After at least half a dozen bursts of premature welcome applause, chart topping British songstress Kate Nash finally took the stage of the Orange Peel Wednesday night (April 16), charming the house with her wit, stories, and, yeah, her accent.
While the Supremes’ “Stop In the Name of Love” blared and a neon pink light bearing Nash’s name illuminated the stage, the young singer and her even younger looking band appeared and barreled through a supercharged version of Nash’s hit, “Pumpkin Soup,” that ended with a screeching climax worthy of an early 90s grunge band.
From there, Nash continued playing rock star, pounding out lighting-fast versions of songs from last year’s Made of Bricks that kept the sizable crowd dancing, or at least swaying well into the first half of the set. At one point, she casually tossed a guitar pick into the crowd, and as a flurry of hands shot toward the sky, the flattered singer sarcastically remarked, “I’m so rock and roll.”
When Nash eventually gave up piano duty and moved to acoustic guitar for a few softer numbers, her rock-star cache seemed to fade. The crowd grew less responsive and the low buzz of conversation filled the room. Clearly frustrated, the singer repeatedly hinted, “This next one’s a quiet one,” but the talkers continued on. Finally, Nash conceded the battle and returned to the piano for “D*ckhead” which revived the dwindling crowd and set the pace for the rest of the show.
“I’ve got a blister,” she revealed to the crowd, who responded with a collective “Awwwww.”
“Not awwwww,” she replied bluntly, “it’s just gross.”
Then, feeling comfortable once again, Nash introduced a few new songs, including the bluesy, country-inspired “I Hate Seagulls” and “Pickpocket,” which she admitted included chords she “knicked from Beyonce.” (As if to prove that fact to some skeptic in the crowd, the band stopped midway into the song and played a short, impromptu cover of Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” which does, in fact, contain the same chords as Nash’s “Pickpocket.”)
After a few more climatic, noisy endings to songs (including “Skeleton Key” and “Mariella”) Nash ended the set with her single “Foundations,” much to the delight of the audience, who immediately began snapping flash photos and dancing. And as the crowd roared, Nash disappeared quietly offstage without a word leaving behind a room full of smiling faces.
— Dane Smith, freelance writer