning before appearing in full near the end, seemed from a more innocent time. Nash rose thanks to MySpace, the messy, ugly social media pioneer that was briefly the best place to discover new music. Her songs were similarly awkward: chirpy piano chords, unexpected changes of pace and lyrics that were full of glottal stops and mundanities. “I’ve got a family and I drink cups of tea,” she sang on Mouthwash, possibly the least exciting revelation ever committed to tape.

Today that ordinariness seemed outlandish. A three-piece, all female band punked up songs such as Dickhead and Pumpkin Soup, and Nash raced around the blossom-strewn stage with refreshingly unpolished abandon.

The encore featured new songs including Musical Theatre, a breathless trip into her mental health issues, and Agenda, on which she approximated rapping. Nothing to launch her back into the charts, but there was confetti and crowd surfing and rarely a lull. A career with one beloved album is more than many get, and seemed like plenty to celebrate.

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