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Sunday, 06 April 2014 18:16

Concert review, set list and photos: Kate Nash unleashes girl power at the Ready Room, Friday, April 4

Kate Nash at the Ready Room Kate Nash at the Ready Room Meghan McGlynn
Written by Meghan McGlynn
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Kate Nash has something to say -- and that's not just something I inferred from the title of her 2013 release, "Girl Talk." No, she has made it clear she has a message: "Be brave. And be kind."

It may not be profound. But then again, she did commit to up the ante on her brain game and "be smarter" in 2014. (In her "Alternative Christmas Message" she declared, "I want to like study and educate myself more, and I don't just wanna get facts off Wikipedia...so I want to read books," advising her fans to do the same.)

For now, though, the gist of her message is simple: "Be brave and be kind and be really fucking confident and do what you wanna do." Last night at the Ready Room, the first show of her 2014 tour (which, as she announced recently on Twitter, she has named, "in the womb it's warm and safe"), she clarified that her message is for girls: "I love to encourage girls to be who they are and be brave and take risks." She added: "I just want to mention I'm a huge fan of girls generally."

Dressed head-to-toe in a gauzy pink gown, showing off a new 'do ("I dyed my hair pink -- I'm crazy like that!") and hot-pink painted lips, and aglow in rosy lights, Kate Nash took the stage at 10:10 p.m. flanked by three pink-clad female bandmates and kicked off her "womb tour" with a shriek of grrrrl power and her simple message to all her girls.

Opening with "Sister," a track from her latest release, she wailed, "there was this cool, cool girl," and with all four girls on stage head banging and shouting themselves hoarse, they played "Kiss that Grrrl" from her 2010 release, "My Best Friend Is You": "She's…more pretty and more interesting than me…kiss that girl and I will shrink up/and I will die…."

Lest you be confused by these seemingly un-grrrl power sentiments, Kate brought us back to her "be brave and be smart" shared New Year's resolution, singing one from her debut album "Made of Bricks": "Sometimes I wish I was like Mariella…Because she knew all the secrets in her world/Yes, she always got the crossword puzzle right everyday/And she could do the alphabet backwards/without making any mistakes." Well, it's still early in 2014 -- there's time yet to get there…. "I'll just read a book instead."

And Kate made clear that she does not want her girls to feel trapped by some unattainable image ("magazines, fuck that shit"), or feel inferior ("if you look at me and think you can't do what I do, just look at [my new drummer] Alicia!") or think they should aspire to be someone else. Girls should be confident and be brave -- "we're all individuals!" (She expounded on this theory in her Christmas message: "If you can get excited that like no snowflake is the same, then you should be excited that no human is the same either, and you're human so that's really fucking cool!").

Really fucking cool indeed. The crowd seemed to think so last night, with humans of all genders and ages and shapes and sizes shrieking and head banging right along with Kate and her girls for the 15-song setlist, culminating in a mob of fans crashing on stage and rocking out and taking selfies with Kate and crew ("Grrrl gang/runnin' 'round…runnin' 'round"), until the Queen of Girls herself, wielding her guitar and under the protection of her roadie, descended from her high throne to the floor below to join her devoted subjects ("I'm just a girl like you"), and amongst the masses, engaged in an extended punk rock jam session that exploded in a finale of sweat and hair and hugging.

Though the room was deadly silent post-finale, perhaps from sheer exhaustion or maybe simply because we were all just girl-talked-out, Kate nevertheless faithfully returned for an encore. Pulling her keyboard close to the edge of the stage, enveloped by sea of spent girls draped prostrate at her feet, Kate sang one of her 2007 Billboard Pop Chart hits, "Merry Happy": "Though you try to tell me that you never loved me/I know that you did."

It was clear, we did. And the young Queen Mother seemed pleased. "Yeah you make me merry, make me very, very happy." A beaming Kate surveyed her environs all warm and pink and full of adoration, and caressing a bouquet of roses offered in veneration, she extended gratitude to each and all for their loyalty: "I wouldn't be here without your support!" And then: "Oh my GOD you have a pink necklace -- that's SO NICE!"

Set list:

Sister
Death Proof
Kiss That Grrrl
Mariella
Do-Wah-Do
Mouthwash
OHMYGOD!
Pumpkin Soup
Free My Pussy
Fri-end?
Foundations
Are You There Sweetheart?
Girl Gang (cover of FIDLAR's Cocaine)
??? (fans on stage)

Encore:
Merry Happy

Photos by Meghan McGlynn

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