Gig Review: Kate Nash @ Cockpit Leeds - 'Charm, panache, and presence...but the punk label needs to evolve' Featured

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On arrival, it was clear that Kate Nash’s shift to the realm of stereotypical punk has been met with a colossal army of pre-pubescent female followers.

Within the intimate milieu of The Cockpit, the crowd was dominated by a sea of aspiring female teenage punk rockers with the explicit intention of hearing the latest work from Nash; her third album ‘Girl Talk’ manufactured through her own private record label: ‘Have 10p Records’.

Nash’s set began with a montage of vintage footage presenting a form of female progressivism which was visually projected on to the background of the stage. This provided a hallucinatory effect of promoting the advent of female equality which continued to resonate throughout as the central intended message of Nash’s reinvigorated musical style.

After the initial romanticising ambience, Nash and her three fellow band-mates (all of which are women) energetically bounced on to the stage, which was met with rapturous applause and screams from her expansive level of fans.

Admittedly, I was primarily very surprised by the quality and pure nature of Nash’s voice, which was solely accompanied with a subdued and melancholic bass driven riff.

Following the lonely and solemnly reflective introduction, the song ‘Sister’ broke into quintessential punk territory with the explosive sequence of distorted power chords. Although this provided the ideal impact necessary for grabbing the attention of the awe-subsumed audience, it quickly became apparent that there is a distinct sense of repetition to the tracks of Nash which all sadly lack the element of musical experiment and adventure; in effect, minus the occasional revisiting of visual aids and undeniable charm of Nash which she illustrated through her genuinely comical monologues between songs – regularly centred on regaling past stories on how she obtained her countless number of past injuries - the soft-punk experience of Nash soon transformed into a homogeneous blob of bitchy feminist noise.

However, despite the amateurish and banal punk formula adopted by the musician, the capacity that Nash displays for communicating confusing romance with a keen eye of detail and scene-stealing turn of phrase successfully takes president, and so the music of Nash narrowly manages to remain interesting due to her irrefutably stylish aptitude for conveying lyrics which directly transports you to the scene which inspired the ‘stick it to the man’ focused writing in the first place.

Nevertheless despite her sophisticated lyrical ability, it should be noted that Nash’s inexperience with the punk brand was more clear when her defiant punk-esque screams were closer to annoying, off-key segments of screeching.

Overall, this was a fully enjoyable gig despite no real groundbreaking musical substance. More specifically, if you happen to be a girl in the early stages of your teenage years then this set would have served as your mode of utopia.

Jonathan Hand

I am currently a student at the University of Leeds attempting to obtain a degree in Communications. I am originally from Manchester; I like to think that my accent isn't too northern despite being told otherwise. I pretty much fulfill most of the sterotypes surrounding a student from the poor drinking habits to a silly haircut.

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