Kate Nash - Carling Academy
Live Review

Kate Nash – Carling Academy, Liverpool

The three members of Metronomy bound on stage in black t-shirts with light-balls stuck to them. When they punch their chests they glow up. Punch them again and they go off. This is genius. And it doesn’t hurt that they’ve got some astonishingly great tunes to go with it.

It occasionally sounds like the theme tune to a Doctor Who Christmas Special and their spikily odd onstage motions (‘let’s all look up’, ‘lets all point to the floor’) initially grate, but you come to realise that these guys could just be the heirs to Hot Chip’s throne. Set-closer, and new single, ‘Radio Ladio’, ‘Hear to Wear’ and particularly ‘You Could Easily Have Me’ are fantastically good live and although they’re an odd choice of support act for Nash they easily steal the night.

The Knife’s ‘Heartbeats’ plays while the stage is getting set up. Best tune of the night. Does Kate Nash not realise that though she’s good, she’s not that good. Why doesn’t she just play some dodgy old shite to make herself look better? (Dirty Pretty Things used Kylie and Jason to hide their mediocreness after all).

Anyway, she comes on to ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ to a stage dolled out with red curtains, a cloud backdrop and her name in lights. It pretty much sums up the cute/annoying seesaw that she’s riding. The charming and innocent persona that she used to adopt has gone and there’s a confident, self-aware, and very rich, lass in her place. The bass conks out before Nash is even on stage but opener ‘Mariella’ goes down a storm and you’ve got to applaud her for knowing how to win a crowd over, although you’d still quite like to give her a slap.

Like the album, there’s a lot of filler in the live set and it doesn’t get any fuller when played before a crowd. Nash seems to think that singing really quickly or suddenly letting out a shriek mid-verse is enough to constitute a song. Sadly not. ‘Skeleton’ was awful.

However, about three or four tunes in she ditches the band and dons an acoustic guitar for an utterly sublime version of ‘Birds’ and its actually quite heart-warming to see the crowd singing back every line. It’s followed by ‘Nicest Thing’ and these two are easily the set highlights. As nice at is to hear tunes like ‘Shit Song’ and ‘Foundations’ played with a full band, they tend to drown out the quirks and subtleties in the songs and make them lean towards being overblown and detached.

‘Mouthwash’ is rolled out and is actually very fine live compared to the dullness of the record but there’s no room for any rendition of ‘Caroline’s A Victim’. The success of ‘Foundations’ and the rush release of the album have obviously hurt her and there’s just too much filler. She could still be great in the future but she’s gonna have to work hard. The adorable, genuine girl of the past has gone and now she has to win us around all over again in her new persona.

img: Sonny Malhotra

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