By John Curley
The British singer-songwriter Kate Nash brought her tour in support of her second album, My Best Friend Is You, to New York City’s Terminal 5 on Friday, November 19th. Nash’s set got off to a rousing start with the performance of “I Just Love You More,” a punk-influenced track from the new album. But the show almost went off the rails early on when Nash was having difficulties with the dress that she was wearing. She kept leaving the stage between songs to tend to what she later described as a “wardrobe malfunction.” Nash’s absence from the stage became so glaring at one point that her drummer took to the microphone and made a lame attempt at a joke. Nash emerged soon after wearing a completely different outfit and then carried on with the show.
Nash’s set included songs from both of her albums, with the songs from her very successful 2007 debut Made of Bricks getting the lion’s share of the applause. The set also included the wonderfully punky B-side “Model Behaviour.”
Although Nash did perform her top-selling single “Foundations” at the Terminal 5 show, it appears as if she is definitely trying to distance herself from the pop stardom that she attained due to the success of that song. Nash seems to be going in a more alternative/punk direction. It’s a risky move, considering the problems in the music industry today. But Nash now has a loyal fanbase on both sides of the Atlantic that seems to be receptive to her new songs. Nash embraced her new direction by dancing maniacally on top of her keyboard at the end of the show. The crowd went nuts when she did that, so it had the desired effect. After climbing down from the keyboard, she grabbed a bunch of copies of the night’s set list and threw them out into the crowd.
One minor quibble with Nash’s performance: She has this terrible habit of shouting the lyrics and pounding her keyboard furiously when her bandmates are playing at full volume. Nash has a really pleasant singing voice, but it’s not a particularly powerful voice. She really needs to find a way to work better with her band so that she doesn’t have to shout at the top of her lungs to be heard over them when the volume increases.
In addition to the songs mentioned above, the set list also included “Mouthwash,” “Birds,” “Mariella,” “Skeleton Song,” “Merry Happy,” “Kiss That Grrrl,” “Doo Wah Doo,” and “I Hate Seagulls.” At one point, Nash did a bizarre spoken word bit that was mostly notable for the large amount of F-bombs that it employed. She should stick to songwriting.
Nash played guitar and keyboards during the show. Her three-piece backing band includes a drummer, a guitarist, and a bassist. Nash’s 90-minute show featured an 18-song main set and a one-song encore.
Peggy Sue, the Brighton, England-based opening band, performed a spunky 30-minute set that got a nice response from the crowd.