In our depressively dystopic times where nothing seems to hit the same, Nadine Shah made sure she was the exception from the ennui; from the moment she walked on stage to the tune of synthesised jazzy discord, the atmosphere became just as electric – despite the social anxiety that mostly muted the audience aside from rapturous applause.
In her one-off performance at the Barbican in London on July 18th, she played her jazzy post-punk record, Kitchen Sink, in its entirety before playing what she claimed to be (they are) her ‘hits’. The critical acclaim she received following the release of her album in June 2020 had little impact on her infectious humility that radiates from her unfiltered stage presence.
As a proud owner of all of her records, I still somehow managed to underestimate the immensity of her vocal talent. There are few things in life more visceral than hearing her resounding, Jazzy vocal timbre and Pete Wareham’s demonic sax solos complemented by the acoustics in the Barbican.
Within the male-dominated realms of post-punk, Shah’s misogyny-challenging latest album, as with all of her music, comes with a sense of vindication that feels like a nuanced extension of the Riot Grrrl era. If anyone can kick ass with class, it’s Nadine Shah.
The deliciously rich brooding tones in her fourth studio album are a far cry from the abrasiveness of most artists striving to inspire through their lyricism, and they are all the more efficacious for it.
Grab yourself a copy of Kitchen Sink via Nadine Shah’s website.
Review by Amelia Vandergast