It’s been ten years since the release of Kate Nash’s first album, Made of Bricks. To celebrate, her and her band are on tour playing the whole thing from start to finish, turning the Academy into a microcosm of noughties indie pop. Transporting us back to a time when buying albums was something akin to some very softcore gambling. When album sleeves were inhaled, cover to cover permanently etching lyrics in your brain. When even if it wasn’t love at first listen you had better hope by the sixth or seventh time the thing’d have grown on you.
The stage tonight is made up to look like some manner of winter wonderland and the band, all dressed in white, bound on stage in a fit of exuberance that will last the entire night followed by the poster girl of the MySpace generation, decked out in a hodge podge of red mesh. A cheer erupts from just about the most animated crowd I’ve seen in Dublin all summer, and it’s only Tuesday.
It’s hard to tell who’s more excited to be here, Nash or the audience. She leaps and bounds, jogs on the spot, screams profanities into the microphone and pounds the piano with various parts of her body. Visibly elated at the reception from the crowd who recite lyrics as if singing from hymn sheets, with the obligatory affected cockney accent to match, reduced to bratty teenagers, lamenting failed tween relationships and headbanging like maniacs.
The songs are played out in quick succession just as they appear on the record, starting with ‘Play’ and then moving onto ‘Foundations’ which is cut off after the first verse, as it’d be far too early in the night to play that card. Onto ‘Dickhead’ which gets the Rage Against The Machine treatment complete with synchronised hand gestures from crowd and singer alike. Hammering down through tracks with the crowd echoing her every word. Softening into ‘Nicest Thing’ and picking up the energy again with ‘Merry Happy’ and ‘Little Red’ before leaving the stage and returning with a full, spirited performance of ‘Foundations’.
Kate doesn’t appear to take herself too seriously, giving an impassioned performance to even the most inane lyrics (See: “I use mouthwash, sometimes I floss, I’ve got a family and I drink cups of tea”. ) There’s something quite endearing about a singer who doesn’t proclaim to be anything that she isn’t. A refreshing quality in a pop singer in this day and age, especially one that writes and plays all of her own music. The woman has a knack for creating a memorable melody and delivering it with a boundless energy that few can match. All in all an entertaining tribute to a bygone micro era of bratty, indie pop that allows audience and singer alike to revel in a moment of innocent nostalgia. (Let’s all just pretend that all those new songs she played after ‘Foundations’ never happened right? Yep. Never happened.)