Returning to Newcastle for her home-town show, Nadine Shah took to the stage in her quirkily awkward way. Openly stating that she was petrified of playing to her friends and family, which she cheekily admitted were about half the crowd, her nerves didn’t show through what was a faultless performance.
After playing the initial few songs from her first critically acclaimed album Love Your Dum And Mad, she found her comfort zone and started to really breathe life into her eerily beautiful songs. Gateshead Old Town Hall was the perfect venue to match her grand and almost operatic songs. With high, arching ceilings and ornate carvings the building seemed to be reflecting the performance. At one point it even did literally when the drummer’s shadow was framed on the wall, adding to the whole experience.
Nadine began to really hit her stride when performing Matador, the third track on her new album Fast Food. The rest of the songs from her second album were equally as good and her plea to the crowd to buy it and help push her into the Top 40 will, I suspect, have worked.
Her style of slow and deep songs aren’t exactly the kind to get an audience bouncing, so she could be forgiven for a lack of crowd pleasing. However, she continually chatted to the audience, laying on hilarious anecdotes from her mum who was also attending the gig. Her family entourage even requested Dreary Town sang in French which she also produced, titled Ville Morose. Nadine laughed it off however, claiming she couldn’t remember the words!
The words she remembered for the rest of her songs (which, surprisingly, was all of them) were fantastic, and the multitude of slow to fast songs were well ordered for an excellent set list. Her vocals, the centrepiece of her performance, were magnificent, and every note resonated throughout the hall. She even highlighted her talent for the keyboard as well as the microphone. Her last pre-encore song, Fool, was the icing on the cake as her rich and emotive voice was at its finest.
Before ending Nadine promoted a local festival to the crowd, who will no doubt be attending after such an excellent set. She also gave a heartfelt “thank you” to those in attendance. If people needed any more encouragement to see her again in the future, her final song Runaway would have put any doubt to bed as she finished just as strongly as she started.
A thoroughly brilliant show from an unusual style of music, and a must see for fans of Nadine Shah!
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