Live at Cockpit on Friday, 25th May 2007
The first in a series of Live at Leeds gigs, an initiative to celebrate the city's 800th Birthday, Kate Nash managed to kick off the three day extravaganza with pure class. The evening's entertainment begins with support act The Wallbirds, three cheeky chaps who definitely warmed up the crowd with their special brand of country rockabilly that seems mainstream yet is unique. Warranting responses from the crowd to practically every song with an uplifting feel which made every soul in the room driven to dance, The Wallbirds played an energetic set. The set highlight came when the band played a number that involved a guitar, a hi-hat and a pair of sticks, leading the crowd into a clapping frenzy. The band generally brings a sound that has not been heard since the 90s with some songs echoing the country roots the band have enveloped. The band certainly do the job of a good support band by creating a crowd frenzy that is normally hard for an unknown band to do showing great skill. A good band mentality showing promise and a definite invite from Leeds to return for more future gigs.
Before Kate Nash even graces the stage, the crowd are already cheering her name and finally, when she came to perform, the crowd's cheers were raising the roof. Kate herself seemed taken aback at the amount of support shown. Consistently, after every song throughout the set, the crowd make a commotion, showing that they think this girl is going places. Kate has come a long way, proving herself to be more than a Lily Allen-a-like. She has risen above the slander, as featured in controversial song 'LDN is a victim', parodying a various number of Kate's songs, as well as drawing the title from Caroline's 'A Victim'. The song goes down well with the Cockpit crowd, who put on cockney accents singing 'Killah beats'. Kate brings that Lily Allen mockney music with its cocky edge to a new level, making the music more singable and enjoyable with a different feel that is comparable to the likes of Regina Spektor. Current single 'Foundations' is the pivotal moment of Ms Nash's set creating that live euphoria, a key ingredient for any artist who wishes to prove themselves lives. It leads to a mass sing-a-long that is deafening to the ear, with the right mix of a build up and pure honest vocals about social situations that affect many, showing the urban poetry fresh from the new wave of singer-songwriters from London. This new breed of singer-songwriter from the capital has been seen in the likes of Jamie T, Jack Peņate and Remi Nicole and Kate Nash seems to be Queen after tonight's performance. The set comes to its penultimate song, the simple cheery lament of 'Merry Happy', which is a cover of a story bringing inspiration to females with relationship problems and of course giving her honest thoughts on the issue inspiring the prominently female audience acting like your big sister. After a rapturous applause Kate took the stage for her final number, 'Little Red, a quiet song to seemingly wind down this crazy night that she herself describes as 'my best gig ever, I love you Leeds' and informing us of her return for the Carling Weekend at Bramham Park ensuring at least a Leeds crowd supporting her. The night draws to a close with Kate leaving after perhaps pulling off the most important and best gig she had ever done. Live at Leeds definitely got off to a good start showing a true spirit which all Leeds gig-goers have instilled.