Opening for a musical powerhouse, such as Kate Nash, is always going to be a challenge, but one that groovy indie surf-rockers from Los Angeles, Gothic Tropic, more then embraced. Performing songs from their upcoming debut album Fast or Feast [r.d. 19 May 2017 – Old Flame Records] the young band, fronted by the fantastically soulful and skilled guitarist vocalist Cecilia Della Peruti, laid down funky and cheerful tracks.
The reverb-heavy and tremolo bar-abusing, yet clean sound, quickly transported the audience to L.A., conjuring images of catching waves on Santa Monica beach. Having gone through many band iterations in their relatively short history, Gothic Tropic seem to have found the winning formula with harmonious play between band members.
Happy to be part of the tour, the energy of their unique disco funk beats picked up as the set progressed, ending on the upbeat crescendo of guitar whaling musical explosion Stronger. Well worth seeing on their own, watch out for their debut album and any tour dates near you.
Accompanied by the fantastic all-female Echo Boom Generation, sporting Black Lives Matter t-shirts, Kate Nash took to the stage with her trademark big smile and endearing enthusiasm. Kicking off her set with Sister, to the delight of the adoring crowd, Nash put down a marker for what was to be expected from the remaining hour and a half: fun, zestful, and honest heartfelt powerful songs about personal experiences.
Being the eternal show-woman, Nash didn’t mess about and immediately jumped into the crowd to see out her first song amongst the fans that have been with her throughout the decade since Made of Bricks was released.
It was clear that Nash hadn’t lost any of her spunk and energy and that everyone who managed to get hold of tickets for the sell-out show at the Rescue Rooms was in for a musical and personal experience of the highest order.
With Death Proof’s bass sound reminiscent of The Pixies, it was obvious why Nash had chosen to go on tour with Echo Boom Generation. With paralleled energy and musical wizardry, they were the perfect complement to Nash’s powerful vocals. Mouthwash and Do-Wah-Doo further highlighted the excellent choice of band, with its truly sublime drummer.
At this point the heaving Rescue Rooms were pumping with the wave of positive energy coming from the stage mirrored by the overwhelming love and good vibes from the crowd, who were singing and jumping along to every songs.
The vivacity of OMYGOD! was matched with the consequent powerful Birds, which saw Nash back in the crowd. Requiring a little breather after Birds, the well-timed We Get On was sang as a duet with the fans, at times surprising Nash, how well timed the audience’s vocals were.
Nash has been actively writing new material, which will be released on EP in May, and it was now time for the new song Musical Theatre. The sincere and honest song dealt with Nash’s own relationship with mental health issues. Actively supporting the mental health charity Mind, Nash made the audience aware of the excellent and very important work that the charity does.
Showing her musical influences, such as the Violent Femmes and Hole, the fast alternative punk vibes of Fri-End rocked the roof off the Rescue Rooms. “Are you ready for a boogie?”, as if the place wasn’t bouncing enough.
The saucy rapped dance track Agenda surely matched the energy of the show, conjuring memories of 80’s old school rap. After the new material, it was time for Nash’s biggest hit Foundations, engaging the vocal chords of the enthralled audience and which was clearly one of exquisite bassists Emma’s favourite songs.
If you follow Nash’s social media feeds, which you should, you’ll have seen photos of her dog, which she accidentally bought from a drug addict as a puppy. My Little Alien was dedicated to her cute pet before embarking on a 10-minute long rant about Nash’s unfortunate experience with chauvinistic managers and men in the music industry.
Based on a decade worth of experience, Nash imparted an honest warning to the women in the audience, which can be extended to everyone, not let someone make you feel something that you are not and to be true to oneself at all times. Underestimate the Girl dealt with these negative experiences that Nash had made in the industry. Giving the rest of the crowd a last tangible experience, Nash embarked on an extensive walk through the crowd whilst playing the bass.
After a very quick break, the four musicians were back on stage to satisfy the shouts from the crowd for a final encore of Mariella to mark the end of the truly exceptional and lively show.
Overall, the entire show was highly energetic, fun packed and felt very authentic and personal. There was excellent interaction with the crowd, often in direct dialogue. If I didn’t have to work, I’d probably follow Kate Nash around on her tour. Many of the tour dates are sold out, but if you get the chance to see her at any point, the spectacular liveliness and wonderful music would make it worth travelling to the other side of the country for.