Kate Nash - Portsmouth Wedgwood Rooms

Kate Nash – Wedgewood Rooms, review by Keith Sandys

It’s been a couple of years since Kate Nash performed at the Wedgewood Rooms, yet you could tell her fond memories were heartfelt. It’s something that happens a lot when artist return to our infamous Portsmouth venue, as such us locals welcome artist back with open arms.

With Kate Nash, some friendly faces and a big hug is evidently just what’s needed. Largely as the result of her open emotional vulnerability and the documentary “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl”. However, what doesn’t break you makes you stronger and Kate Nash has fought a hard battle between the press and record labels in her youngers days. This time around though, returning to the road much more on her own terms.

Released when Kate was barely out of her teenage years, tonight’s set still largely featured 2007 debut album “Made of Bricks”. The night starting with the opening track from that very album with “Play” and it was clear Kate Nash is in a good place.

Constantly smiling and messing about with her guitarist and bass player, there was laughter, forgotten words and falling over mic leads. However this was far from a chaotic performance, it just makes Nash real and happy to be herself, without having to pretend to be anything different.

Within a few songs “Sister” taken from “Girl Talk” saw Nash in her more rock-influenced era, the album having been self-released moving away from mainstream success. Music is clearly an outlet for Kate Nash, with those early tracks from “Made of Bricks” taking on a whole new meaning in more recent years.

Songs written as a youngster ringing true all this time later, the idea being that Kate Nash once would have been marketed/exploited as a young pop star. Yet to a certain extent, this is almost pop music for people that don’t like pop music. The songs are catchy and often simplistic. However the angst and honesty in the lyrics, along with the odd expletive connects much more with her audience than your average mass-produced Simon Cowell product.

Although, as expected it would be original single “Foundations” that would understandably receive the biggest reception. At the time played endlessly on the radio and a tune Kate Nash is quite rightly proud to close the main set with.

Kate Nash then performed the rather silly “Free my Pussy” alone on the Wedgewood Room Stage. However, it wasn’t long until the band returned for backing vocals and some more larking about, before a rock n roll climax of guitar solos and feedback ended the show.

As for those pop tendencies, while you may not hear “Dickhead” on radio-one drive time, the chances are you’ll be singing it for days to come. This was a wonderful gig, but if you haven’t done already, give “Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl” a watch on BBC iPlayer for a true insight behind the scenes.