Thursday, 5 July 2012

'Faster Pussycats! Run Run'... A lot of rambling about Kate Nash

This flipping overnight bag was not conducive to good boogieing.

This is going to start out looking like an outfit post, but its not. Sure, there I am at the top in an outfit, but its more of an accompanying thing. I've said several times before that I want to make this blog about more than me just rambling on about my everyday life and my outfits, and this topic is something that's been on my mind for over a week, and I want to discuss it. I have less time than ever now to take outfit photos and I really want this blog to be an representation of all of my thoughts, about everything, rather than just my clothes. That's something I love and love writing about, but so much more than that buzzes around my brain on a daily basis.

I finally saw Kate Nash in concert for the first time last Sunday. I had been looking forward to it for months, especially I was going with my best friend Kathy. Now, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I'm a fairly regular reader of Kate's blog and so I was kind of aware that her new music was different from her previous two albums. I knew the new stuff was definitely going to be punkier, grungier, but saying that I still didn't know how I'd feel listening to it... She released 'Under-Estimate the Girl' several days before the tour started, I think as some kind of preview for people of her new musical direction. I had already seen the video before the concert, but Kathy hadn't. (For Kathy's thoughts on this whole thing, watch this video.)

The actual concert was mostly Kate playing the new material. Now, I am fine with this in theory. I can understand that playing new songs on tour is a really important way of gauging feedback and introducing the material to your fanbase. It was more that we had about 3 new songs to every old one... I admit that Kathy and I had to leave a little early to catch a train home, but of what we saw, she only played 4 or 5 old songs. I was excited to hear the new stuff but at the same time there were so many old songs that I wanted to hear and that we missed out on. I don't know, I just feel slightly cheated that we didn't get more of 'Made of Bricks' or 'My Best Friend is You'. When I saw We Are Scientists several years ago they played material from their upcoming album but found time to include the established stuff as well. I think Kate just wanted to get the new songs out there and perhaps we suffered a little bit because of that.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the new material. Now, this is going to sound a bit weird, and I have to explain this first. If you regularly read this blog, you will know I am a little bit obsessed with the Nash. I have this habit (I think its something from going to an all girls school) of getting what I refer to as 'girl crushes'. I find someone, whether they're famous or someone I actually know, and I want to be friends with them. I am normally attracted by cool clothes, similar interests, blah blah. I have been listening to Kate Nash since I was about 16/17, and as soon as I heard her music I just felt such an affinity with her. A lot of 'Made of Bricks' and 'My Best Friend is You' are really personal songs to me, and I really liked how in her music a lot of her inner monologue is communicated. I'm particularly thinking of songs like 'Don't You Want to Share the Guilt?' and 'We Get On' here. Now, I have absolutely no issue with the theoretical idea of her new material. I  like that she's making music that isn't considered to be particularly feminine, that she's expressing her frustrations at the sexism of the music industry. Going to see this concert made me finally buy Marisa Meltzer's book 'Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music' that I have been meaning to read for a long time, since I think Kate's new material is in some way inspired by riot grrrl (I'm going to be so wrong now). Its something I have been wanting to learn about for a while, but haven't gotten around to it. My musical education is somewhat random and its one of those things I feel I need to constantly improve on.

I still don't know how I feel about all of this. I think what I'm basically trying to say is, that whilst I like the new material in its ideas, I'm just not sure if I like it as music.... 'Under-Estimate the Girl' is growing on me, and I will still definitely go and buy the new album when it comes out. I just worry that the story telling elements and lyricism of her music won't be there so much now. I respect her decision to change her direction, because she is right, it would be ridiculous to presume she's the same woman she was when she was 16. I know I've changed a lot in that time, and I'm pretty sure most people would say they have. I'm just not sure if I can get on with the screaming....

I'm going to stop writing now. This is a very long post already and I don't think I'm going to reach any kind of cohesive conclusion. But I just wanted to share my thoughts with you all. Sorry if you found it boring, but like I said, I want to make this blog about whatever the hell I want, and this is something I've been thinking about a lot.

(Oh, and by the way, I am all moved and settled in now, but we'll save that little update for another post.)

1 comment:

  1. I saw Kate in Cardiff on Saturday and I have exactly the same feelings. I am a huge fan of riot grrl music and the new stuff is inspired by that but also American punk and grunge. I think Kate should have done a few more older songs or not done any old songs at all and said that this tour was going to be just her new material?
    Her work with young girls and helping to clean up after the riots in London is really inspiring. I worry that this music is not commercial enuough and she will be dropped from her label which would be a great shame but I think she could make tracks on her own.
    I have conflicted views on it all!


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