Amoeba San Francisco - May 11th @ 3:00pm
Join Amoeba in welcoming British singer/songwriter Kate Nash in celebration of her third album, Girl Talk (out now).
Born and raised in London, Nash started playing music as a kid, but her creative interests didn't stop there. She studied theater at the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. Nash was contemplating a future as an actor when, after a freak fall down a flight of stairs, she found herself temporarily housebound with a broken leg. To ease her boredom during recovery, the singer's mom bought her an electric guitar and songwriting became her obsession. After playing a few local gigs, Nash started uploading her music to MySpace. The response was immediate and overwhelming. By spring of 2007 the singer and songwriter had a record deal, and by the summer her debut album, Made of Bricks, was wreaking havoc on the UK charts. She played the entire UK festival circuit, including Reading and Leeds, and made her TV debut on Later with Jools Holland.
Not content with dominating the British marketplace, Nash then made her way stateside where Made of Bricks came out in January of 2008. Nash supported the release with a string of highly publicized shows that helped sell 175,000 copies of the album. Back home, she was being heralded as the new face of British music. She won the Brit Award for British Female Solo Artist, the NME Award for Best Solo Artist, and the Q Award for Breakthrough Artist. And after two years that took her from unknown teenage girl writing songs in her bedroom to arena-filling international pop star, Nash decided to take a long break.
"Everything was just a whirlwind," she remembers. "I'd do things that were crazy and just be so blasé about them. Like, oh you're going to perform for this many people and like oh you're going to the Brit awards and I'm like, 'ok cool, sure.' They're like, 'your album went to number one' and I'm like, 'ok.'" After playing the summer festivals in 2008, Nash went back to London and retrenched. "It was scary because at first you're like, 'ok so the next album's coming out in this month and I'm gonna get it done and I want to go here and I'm going to go there and do that. But when you actually start to relax you're like, 'oh god this is so much better and I actually need it! I'm going to hang out with my friends and go to the cinema and pass my driving test and watch the news and see what's going on in the world.'"
And that she did. In addition to spending time with family and catching up on the real-life-of-a-teenager stuff she'd missed while becoming a rock star, Nash took time to pursue interest outside of music, like doing charity work. With a friend, she organized an event for the Wish Center in London, which is a group for kids that self-harm. "We did a big Halloween fundraiser for them that was really fun." And she also took time to remember why she started making music in the first place. "I booked a rehearsal room for a couple of months so that I did have somewhere to go everyday and didn't just watch daytime TV, which I also did plenty of," the singer admits, laughing. "I wanted to make sure that was writing even if it wasn't good, that I was doing something productive. And I took the break to make sure I had something interesting to write about. I'm not going to write an album about how I've been on tour for two years and am sick of it. I'm not going to write the you-can't-relate-to-me-album. That would be rubbish!"
Locked in that rehearsal room with no deadline, Nash rediscovered her love for music. She played around with new instruments, learning drums, bass and improving her guitar skills, and she also started a punk band, The Receeders with Jon Jackson and Brett Alaimo the bassist and guitarist from her band. "When we were on tour they were in the back of the bus one night talking about how they were going to be in a punk band called the Receeders," Nash remembers. "I was like, 'can I join?' and they're like 'yes, okay, if you want.' It was kind of a joke, but then I was off the road and in my rehearsal room I just rang them up and was like, 'come over! We're actually going to do this!'"
Taking a few months off, learning new instruments, and writing songs for a loud rock and roll band really expanded the scope and sophistication of Nash's songwriting, as heard in her second album, My Best Friend is You. Now with her third full-length release, Girl Talk, Nash is recast as a bratty fuzzpop feminisit agitator who just might make Courtney Love or Kim Deal proud.
Also catch Kate Nash later that night at The Chapel.