The Receeders – Kate Nash’s Punk-Rock Side Project

Last time I saw Kate Nash, she was co-promoting a night of poetry and acoustic music with her best friend, Laura Dockrill, and stressing over sorting out the parking meter for her car. She was dressed like a ’50s movie starlet, in a dress and heels, and talking excitedly about the biscuit factory near where she grew up.

So it’s weird to see her appear in a brand new incarnation – as a snarly rock chick – with her new band The Receeders, in a support slot for JD “Le Tigre” Samson’s band, MEN, at a gig in Hoxton (January 19). The rest of the bill is credibly underground: all-girl London lo-fi trio Pens, and Samson’s gang of gender-bending, radical politics-championing, day-glo-wearing Brooklynites.

It’s The Receeders’ third gig, I find out afterwards (the other two were in her hometown of Harrow, and at Brick Lane’s 93 Feet East), but they’ve got a way to go before they convince a crowd like this one (lots of piercings and undercuts) that they’re doing anything other than playing at being punk.

Kate Nash on stage with The Receeders

Dressed in black leggings, a grungy white t-shirt and with her hair in a blunt bob, Nash played bass, and shouted lyrics like “Don’t tell me that I shouldn’t be angry!” and “You’re just like them!” over fast ‘n’ loud guitar that owed a debt to the Sex Pistols, and the Ramones. Bikini Kill are another influence: Nash admitted late last year she’s been obsessing over them, and her vocals with The Receeders are fast, loud and high-pitched.

There was a fair amount of eye-rolling among audience members there to see Samson, many of whom started heading to the bar before the set was through, leaving a lone crowdsurfer crashing to the floor through the sparse crowd. But I reckon experimenting with different styles and sounds can only be a good thing for the 22-year-old former stage school kid, whose second album is due out this spring.