Nash: London Aldgate East Spitz

Old skool Brit nu-soul which doesn't suck the Mick Hucknalls...

Don’t you wish that you could give up being cool and cutting-edge every now and then? Go on, just as an experiment, chuck the Prada shades in the bin and try reading this by the clear light of day. Doesn’t that feel good? Just like listening to Nash, maybe. Because if he/they tried to be cool then this whole funk-soul scenario would be unbearably contrived.

As another experiment, try saying the following words aloud and see if you

can avoid vomiting little Mick Hucknalls and Jamiroquais all over your nice Fubu jacket: ‘blue-eyed soul’, ‘Brit-funk’, ‘organic’. Not pretty is it? Thing is, Nash (Russell Nash, an extravagantly be-suited cross between Norman Wisdom and Billy Joel) and his band (a bunch of smiling misfits, chancers, and that DJ off the Ali G show) just want to make the kind of music they love.

And if that happens to mean that Curtis Mayfield (on ‘100 Million Ways’), Stevie Wonder (on ‘Just A Little Sign’) and Jacko (‘What Can I Do?’) get the odd nod of appreciation then so what? There’s too much joy in Pete Cherry’s slinky basslines, DJ Tha 4orce’s exuberant interjections, and Nash’s impassioned squeal for them to need to apologise. Cool doesn’t come into it. ‘The Des O’Connor Show’ probably beckons but, hey, there are more embarrassing places to hear music. And Des beats Jools Holland hands down anyway.

Trevor Baker