Ah, Kate Nash. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. “You said I must eat so many lemons/ cause I am so bitter/ I said ‘I’d rather be with your friends mate/ cause they are much fitter’” is perhaps the most meaningful line of the 21st century for anyone who fancies their partner’s mate more than they do them (which I reckon is more often than you’d first assume).
Made of Bricks is approaching its 10th anniversary and there’s a comeback tour in the diary – with that in mind, we’re discussing what it is about Kate Nash that means she remains so fucking cool ten years on. In a time where the charts were dominated by indie all-male bands like The Wombats and The Enemy, Kate shone through with her bright red lipstick and opinionated and expressive songbook.
After being dropped like she wasn’t hot by her record label after her second album, Kate Nash has self-released all her own work, and at the moment is Kickstarter-ing her way back into the music industry with that DIY ethos she radiates. The amount of people that could, and I’m 99% sure still can, sing all the words to every track on Made of Bricks are the ones Kate recognises as the people who have supported her self-made career and continually allowed her to perform at sold out gigs.
Her cockney accent somehow comes through the Kate-Nash-esque Kickstarter profile, adding a personal touch to all of the rewards and when she stops ‘being so British’ she eventually asks her fans to donate to the project. For which she’s smashed her target amount of cash, raising $118,348 (+£90k) of her $70,000 (+£54k) goal pledged by more than 1800 backers.
In the profile on her Kickstarter campaign, Kate wrote: “It just makes sense to me that you guys become my record label. I trust you the most! You show up for me. I can be my honest self with you.”
Which is what any musician needs to get by, right? For them to have the opportunity to be themselves and have a solid support network around them? After reaching her total well before the sand was due to drain from the hourglass, new music is secured and imminent. It’s coming. And if the Kickstarter page is anything to go by, we’re looking at February 2018 for tangible tunes, but digital download seems to be available a lil sooner (if you make a pledge, obvs). It may be (basically) ten months away, but that doesn’t stop the anticipation.
What will new Kate Nash sound like? Will she be as relatable as she was when I was listening to the album on repeat depending on whether I wanted to cry/shout/happy-cry whilst simultaneously avoiding my family?
The thing about Kate Nash is that you feel like you know her personally. She’s your mate you’ve known for years. She understands what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling and it’s miraculous there’s tunes that can even make you feel that way. This fundraising malarkey is a two-way street, fans provide the funding and Kate provides what Kate always has done in return – sick tracks.
Can I get hear hear for platforms like Kickstarter being able to offer musicians like Kate a chance to continue doing music to their own beat, and not that of someone else. Kate wrote why she was raising money this way to fund her next album: “I want to be free to make the kind of art I believe in and I want to work on it with the people that have believed in me the most.”
Is this the way music is going? Do musicians need to be a shadow of themselves or be willing to change who they are in order to get the gigs, get the contracts, get the fans? Or is kickstarting your own album, whether it’s your first, fourth or twentieth, the way forward?
As Kate says… “DIY TILL WE DIE AM I RIGHT???!”
Words by Eliza Frost