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Kate Nash

Seems Hollywood is taking to her charms in exactly the same way her homeland did. Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles (May 14)

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It’s the final show of the first-ever NME Awards USA Tour and the pristine headliner, who over the past month has stolen US hearts state-by-state, tonight calls the audience “dickheads”, then tells them to shut up, then stops her biggest hit to berate a bouncer. Still, Hollywood knows a star when it sees one. And frankly, the packed-in crowd at the Henry Fonda Theater is embracing the abuse. Screaming full-throttle from the start of opener ‘Pumpkin Soup’, Kate pounds her keyboards like a malfunctioning circuit board, her elegance remaining intact. The crowd, conversely, are less controlled – girls dressed in ruffly smocks earnestly sing every word of ‘We Get On’, pouring their hearts out to the object of their affection.

And while in the UK Kate Nash may not be known for attracting fans with Y-chromosomes, there’s no shortage of them here tonight, countless deep-voiced shouts of “I love you, Kate!” echoing round the room throughout (not that this fazes boyfriend Ryan Jarman, coolly surveying proceedings from the back). Kate handles the adoration with aplomb, appearing more self-assured than she did just a few short months ago at her very first show in this notoriously judgemental town. Before the night is through, she sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to a girl called Mariella – no relation to her tune of the same name – and sweetly introduces ‘Dickhead’ (“I wrote this about a dickhead who locked me up in a cupboard once”) and ‘Model Behaviour’ (“This is an angry song I wrote after going to a London party full of wankers”) with the kind of sly wink that charmed her homeland so easily.

Towards the close, 14-year-old drummer Rachel Trachtenberg from quirky support band The Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players is invited to pound the skins on a couple of tracks, but that doesn’t stop overzealous bouncers from trying to eject her from the place a few minutes later. Until Kate comes to her rescue. “She’s in the band, she’s not leaving,” she announces, halting a set-closing ‘Foundations’ before re-starting. “I’m getting a bit emotional now,” she giggles at the close, pretending to wipe tears from her eyes. LA will miss you too, Kate, but something tells us you’ll be back.

Laura Ferreiro

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