Tonight’s show is no normal Kate Nash show – tonight is in celebration of the ten year anniversary of her debut album Made of Bricks. The concept of a decade having passed since its release is somewhat jarring, having distinct memories of buying Made of Bricks in the Woolworths closing down sale many moons ago.
The stage is already beautiful with a stained glass window (Leeds Church is, you guessed it, an ex-church), but is made all the more magical with giant inflatable clouds, red roses and fairy lights adorning the piano and light-up flowers everywhere: Nash takes to the stage briefly at the end of opening track ‘Play’ in a dress made entirely of teddy bears before leaving, returning in a less sweat-inducing stage outfit and beginning a short rendition of ‘Foundations’, the song that shot her to fame. This segue quickly ends, sticking to the original order of Made of Bricks tracklist.
‘Mouthwash’ and ‘Mariella’ are particularly superb, along with ‘Pumpkin Soup’ and ‘Shit Song’. ‘Foundations’ (this time in full) predictably elicits the most rapturous response, especially the infamous ‘You said I must eat so many lemons / Cos I am so bitter / I said I’d rather be with your friends mate / Cos they are much fitt-ah’ line and its distinctive inflection.
Nash is an effervescent performer, dancing around the stage like a fireball with the confidence that only someone who has performed these songs for ten years could have. She treats the audience to rousing speeches, covering issues from the importance of self love (after ‘Nicest Thing’, she talks about how she wrote it when she was 17 and wanted someone to love her, but now she realises it’s key to love herself first) to mental health. She ensures her all-female, impossibly cool band, all decked out in identikit Kate Nash garb, receive the adulation and praise they deserve from the crowd.
After ‘Little Red’, Nash takes a bow with the words “and that is Made of Bricks” (with the noticeable omission of ‘Merry Happy’). The show then forays into other areas of Nash’s catalogue, with older B-sides and new tracks like the punchy ‘Agenda’ and ‘Call Me’, along with the delightful as-yet-unreleased ‘California Poppies’.
For the grand finale that is the fantastic ‘Merry Happy’, Nash invites a gaggle of glittered girls from the audience to join her. Sat at her piano surrounded by her adoring fans, it’s almost as though Nash is a deity being worshipped by loyal followers. ‘Merry Happy’ is a triumphant end to the show, with the entire room chanting “I can be alone, yeah / I can watch a sunset on my own” back at her.
As the crowd slowly trickles out of the venue, the Dirty Dancing classic ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ plays, and it feels perfectly, perfectly appropriate.
By Lucy McLaughlin