Kate Nash live at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia

Kate Nash

In 2011 Britain’s Kate Nash went through a big break up. It wasn’t the end of a relationship though; Nash went her separate ways from her record label and started her own company – Have 10p Records. The move allowed Nash to record the album she wanted to record,

Girl Talk, a move from a piano-driven pop sound to something rawer and more guitar-oriented.

Recently Nash displayed her new style at an intimate show at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia, blazing through a sixteen-song set for an enthusiastic overflowing crowd in a tiny room above a bar in a rough and tumble part of the city. Nash and her all-girl backing band set the tone for the evening by kicking off the show with a trio of new tunes. “Part Heart,” “Death Proof,” and “All Talk” all feature rumbling guitars and throbbing bass, sounding more like the soundtrack to a ‘60s drag race than her usual poppier fare.

Kate Nash

Nash’s best assets as a songwriter have always been her cheeky sense of humor and her willingness to wear her heart on her sleeve. The fact that she didn’t lose her sense of humor was evidenced by the inclusion of an unrecorded song called “I am a Feminist, You’re Still a Whore,” and a tribute to jailed Russian girl band Pussy Riot called “Free My Pussy.” The fact that Nash’s more aggressive sound didn’t dull the emotion of her songs was best displayed by a revved up version of Nash’s best song “Foundations.” This tale of a crumbling relationship had its toy piano pop arrangement replaced by swirling guitar leads and some crunchy acoustic playing. The more aggressive sound didn’t dull the mix of bravado and vulnerability that made the original special; it upped the ante by adding power and a sense of urgency that was lacking in the studio version.

Kate Nash

Nash closed out her main set with an acoustic solo rendition of one of her finest tunes, “Birds.” She rocked out solo with just an acoustic guitar, smiling and leaning into the crowd to lead a cathartic sing-along to her ode to unrequited love and finding the beauty in the small moments in life.

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Set list:

Part Heart

Death Proof

All Talk

Kiss That Girl

I’m a Feminist, You’re Still a Whore

Mermaid Blue

Oh

Free My Pussy

Foundations

3 am

Mariella

Don’t You Want to Share the Guilt?

Rap for Rejection

You’re So Cool, I’m So Freaky

Birds

Encore:

We Get On

 

 

 

 

 

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