Kate Nash shows plenty of edge in Vancouver
At the Commodore Ballroom on Wednesday, November 3
Those comparing Kate Nash’s latest album, My Best Friend Is You, to 2007’s Made of Bricks sometimes give the impression that the flame-haired singer’s scathing lyrics, biting wit, and all-round edginess are recent developments.
If the 23-year-old Londoner has ever had a shy bone in her body, it didn’t come through during her hour-and-a-half long concert at the Commodore on Wednesday. Between anecdotes about nearly shitting herself this past Halloween and wondering aloud “who the fuck gets to decide whether or not gays are allowed to marry,” Nash totally charmed the practically giddy audience. Maybe it was her accent. Maybe it was the fact that she argued she’s “still classy” and we didn’t dare to disbelieve her.
Opening trio Peggy Sue—comprised of U.K. indie-folkies Rosa Rex, Katy Klaw, and Olly Joyce—wasn’t as brash. The coy threesome hardly said nine words to the crowd, but that didn’t stop attendees from being transfixed. The girls’ soaring vocal harmonies and folksy melodies captured the audience’s full attention, not always an easy feat for an opening act. Peggy Sue’s soulful blues-folk was punctuated by heavy percussion, particularly evident in the band’s well-received “Lazarus”.
If it wasn’t Peggy Sue’s impressive ability to switch between guitars, ukuleles, accordions and floor tom that impressed you, then it was the electrifying chemistry between the band’s members that had the hair on your arms standing on end.
The crowd was similarly wowed when Nash took stage at 9:20 p.m. After the electric post-postpunker “I Just Love You More” Nash dove right into the poppy “Kiss that Grrrl”. The keyboard-laden knockout song “Mouthwash” got the warmest early reception from the crowd.
The ever-bubbly singer’s interaction with her fans made us fall in love with her even more, if that’s possible. She told us about her first experience seeing a grizzly bear in B.C. and proclaimed she would move to our fair country after being pleasantly surprised to hear that gay marriage is legal in Canada. Yes Kate, please do.
Completely onboard from the start of the night to the finish, the crowd was honoured when Nash asked everyone to sing along with her on the acoustic, slow ballad “Birds”. “It’s the rule that if you know the words, you have to sing along,” she teased.
Even though our English rose was on the same page as the (mostly) attentive crowd, she had no problems telling the audience to “shut the fuck up” in the most polite of ways so she could play a solo acoustic number sans her backing band.
Persistent murmuring made it clear there were at least a few loudmouths in the house (much to the embarrassment of their fellow concert-goers), so Nash promptly shut them up with the profanity-laced spoken-word shocker “Mansion Song”.
The singer and her band wound down the set with the melodic “Foundations”, showcasing the sass and talent that we all know and love her for. Not more than a few minutes passed when Nash and her band encored with “Pumpkin Soup” off Made of Bricks. Of course, the now-spoiled listeners wanted more but, as Nash said earlier in the night, she was about to have her first day off in a while and therefore had some partying to attend to.