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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kate Nash at The Metro, Sydney

KATE NASH
THE THIN KIDS

The Metro Theatre, 05/08/10


Everett True is a name to be conjured with. The man who introduced Kurt to Courtney and who wheeled Cobain onto stage at Nirvana’s legendary Reading Festival show was perhaps the UK’s most notorious and opinionated music journalist ever. Now a resident of Brisbane, True finds himself as frontman of The Thin Kids (below). This is the second time I've seen True perform, and it remains hard to know whether he is for real or if the whole thing is something of a piss-take, but listening to an old English geezer tunelessly sing while his makeshift band (including Bridezilla’s Holiday Carmen-Sparks on percussion and Millie Hall on sax) tried their hardest to improvise around him was actually kinda awesome.

A couple of years since her last Sydney appearance, Kate Nash’s return was initially low key, playing piano for The Thin Kids while hidden beneath the hood of a parka. Soon enough though it was time for the main event. Of course her set featured the likes of Foundations, Paris, Merry Happy, Mouthwash and Do Wah Doo. Of course they were lovely slices of piano pop and of course everyone sang along. But, at heart, Kate Nash has always been more Riot Grrrl than Girl Group, and she set about proving it with a diverse, guitar-heavy and occasionally experimental performance. “This is a spoken word piece about not selling yourself short,” was certainly not what people who turned up to hear the hits were expecting. There were also rocky songs like the quiet/loud Pixies-esque romp, I Just Love You More, and moments of pure punk as Nash stomped the stage spitting lyrics.

The chirpy British songwriter has a fine way with words that she is not often given due credit for. The language she uses is simple but offers truths in its succinctness. “I wish I could be quiet/When I’m quiet people just think I’m said/And usually I am,” she cried during the outstanding Don’t You Want To Share The Guilt? On delicate love song, I Hate Seagulls, she demonstrated her dislike for celebrity sycophantism. “I hate anyone who, if I was serving chips, wouldn’t talk to me.”

There are plenty of people happy to write Kate Nash off as merely being the girl who sang that song about your friends being much fittah, but the desire she showed tonight to try to push her own boundaries is what makes her a genuinely exciting and relevant artist.